Atlas Shrugged Movie Leaves Hollywood Scratching Its Head, Because It's Succeeding Without Them

from the shrugged dept

We've already talked about how Kevin Smith has been succeeding with his new movie, Red State, by defying much of the "conventional wisdom," when it comes to how you have to market a Hollywood movie. He's not the only one. Apparently the "conventional wisdom" folks in Hollywood are all in shock that the movie Atlas Shrugged is doing fantastically well at the box office, despite its "awful marketing plan," of not buying TV ads.

Smith has actually talked about this issue as well, discussing how the major studios "buy" an opening weekend gross number, knowing that if you just spend $x million on TV advertising, you can pretty much guarantee a certain level of turnout for a film. However, in many cases, it's really a waste of money, because the money spent on the TV advertising can actually outweigh the value of the people they bring to the theaters (Smith has a funny story about studios advertising some of his movies on Lifetime, the "women-focused" TV station, whose demographics don't match at all with Smith's standard audience).

In the case of Atlas Shrugged the filmmakers relied on Ayn Rand's fans to build the buzz and apparently it worked. Word of mouth on Twitter and via various "like-minded" groups -- including some libertarians and Tea Party folks -- apparently drove interest in the movie. It's making a lot of money per screen and there's demand that it open on a bunch more screens. The filmmakers are apparently mainly limited by the fact that they didn't make enough prints (no reason to, without knowing the real demand) and they're trying to rectify that as quickly as possible.

Of course, some will claim that this is a one-off situation. And, certainly, some elements are unique. The fan base for this kind of thing is... well... somewhat fanatical. I read the book years ago and thought it was... well... pretty bad. Thought provoking -- yes -- but the core ideas don't hold up to much scrutiny. But, I certainly know plenty of folks who are obsessive about the book, and are willing to promote it quite a bit. You can see it in the Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Only 7% of the critics liked the movie (I particularly liked Roger Ebert's review). Yet 85% of the user reviews liked it.

But that's the thing: it's not a movie for the reviewers. It's a movie for a specific audience, and it seems to have hit that audience head on. Once again, that's a similarity with what Smith is doing. He's made a movie for a specific audience, and he doesn't need to try to market to people outside of that audience, because it's just not worth it. And when you do that right -- find an audience, have a connection with them, and make a movie for them, it can be quite profitable.

Separately, it appears that the producers of Atlas Shrugged are employing some smart alternative business models too, rather than just relying on box office take:
Merchandise, he said, is helping the cause. When Aglialoro obtained rights to the movie almost 19 years ago, he also got rights to sell such items as T-shirts, mugs, posters and even jewelry, though not dolls, video games and other "interesting exceptions."

On Tuesday, the Website atlasshruggedpart1.com was sold out of its most expensive item: a $159 bracelet made of "Rearden Metal," a replica of the one heroine Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) wears in the film.

"The merchandise has taken off like we couldn't believe," he said. "We're shipping to every continent."
So, while some will ignore both of these flicks and their success, claiming that they're "exceptions" to the rule, I think more observant folks may notice some key lessons that can be pulled from both:
  • create for a specific audience and target them where they are, rather than casting a wide (but super expensive) net.
  • connect, connect, connect with that audience and let them help you spread the word
  • offer alternative business models that let people support you at much higher price points ($159 bracelet for AS, $60+ tickets for a movie and Q+A for Smith)
What other generalized lessons might people pull from these two examples?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Actually, it's much closer to The Producers, excepting it's really happening.

    The people behind this are geniuses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Michael S. (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    buying ads

    The way I see it, the more ads they feel that they need, the more the movie must not be worth seeing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Per Theater

    Any time someone points out the "per theater" average, you know you're about to hear some real bullshit. I don't know if people just don't understand extrapolation, but whenever I see people toting how much a movie make per theater, I can almost hear them saying, "If only this movie played 3000 theaters instead of 300, we would have made 10 times the money!" Whenever Disney would release a Ghibli movie and it would do atrociously at the box office, you still had people saying "But it made $20,000 per theater!" And then the next weekend it would drop like a stone since all the fans had already seen it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Ebert's review

    As usual, it was brilliant! After reading the review, I have absolutely zero interest in seeing this movie! :-) Of course, having read Rand's books in college (1960's), I still wasn't interested...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    The only reason business models don't work for non-monopolists outside the Internet is because the monopolists wrongfully have exclusive control over many information distribution channels thanks to our many bad laws. Expect the government to start passing more pro-monopolist Internet laws just as well. I don't see them making any efforts to abolish the monopolistic laws they have created outside the Internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    TechnoMage (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    Transforms 2 Syndrome

    I remember the reviews of Transformers 2 telling me that I'd waste my money if I went, and I enjoyed that movie (other than the two ghetto robots) more than I had enjoyed most other movies I have gone to see in a theater in years.

    WHY? : Because I was the target audience. I grew up with Transformers toys, I know that Starscream's original toy was a Veritech repainted, I had an original Optimus Prime, etc.

    OHH.. And there were giant robots (that I had known since childhood) fighting on a giant screen... GIANT ROBOTS I TELL YOU , lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Underpants Tyler Perry, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Phase 1: Make crappy movie
    Phase 2: Is no longer ?
    Phase 3: Profit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Yay tea party fundies paying for a C-grade movie!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    otb (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    I may not always be libertarian but...

    when I do, I enjoy some rumpy-pumpy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    wallow-T, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    The other recent movie which followed this marketing plan was Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of The Christ," which had a domestic gross of $370 million. Admittedly its reviews were somewhat better.

    The lesson I take? For movie success, play to a religion, or a really rigid philosophy which has all the answers, just like a religion. (If you want to lump Michael Moore in with that, I won't debate it.)

    Not exactly a model for a wide-ranging artistic universe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:03pm

    To be fair, release an Atlas Shrugged film anywhere and it's going to do well. Like Mike said, the fanbase for this particular film is... rabid. And what with the recent tea party movement and such, there's an even bigger extended fanbase that hangs on to a few points that Rand makes and ignores the rest.

    This film was going to be successful (albeit on a relatively small scale) no matter what. It's an interesting look at an alternate promotion model, but it's really not something you can generalise to most other things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Bill, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    This ain't rocket science

    Ya know, I am a pretty average guy, and even I can figure this out. Eyn Rand was not the nicest person ever, but had some very good insights. The book has very popular and influential for a long time. All those folks that have read it, including myself, have waited a long time to see it made into a film. The average cinema patron does not pay attention to those critics, and will do as he damn well pleases. I intend to see the film when it comes to my local theater.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    honestann, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    per theater

    You are so wrong. While sure, in certain very unusual contrived cases the "per screen" number can be misleading, it is quite relevant in the case of Atlas Shrugged. In this case the movie played in relatively few cities, but in each of those cities it tended to play in several theaters, which DILUTES the "per screen" number.

    In the next 2 or 3 weeks the film will be visiting many totally new cities. If the Atlas Shrugged movie was performing poorly, it would not have been held over at EVERY theater where it played last week in my town.

    Also consider this. Virtually every review gives this movie one star OR LESS, because the "professional" reviewers trashed the movie in order to garner approval from their friends, peers and bosses. So the box office numbers they're getting are in the face of astronomical odds. Of course, people who are rabid advocates of elitism, statism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism are writing comments like yours in the millions, because they are soooooo afraid that the notion "live and let live" might catch on... and people who think like you might have to get a job someday, and be productive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    The Original Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Two topics to discuss here...

    1 - The marketing of a movie (good, bad, or mediocre)

    2 - The ideas behind the film (libertarian/free market vs. central planning/government-industrial complex)

    Here is a short Youtube video that shows why many people are interested in the movie. Maybe not a majority, maybe not even a plurality, but a lot. Whether you agree with them or not, this is what they think is going on. You may consider them idiots, moron, or just the uneducated masses, but that won't change the way they view things.

    Let the flame wars begin!!!

    :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Smith has actually talked about this issue as well, discussing how the major studios "buy" an opening weekend gross number, knowing that if you just spend $x million on TV advertising, you can pretty much guarantee a certain level of turnout for a film.

    There is nothing in the world - no review, no critic comments that will keep me away from a movie more than being DELUGED with commercials about it.

    I feel as though I've seen 2/3 hours of it already and.. no just won't go to it. I hate over-hype and any movie that just spams the commercials is definitely over-hyped.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Transforms 2 Syndrome

    I thought it was Jetfire that was essentially a Veritech/Valkyrie fighter. I couldn't make it very far into Transformers 2. Oh his roommate is running an internet business out of the dorm room (On the first day of school?) Oh his Dad is flustered. Oh his Mom is stoned. Oh shoot me in the head. I couldn't even make it to the robots. And I too had an original optimus prime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    Re: per theater

    Of course, people who are rabid advocates of elitism...

    You mean like Ayn Rand?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    What other generalized lessons might people pull from these two examples?

    Quality is irrelevant, and only hype matters? Well, I guess that's why Hollywood and Apple still make money...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: per theater

    I'm not sure I'd classify her as an advocate of elitism, but she was certainly an elitist herself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Miko, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: per theater (@17)

    You mean like Ayn Rand?

    A superficial reading of her works (or, more likely, a superficial reading of a superficial review of her works) can give this impression, but not really. While she does spend more time in Atlas glorifying aristocracy than I'd like, the overall philosophical point is that the ideas presented are available to everyone and beneficial for everyone.

    Her anti-elitism comes across more strongly in The Fountainhead, which is essentially about a proletarian architect trying to succeed despite the negative influence of an elite that attacks his work because it doesn't conform to tradition.

    She's definitely pro-merit, but most of the time she's anti-status. (Not always though: for an author who was so obsessed with 'non-contradiction,' she does contradict herself fairly frequently.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Steven Davis, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 7:45pm

    Atlas Shrugged frightens the Takers

    I am perpetually amazed by the sheer terror that Ayn Rand's ideas and philosophy strike into the hearts of liberals, statists, socialists, bureaucrats, Democrats, movie critics and the politically correct crowd. She celebrated the individual, and said that self-sufficiency, responsibility and pursuing your own rational self-interest in a pure uninhibited free-market capitalistic society was the best way to benefit yourself and everyone else in that society. No one else has a right to limit your ideas and your pursuit of happiness, as long as you live and let live and respect others--judging them on their merits and achievements. What on earth is so scary or difficult about these ideas to the political left and Hollywood? These ideas may be our only hope of escaping the current Obama-led descent into Socialism. Read the book and see the movie if you want to understand. If not, well, use your welfare check to see some other movie...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Atlas Shrugged frightens the Takers

    Go back to commenting on Yahoo dude. We have better things to discuss here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Atlas Shrugged frightens the Takers

    But the market is inhibited by those with the money, and this is the key flaw in Rand's work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    fritz43, Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Re: Atlas Shrugged frightens the Takers

    Rand's philosophy can be summed up this way: to hell with the common man and hurray for the corporation. In essence, this is the basic libertarian mantra today. So Rand is indirectly responsible for the disgraceful gimme-grabbing, I-me-mine behavior of Wall Street and big business today.

    "No one else has a right to limit your ideas and your pursuit of happiness, as long as you live and let live and respect others--judging them on their merits and achievements." What a laugh riot that is. Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff - two classic cases of success and happiness. Here's a flash: excessive money and power corrupts *everybody*.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 6:24am

    I can't believe they actually made a movie out of that screed!

    I actually did read the entire book, a long time ago, when my still youthful philosophical development was incomplete, and at that time, I thought it made some sense. After a much later re-visitation of it, after becoming a complete adult with still intact critical thinking facilities, I thought it made a point that boiled down to not much more than "Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!", and "Screw all you stupid peasants!".

    I will not waste any of my fairly short time left on this planet viewing this film. These days, Ayn Rand's writings have as much interest to me as the screeching of any other polemicist from the other side of the political spectrum, such as Karl Marx. It does not surprise me that most of the rabid Randians I actually know formulated their views at a very early age, and never felt the need to re-assess their validity again. I think "arrested development" would be a legitimate assessment of their personalities, in most cases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Atlas Shrugged frightens the Takers

    you seem to be cherry picking and twisting some ideas here.

    first, the respecting others part of that ideal is not an option, its a requirement. you can toss out all sorts of people that did some pretty bad things causing others a lot of grief, but they arent exactly following the second part of the ideal are they? no, they're not. so you can hardly hold them up as any example of what the outcome of following the ideals are. (same with just about any corporation these days sadly).

    secondly, its an ideal. as a society we strive to meet the ideals we have constructed. we do not always hit those goals but that does not make the ideals themselves bad.
    as a strict ideal, rand is right and i agree 100%. the problem is that the ideal is ... well, just that. an ideal. it does not take human nature into account. much in the same way that nearly all ideals of what a perfect society no matter what version... and that is why they are impossible to reach.
    and yet with that... it in no way means that we should not try.

    but hey..thats just my opinion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    StopWhiningAlready, Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Anti-Rand lefties tremble with fear

    @Fritz43 & the Devils coachman: I had heard about Rand's work for years, but as I grew into adulthood, found fewer and fewer opportunities to carve out the time required to fully digest the 1,200+ page book. Finally, about 3 years ago, I read it and have been kicking myself for not doing so sooner. As I enter my 40's with full knowledge of the world around me and childhood naivete long gone, her words resonate and ring true. Am I some corporate elitist? No, but I do believe in the Rand's philosophy. Anyone who takes the time to read her work and somehow fails to see the similarities between her fictional account of the problems associated with the idea that everyone should benefit equally regardless of the value they provide back to the world and the world we're living in today. The more government attempts to equalize benefits, the greater the divide the government creates. Why? Because over time, those with means will be the most well positioned to take advantage of any opportunity, regardless of whether they were the intended beneficiary. The book is spot-on and should be required reading for every high school senior along with Civics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Atlas Shrugged frightens the Takers

    LOL ... let me guess you are a socialist or a democrat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 11:04am

    You make a valid point for anti-Randians.

    Your assertion that those with the means will "be the most well positioned to take advantage of any opportunity, regardless of whether they were the intended beneficiary" sums things up neatly about her philosophy. Recent history is rampant with examples of them doing just that, as particularly evident in newer laws intended to benefit lower income and older patients, which instead only enriched Big Pharma, screwing the consumer in the bargain. That is only one, and not such a major example of Randian philosophy at work. Amorality is the key driver for these people, and they act without guilt or remorse. "Hey, I got mine! Tough for you, peasants!"
    A key point of Rand's philosophy was that guilt was an invalid emotion, and that anyone who felt it was a fool. Life is too short to debate or discuss this shit, so I won't waste one more second on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: You make a valid point for anti-Randians.

    It may be short but Rageing against the Machine wasn't about idly sitting and waiting for your piece through a voice. Its about action and awareness. If we find our click not clicking anymore we are aware of the issue and we can do something about it.

    The simplest answer? It started 4000odd years ago. Being self aware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Jim murray, Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Movie

    The facts are as follows: there is a pie to split and it can/will be split by those smart enough and/or those in government. Either way the top group gets the goodies and everyone else is screwed. Before the current system, all the wealth was owned by royalty, friends of royalty, the church and friends of the church. In the last few 100s of years the wealth has spread out to others, but the vast majority of people do not have any say in what happens to themselves. Most people on this planet will NEVER have anything worth talking about. Some will talk about it, while the upper end folks will be taking things, either by smarts or by laws. Either way, a very few will win! Alas!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Jim murray, Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 5:33pm

    Movie

    The facts are as follows: there is a pie to split and it can/will be split by those smart enough and/or those in government. Either way the top group gets the goodies and everyone else is screwed. Before the current system, all the wealth was owned by royalty, friends of royalty, the church and friends of the church. In the last few 100s of years the wealth has spread out to others, but the vast majority of people do not have any say in what happens to themselves. Most people on this planet will NEVER have anything worth talking about. Some will talk about it, while the upper end folks will be taking things, either by smarts or by laws. Either way, a very few will win! Alas!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Transforms 2 Syndrome

    > WHY? : Because I was the target audience.
    > I grew up with Transformers toys, I know
    > that Starscream's original toy was a Veritech
    > repainted, I had an original Optimus Prime, etc.

    No.Starscream was not a repainted Valkyrie.

    The rebadged Veritech was actually an autobot and not a decepticon. Starscream was a much more poorly done F-15 vs the F-14 that the Valkyrie.

    Jetfire was notable because it was actually a competently done transformer (which the others were not).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Christopher Bingham (profile), Apr 24th, 2011 @ 12:10am

    Time to build buzz

    One thing that came to mind when Phillip Pullman's "Golden Compass" did so poorly at the box office. It cane out at roughly the same time as the Narnia Series which did really well, and I realized that Pullman didn't have 30 years to imprint generation or two of kids.

    Same thing with Rand. A lot of people will think "Atlas Shrugged" is garbage, but enough have been imprinted that it will do well. The beloved books of our childhood do well - even the awful ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    death spiral

    The movie has already started its death spiral. It added 50% more screens this weekend but still only managed to make half the money. At the end of the second weekend it's crawled past the $3M mark. This thing isn't going to make it to $6M, let alone recoup the $10M production costs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    TS.Atomic (profile), Apr 24th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Success?

    I think that if a movie makes a nice profit for it's investors, then it qualifies as a success. I don't think a particular film has to out-do a summer block-buster to be labeled a success. I guess the real question is how should "nice profit" be defined.

    Other than that, I have no interest in paying to see this film on the big screen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    TSK, Apr 24th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    That's not a success,guys...

    This movie is doing worse than Ben Stein's Expelled, which should tell you something.

    Niche movies with dedicated core audiences will always post good per-screen numbers at release. If they're good movies, they'll keep going as the public realizes they're worth seeing. If they're not good movies, they sputter and die.

    Looks like The Market is not too fond of Ayn Rand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    FuzzyDuck, Apr 24th, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    Do tea party members read?

    Wow, I read Ayn Rand years ago and would never have dreamt that a conservative religious movement would embrace her book. They must not have read it.

    Didn't they notice how she argues against communitarianism, which for her included socialism as well as religion, because in both cases the individual's rights and property can be sacrificed for a "greater" good, i.e. Society or God.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    FuzzyDuck, Apr 24th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Movie

    > The facts are as follows: there is a pie to split

    Wrong. There's a pie to create. The size of the pie depends in a large part on how motivated people are to create that pie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 5:15am

    Re: per theater

    So one week later and sure enough, the floor dropped out. 50% more theaters, 50% fewer tickets sold. Next week will be even worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Yeah, it'll have a short theater life. But, if it ends up making 4-6 million in box office receipts, it'll easily make up the 10 million dollar budget. DVD sales will be larger than the theater returns, and will continue trickling in for decades. Not a blockbuster, obviously, but I'm sure we'll see part 2.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    JMS, Apr 26th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    Atlas Shrugged isn't actually "doing fantastically well" at the box office. Check out the weekend box office, which showed a 47% drop over the previous weekend's receipts. Going broader doesn't seem to have helped.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 26th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    Atlas Shrugged isn't actually "doing fantastically well" at the box office. Check out the weekend box office, which showed a 47% drop over the previous weekend's receipts. Going broader doesn't seem to have helped

    It's pretty typical that week 2 is about half of week 1. Don't judge overall success by box office alone. The point was never that it could keep up the box office rate -- no movie does that. But that it achieved as much as it did with no real "traditional advertising."

    The numbers it got at the box office make it pretty clear that the film will reach profitability without too much trouble. This is the kind of film that will have plenty of life in DVD/VOD etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 12:01am

    More on it not doing so well

    'Atlas Shrugged' producer: 'Critics, you won.' He's going 'on strike.' | 24 Frames | Los Angeles Times: "EXCLUSIVE: Twelve days after opening 'Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,' the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Jim Porter, Apr 30th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Anti-Rand lefties tremble with fear

    The source of philosophy is very important because philosophy can never be completely separated from the philosopher. We know that in quantum physics that nothing can ever be measured correctly because the act of measuring changes what is being measured. Philosophy is the same because a philosopher’s philosophy shares all the prejudices and biases of the philosopher. To start with Ayn Rand is just the first lie, that was not the author’s real name. Her real name was Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, she was a Russian born an educated during the Communist Revolution.
    Zinov’yevna called her philosophy Objectivism, her choice of words, a more accurate description would be Greedism. Greedism has been tried throughout history and it always ends in a bloody revolution. The idea that the ungodly greedy should be entitled to all the wealth so they could let it trickle down to the rest of the population is absurd. Zinov’yevna thought herself some kind of god and Americans and dirty smelly slaves who were placed on earth to do her bidding.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________The woman in Roomette 10, Car No. 3, was an elderly school teacher who had spent her life turning class after class of helpless miserable children into miserable cowards, by teaching that the will of the majority is the only standard of good or evil…..
    Zinov’yevna from her book “Atlas Shrugged”
    Imagine a country where the majority rules and governs itself, Zinov’yevna couldn’t Russia wasn’t like that. If not majority rule, than what? The rule of the ungodly greedy was Zinov’yevna answer. The dollar sign was the symbol of Zinov’yevna Greed Utopia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Jim Porter, May 7th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Movie

    Jim Murray

    I will grant you there is an economic pie to split; even our most primitive ancestors had an economic pie to split. Money is nothing more than economic shorthand. When ancient tribes banded together to hunt the hunt was divided among all the tribe. The chief may have got the biggest piece but he certainly didn’t get 99% of the hunt while the other 99% of the tribe divided 1% of the hunt among themselves. Why because the meat would have rotted. But money is just a short hand symbol and the ungodly greedy can indeed take 99% of a country wealth. There is no case in history where the ungodly managed to meet their goal of 100% of the wealth because when they get 99% percent of a country wealth, at this point the other 99% of the people are starving to death, then the ungodly greedy are slaughtered like the psychotic pigs they are. There are even documented cases in history where the psychotic pigs were killed put on spits and roasted over an open fire and fed to their wives. The ungodly greedy can never understand why they are not entitled to all the wealth after all according to Zinov’yevna, the other 99% of people are just “helpless and at the mercy of the wind.”

    Greedism is nothing new, it is as old as money, we know from history Greedism ultimately concludes in a bloody revolution. The psychotics are killed and the system starts over. The mathematical equation is that 5% of the people have 99% of the wealth, and that the other 95% of the people divide the remaining 5% of the wealth but the psychotic ungodly greedy are never satisfied with 95% of wealth they want it all. If the other 95% of the people try to take even 1% of the ungodly greedy 95% of the wealth, the ungodly greedy will fight to the death. But the ungodly greedy can take up to another 4% of the other 95% of the people wealth and they will not fight until the ungodly greedy try to take that last 1% when their families are starving to death. That is the vanishing point for the ungodly greedy psychotics and their families. Greed is a cancer on the body of man and sooner or later the sickness has to be cut out.

    Neuroscientists now have a test to measure the psychotic personality. We all know Ted Bundy was a psychopath, who killed women, beheaded them, and raped them in that order. But that is only one expression of a psychopathic personality. Psychopaths can express their personalities in different ways, we would all not chose the same form of recreation, and psychopaths do not express their psychotic tendencies the same way. Ann Rule worked with Ted Bundy at a Contact phone service; she thought he was normal in every way. From interviews with Bill Gates neuroscientists have speculated he would score high on the psychopath’s test, instead of killing women, he kills other companies. We all know deep down that greed is a sign of a sick mind but like Ann Rule, most of us have no idea how sick these people really are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Zardoz (profile), May 7th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Movie

    Jim Murray
    I will grant you there is an economic pie to split; even our most primitive ancestors had an economic pie to split. Money is nothing more than economic shorthand. When ancient tribes banded together to hunt the hunt was divided among all the tribe. The chief may have got the biggest piece but he certainly didn’t get 99% of the hunt while the other 99% of the tribe divided 1% of the hunt among themselves. Why because the meat would have rotted. But money is just a short hand symbol and the ungodly greedy can indeed take 99% of a country wealth. There is no case in history where the ungodly managed to meet their goal of 100% of the wealth because when they get 99% percent of a country wealth, at this point the other 99% of the people are starving to death, then the ungodly greedy are slaughtered like the psychotic pigs they are. There are even documented cases in history where the psychotic pigs were killed put on spits and roasted over an open fire and fed to their wives. The ungodly greedy can never understand why they are not entitled to all the wealth after all according to Zinov’yevna, the other 99% of people are just “helpless and at the mercy of the wind.”

    Greedism is nothing new, it is as old as money, we know from history Greedism ultimately concludes in a bloody revolution. The psychotics are killed and the system starts over. The mathematical equation is that 5% of the people have 99% of the wealth, and that the other 95% of the people divide the remaining 5% of the wealth but the psychotic ungodly greedy are never satisfied with 95% of wealth they want it all. If the other 95% of the people try to take even 1% of the ungodly greedy 95% of the wealth, the ungodly greedy will fight to the death. But the ungodly greedy can take up to another 4% of the other 95% of the people wealth and they will not fight until the ungodly greedy try to take that last 1% when their families are starving to death. That is the vanishing point for the ungodly greedy psychotics and their families. Greed is a cancer on the body of man and sooner or later the sickness has to be cut out.

    Neuroscientists now have a test to measure the psychotic personality. We all know Ted Bundy was a psychopath, who killed women, beheaded them, and raped them in that order. But that is only one expression of a psychopathic personality. Psychopaths can express their personalities in different ways, we would all not chose the same form of recreation, and psychopaths do not express their psychotic tendencies the same way. Ann Rule worked with Ted Bundy at a Contact phone service; she thought he was normal in every way. From interviews with Bill Gates neuroscientists have speculated he would score high on the psychopath’s test, instead of killing women, he kills other companies. We all know deep down that greed is a sign of a sick mind but like Ann Rule, most of us have no idea how sick these people really are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Zardoz (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Re: Success?

    TS.Atomic

    When a moive is branded the "worst movie of the century" by the critics, that should tell you something. Not just any movie can be considered the "worst movie of the century" you have some really bad movies to beat but the verdict is in an "Atlas Shrugged" won hands down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Zardoz (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Do tea party members read?

    Fuzzy Duck

    Of course they read, they read their bibles, but nobody ever accused a Pee Party members of understanding it, that's why differen churches splinter into smaller and smaller churches. It use to be there was a gas station on every corner now there is a church on every corner declaring which ever democrats is running for president is the anti-christ. The frightening part is that so many actually believe it. But these same people have no trouble hitching their cart to a Russian atheist named Alisa Zinov'yenva Rosenbaum. Ayn Rand is just an alias she hid behind. I know if I was a Christian I would chose an atheist to be my role model.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Zardoz (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike Maskink

    Don't kid yourself. "Atlass Shrugged" got more free publicity than any movie in history. It was plugged day after day on the commie/conservative radio network. The free air time would have cost at least $20 million. The fact that it was air time instead of commerical time which most listeners tune out makes it even more valuable. From the Rush Slimbaugh show to the local red neck right talk shows the publicity was non stop. Just the drug addict Rush Slimbaugh has million of automatrons that purchase anything he pluggs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Zardoz (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 7:32pm

    Re: More on it not doing so well

    Susanne

    This businessman had to rent the theaters for this travisty to be shown in others words he spent $10 million to rent the theaters and recovered only a small fraction of his theater rental. He had to tie a $10 million dollar porck chop around this movie neck to even get it shown in theaters. No wonder he is not making part II and part III.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Zardoz (profile), May 9th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    No publicty? Who is Kidding Who?

    "Atlas Shrugged" may have left Hollywood scractching its head but it left most critics scratching their read ends out of boredom. While "Atlas Shrugged" may have recieved little conventional publicity it more than made up for it on red neck right radio. Talk show host like that drug addict Rush Slimbaugh droned on an on for weeks about "Atlass Shrugged" movie. If they had to pay for that free publicty it would have been well over $20 million. YTo add to that commerical time is far less valuable than program time, people simply tune out commericals. Slimbaugh has a loyal following of automatrons that purchse everything he plugs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    J. Neil Schulman (profile), May 25th, 2011 @ 10:22pm

    Atlas Shrugged Part 1's Theatrical Run

    It appears that Atlas Shrugged Part I's theatrical run is winding down after six weeks, earning $4,627,375 through May 19th. Starting on 299 screens and maxing out on 465 screens, it's now down to 91.

    There was plenty of good audience word of mouth for the movie and I don't think I've seen a better Internet marketing plan for an indie film, but the "A" from "P&A" was never provided. No paid advertising whatsoever as far as I can tell.

    I think this was either a mistake or the distribution was underfunded, because if TV and radio ads had been rolled out in time for the second weekend when it was expanding theaters, I think it could have done a lot better despite critics' hostility.

    A quick roll out of the DVD/Blu-Ray with some decent advertising might give it enough legs to make it worth while to do the next two parts. A success on Part II could turn the trilogy around profitwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Lilly Langtree, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Atlas Shrugged

    test

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Sorry - but the movie is garbage! It's boring. I don't care if a movie is considered conservative or liberal or libertarian... whatever... But please be a good movie. This one is not. Acting = bad, plot = pointless, pace = painful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This