After finishing Fahrenheit 9/11 in 20004, Michael Moore still had no US distributor. He sought out Harry Weinstein at Miramax, which is owned by Disney. Weinstein agreed to back the movie, but he needed the approval of his superiors at Disney. The CEO of Disney, Michael Eisner, vetoed the distribution of the film. Miramax still held the rights to Fahrenheit 9/11, but could not distribute it.
By the time Michael Eisner vetoed the distribution of the film, Miramax had already given Michael Moore $6 million. This was to be bridge financing that Miramax would recover when the film’s distribution rights were sold. The $6 million more than covered the costs of making Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore hardly had any expenditure for the film. No one but himself was paid a salary and much of the footage he obtained at little or no cost from film libraries. After seeing a rough cut of the film, Weinstein asked Eisner to reconsider his decision. After getting a report on the content, Eisner declared that Disney would not change its position on distributing the movie. [Read more…]