'Fahrenheit 9/11' pulls in record documentary haul

Monday, June 28, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" took in a whopping $21.8 million in its first three days, becoming the first documentary ever to debut as Hollywood's top weekend film.

If Sunday's estimates hold when final numbers are released today, "Fahrenheit 9/11" would set a record in a single weekend as the top-grossing documentary ever outside of concert films and movies made for huge-screen IMAX theaters.

"Bowling for Columbine," Moore's 2002 Academy Award-winning documentary, previously held the documentary record with $21.6 million.

"I want to thank all the right-wing organizations out there who tried to stop the film, either from their harassment campaign that didn't work on the theater owners, or going to the FEC to get our ads removed from television, to all the things that have been said on television," Moore said. "It's only encouraged more people to go and see it."

The Wayans brothers' comedy "White Chicks," about two black FBI agents who go undercover as white debutantes, opened in second place with $19.6 million for the weekend.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "Fahrenheit 9/11," $21.8 million.

2. "White Chicks," $19.6 million.

3. "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," $18.5 million.

4. "The Terminal," $13.9 million.

5. "The Notebook," $13 million.

6. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," $11.4 million.

7. "Shrek 2," $10.5 million.

8. "Garfield: The Movie," $7 million.

9. "Two Brothers," $6.2 million.

10. "The Stepford Wives," $5.2 million.

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