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New documentary on Fox News' Roger Ailes flops big time at box office

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A new documentary on former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who was infamously ousted from the news giant after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him, flopped at the box office over the weekend.

What are the details?

The film, "Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes," earned just $18,833 over the weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film played in just 15 theaters, bringing its average gross per theater to just $1,256, a dismal showing to say the least. One theater in Manhattan, however, was "successful," grossing nearly $3,000.

The documentary examines the life of Ailes, who died in May 2017, and his rise to fame that coincided with the rise of Fox News as the most popular cable news outlet.

Ailes was ousted as Fox News chairman in the summer 2016 after numerous former and current Fox employees claimed they were victims of sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes. The controversy later evolved into a full-scale scandal after other Fox executives were implicated in a cover-up of Ailes' misconduct.

As The Hill reported, the film is just one of three on Ailes' life:

"Divide and Conquer" is one of three offerings on Ailes. Actor John Lithgow will play him in an upcoming, still-to-be-named biopic. The Emmy award winner will join a star-studded cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron.

Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe will also portray Ailes in Showtime's adaptation of Gabriel Sherman's book, "The Loudest Voice in the Room." The Crowe Ailes project will run as a limited series, reportedly to air in 2019.

How did the film fare among reviewers?

Despite its poor box-office showing, the film has received rave reviews, according to Rotten Tomatoes, a website dedicated to TV and movie reviews.

Among critical reviews, 90 percent of professional critics approved of the documentary.

"This is the acid test for a good journalistic documentary: No matter how far back it reaches, 'Divide and Conquer' always feels as if it's in the present tense," said David Edelstein, a reviewer for New York Magazine.

"'Divide and Conquer' is well worth watching, underscoring the power Ailes wielded at the enterprise he ran for 20 years like a virtual kingdom," praised Brian Lowry of CNN.

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