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WASHINGTON — AAFES won’t let a little controversy get in the way of acquiring copies of Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a spokesman said Monday.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is pursuing prints through one of the film’s distributors, Lions Gate Films, said Judd Anstey, a spokesman at AAFES headquarters in Dallas.

Whether AAFES pursues a movie depends entirely on its popularity in the United States.

“AAFES’ motion picture policy is to screen films that are popular in the private sector,” AAFES Vice President of Food and Theater Richard Sheff responded via e-mail. “AAFES’ position will not change based on a single feature. If Fahrenheit 9/11 proves popular in the private sector and prints are available, the movie will be shown.”

“Fahrenheit 9/11” was No. 1 at the weekend’s U.S. box office, earning $23.9 million, a record debut for a documentary film.

It was the first time a nonfiction film opened at the top of the box office.

Anstey noted that it “was a very soft weekend,” for ticket sales as no blockbusters were released. He said it would be instructive to see how the film fares on its second weekend, with the release of “Spiderman 2” competing with it.


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