[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Hear that sound? That's the sound of a hundred right-wing Randian hearts breaking:
Despite our commenters predicting that “This movie and this idea will grow and grow like a Tsunami” and that “This movie will break records… for years… remember “Star Wars”?,” the film managed a decent enough limited opening a few weeks back picking up $1.7 million at around 300 locations, but this past weekend, it took a hefty 50% drop, despite adding more than 150 screens to its count suggesting that the rails had already run out on the film’s commercial prospects.Quick, someone get Jonah Goldberg and John Stossel a couple of crying rooms! The magic of the marketplace has spoken ... and their movie sucks!
And it’s fair to say the film’s hefty drop was down to the critics—“Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1” managed only a 7% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics happy to tear the film a new asshole. Even Jeff Otto, who reviewed the film for us, who took a far more impartial look at the film that this writer could have managed, gave it a rare ‘F’ grade, calling it “an aimless, amateurish and, more to the point, stone cold boring piece of drivel.” All in all, it seems to mean that Aglialoro won’t push ahead with his plans to film the rest of the book.
24 Frames talked to the producer, who told them “Critics, you won. I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2… Why should I put up all of that money if the critics are coming like lemmings? I’ll make my money back and I’ll make a profit, but do I wanna go and do to? Maybe I just wanna see my grandkids and go on strike.” A strike? Now that’s something that Rand would certainly have approved of. No one loved the labor movement more than she did.
As Aglialoro suggests, he won’t lose money on it—the film was produced far too cheaply for that—but it seems that the effort involved, the low profit margins, and the critical brickbats slung at the film, have sapped his desire to get Rand’s work on screens. So, a victory for our liberal media elite conspiracy! Oh, shit, uh, we mean, uh… Look over there, there’s evidence of Barack Obama faking his birth certificate!
In reality, “Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1” was, ironically, crushed at the free market—the film had every chance of being a crossover hit, but it was marketed exclusively at a niche audience of Tea Party types, who either didn’t bother to show up, or don’t exist in sizable enough numbers to sustain a film like this. Essentially, it’s the “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” of Objectivist thinking.
My guess is that the movie was every bit as tedious and hollow as the book: