Box office shock: Documentary about failed, sanctimonious one-term president tanks spectacularly

Hollywood director Jonathan Demme seems to have too much money and too little sense. Demme, who directed The Silence of the Lambs and Swimming to Cambodia (no, that second one is not about John Kerry’s Rambo-like exploits and achievements in time travel, fighting under the illegal orders of a president who hadn’t taken office yet) bankrolled Jimmy Carter: The Man from Plains. It’s a documentary that follows the ex-president around as he tours to promote his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

On its first weekend, the film did a whopping 10 grand at the box office in 7 theatres. That works out to about $1500 per theater, not enough to cover a single screening fee.

How surprising. Who wouldn’t want to sit through two hours watching an old man dodge questions about plagiarism, his book’s extreme anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bisa, his illogical equation of Israel with South African apartheid, and his repeat offenses of snuggling with anti-American tinpots? Who wouldn’t want to see the self-righteous man who helped usher in the Iranian mullahcracy hug his Nobel and chastise the president who is having to clean up the mess that Carter left for all of his successors?

How could Demme have misjudged the movie-going public so badly?

Well, he’ll always have public schools and universities sell The Man From Plains to. It’ll probably end up in double features with An Inconvenient Truth with a year.

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