Kudos to Entertainment Weekly for putting Al Gore on this week’s cover.
In the lead story, writer Benjamin Svetkey reveals the former vice president’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has grossed $15 million in the United States and “is projected to earn another $10–15 million with its release overseas next month (along with nobody-knows-how-many-more-million when the DVD arrives this fall).”
Ironically, a film that started off as a carousel-projector slide show that Gore delivered around the country has surpassed ticket sales for hit documentaries like Hoop Dreams, Super Size Me and Madonna—Truth or Dare, making “Truth” the fourth-highest-grossing non-IMAX, non-concert documentary of all time, according to Svetkey, who speculates that Gore “may even have a shot at snatching third place from Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine.”
Gore admits he was skeptical when first approached about turning his presentation into a film, but he’s thrilled that close to 2 million Americans have seen the “chilling” documentary (and he’s donating every cent he makes to The Alliance for Climate Protection). But the accolades he’s received have had a broader impact: Former critics of Gore the politician have turned into fans who now accept the premise that global warming is an incontrovertible scientific phenomenon, much to the chagrin of the petrochemical industry and the Bush administration. (The president has no plans to see the film, according to numerous newspaper reports.)
But as Gore tells Svetkey, “'This isn’t a political film. Global warming isn’t a political issue. It’s about the survival of the planet. Nobody is going to care who won or lost any election when the earth is uninhabitable.”