LOS ANGELES: Documentarian Michael Moore has once again used a personal appeal over the internet to boost the success of his controversial work, highlighting the effectiveness of the web as a promotional tool.
Moore's latest film, Bowling For Columbine, is a harsh look at America's gun culture, and the US' high rate of shooting deaths as compared to other countries.
Before the premiere, Moore sent an e-mail out to his mailing list, numbering in the thousands, encouraging people to see the film as a way to protest the push for war with Iraq. That e-mail was widely circulated, especially by film buffs and political activists who support Moore.
"It is, I promise, the last thing the Bushies want projected on movie screens across America this weekend," the e-mail read.
Moore also pointed out that a poor initial showing could mean the demise of the film.
The film was released in LA and New York on October 11, earning a respectable $250,000 on a mere eight screens. It is now playing on more than 110, and has grossed $2.6 million.
Moore also used the web to push his last book, Stupid White Men. Set to debut September 12, 2001, publisher Regan Books felt it risky to promote an anti-Bush tome in light of 9/11. But an e-mail plea by Moore helped the book make the bestseller list on both Amazon.com, where it reached the top spot, and The New York Times, where it has stayed for more than 30 weeks.
Bowling For Columbine, distributed by United Artists, was also promoted at premieres in New York and LA, the latter hosted by Bill Maher, former host of Politically Incorrect.
Moore has also been on a media tour for the film, discussing, among other topics, the sniper murders that occurred simultaneously with the film's release.