Filmmaker Michael Moore plans to premiere his latest documentary exclusively on the Internet for free, forgoing the traditional theatrical release.
Slacker Uprising , which documents Moore's 62-city tour through swing states during the 2004 U.S. presidential election to rally young voters, will be available for download for three weeks, beginning September 23. A DVD of the 97-minute film will be released on October 7 through Amazon.com and Netflix.
"This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans," Moore said in a statement Thursday. "The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November. I think Slacker Uprising will inspire (millions) to get off the couch and give voting a chance."
Moore's camp said no consideration was ever given to a theatrical release for the film, which cost about $2 million to make, perhaps forfeiting a nice profit at the box office. His last two documentaries, Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11, are two of the three highest-grossing documentaries ever released.
The download will be available on BlipTV. See trailer below
The planned release takes a page out of Radiohead's book, which released its album In Rainbows on the Internet in October 2007. The band invited fans to pay what they wanted for the download, but the music was essentially free for the taking. Radiohead has never revealed the promotion's sales figures, but there was speculation that the money wasn't very good.
Nine Inch Nails, led by Trent Reznor, followed Radiohead by offering the digital version of the album Ghosts I-IV for free, as well as charging for premium versions. As of last month, Reznor said that the album had generated 781,917 transactions and $1.6 million.