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February 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A day before Michael Moore’s latest theatrical documentary, Where to Invade Next was to have its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, Moore’s company released a statement saying that it would premiere without him. Moore, who had been rushed to the hospital and placed in the ICU after contracting pneumonia earlier this month, was to have appeared at a news conference on Wednesday in advance of the Berlinale screening. A statement said: “It is with regret that Michael Moore has had to cancel his trip to the Berlin International Film Festival. Michael had been greatly looking forward to attending the Berlinale … and would like to extend his continued thanks to his fans for their ongoing support of the project.” But without Moore being able to drive the PR wagon for Where to Invade Next — he had been forced to cancel a promotional tour and numerous talk-show appearances — it suffered a severe upset at the North American box office over the weekend. Opening in 308 theaters, it took in just $897,034 for a per-theater average of $2,912, making it his worst-performing film ever. Ironically, it received some of his best reviews. In, Sophia McClennen praised it as “the most provocative and politically insightful film of his career.” Likewise, Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post described it as “Moore at his best.” Tirdad Derakhshani in the Philadelphis Inquirer called it “an upbeat, happy film free of Moore’s usual sarcasm and his tendency to upstage the material with his ego.” On the other hand, James Kirchick in wrote one of the few negative reviews, blasting Moore as a “rabble-rousing and manipulative charlatan” who has made it his life’s work to depict America as “a horrible country.” On Twitter, Moore himself sounded today (Tuesday) like his old self. He thanked Supergirl Melissa Benoist for her tweet urging her fans to see Where to Invade Next, which, she said, “left me unbelievably inspired. Hooray for common sense and human dignity!!” Moore tweeted in response: “C’mon people — Supergirl is telling u you have to see this movie! Now playing across the USA!” That’s a far cry from his recent post on Facebook when he revealed that “things didn’t look good” when he arrived at the hospital, later updating the post by remarking, “Trying to get back to just breathing is enough of a burden.”