With much hoopla from the OC Libertarian Right wing, “Atlas Shrugged Part I” debuted in Orange County to a host of true believers who have cemented a political philosophy based on fictional characters (Narnia anyone?). Red County blogger Allan Bartlett proclaimed it “the movie that tells Hollywood to suck it.” Former Register columnist Steven Greenhut predicted that the film would have a huge DVD uptick, perhaps acknowledging the film’s many flaws for good box office.
From Greenhut’s column:
“My prediction is that the movie will be a huge success in DVD format. Americans are hungry for the ideas the book presents. We’re tired of watching a government that constantly punishes hard work, savings, entrepreneurship and risk. We’re tired of listening to the whines of an overpaid government union elite. We’re tired of crushing tax bills to fund government programs that do little to improve our lives and never live up to the promises made. We’re sick of a national-security state that constantly pokes, prods and searches us. We’re tired of the rules and the taxes and the assaults on our freedom and the arrogance and unaccountability of the powerful people in government. And we’re tired of the rhetoric from politicians that sounds more appropriate in a socialistic society than a free one.”
Hungry for the ideas? The Ayn Rand booth at the LA Times book fair was busy with staffers trying to give away the free summaries of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. But Americans hungry for ideas where elsewhere. And if Americans are hungry for ideas, it seems Libertarians and Tea Partiers don’t really want to pay any enterprise that supports their viewpoints.
After four weeks in theaters, “Atlas Shrugged, Part I” has earned less than $4.3 million.
Producers are blaming the liberal media instead of the nearly 11 million Tea partiers who passed on the film. From a post on ALTFG.com:
That, however, would be an acknowledgment that the United States’ (purported) 11m Tea Party members to whom Atlas Shrugged was targeted actually read — and believe in — film reviews written by bleeding-heart lefties. (Now, please, Tea Partiers, don’t go calling me a bigot or compare me to a Nazi because I’m referring to liberals as “bleeding-heart lefties.”)
So, Aglialoro now says he was misquoted. On the right-wing site Big Hollywood, in addition to singling out Roger Ebert and Peter Travers as enemies of his film and its ideals, the producer claims he wants to do Atlas Shrugged parts II and III, but without betraying Ayn Rand’s “principles.” In other words, without losing money.
“This has to be a profitable venture.” Aglialoro explains. “The challenge is in finding a way to overcome the critics and the rest of the establishment, who are united against us.”
I don’t know if he’s right about that; maybe a coherent plot and good acting would have worked.
The producers have failed the free market test with a film that cost $20 million to make and will likely earn less than half even if it gets to DVD. Well, there’s always the tax right off on a business loss, right?
Hmm. Let’s look at the films of Michael Moore. Sure, Moore has had two poorly performing films, notably “Canadian Bacon.” But the producers of Atlas Shrugged would love some Michael Moore numbers. Moore’s average opening weekend numbers are more than “Atlas Shrugged Part I’s” entire theatrical run.
|Released||Movie Name||1st weekend||Total Gross|
|9/23/2009||Capitalism: A Love Story||$4,447,378||$14,363,397|
|10/11/2002||Bowling for Columbine||$209,148||$21,576,018|
|4/10/1998||The Big One||$146,909||$720,074|
|12/20/1989||Roger & Me||$84,232||$6,706,368|
|Average Opening Weekend||$4,812,879|
So who is John Galt?
Does anyone care?