Sunday, January 8, 2012

Whatever happened to that "Atlas Shrugged" movie?

It flopped:

Those that think money is the measure of all things will be interested to note that Rand lost her backers $15 million.

How could it all have gone so wrong? The hard right had already popped its champane corks, based on a fair but unspectacular opening:
CHICAGO, April 29, 2011 — By current Hollywood standards, it is a movie that should never have been made. Imagine this story pitch to progressive movie execs: "we have a female heroine, genius entrepreneurs disappearing, and a government conspiring to control its people and their creations. In short, a powerfully persuasive anti-government message."
Not exactly “Iron Man 3” is it?
Yet, despite (or because of) Hollywood’s best efforts to keep the movie down, “Atlas” is racking up dollar signs at the box office. With a hearty $5640 per theater in its opening weekend, “Atlas Shrugged,” based on the influential Ayn Rand best-seller, has left Hollywood insiders dumbstruck to explain its success.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the film will expand its release from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month.
What is the explanation? Rand Power.
How do you turn a $20 million investment into almost $5 million? Rand Power. The sequel is now in peril.

I was inspired to check out the stats after reading another self-congratulatory notice of this critically-panned film on the "free-market energy" (and climate denying) blog "MasterResource":
The movie captures what happens in a society when a philosophy of achievement and individualism is replaced by one of mediocrity and collectivism. Government policy hurts the productive and rewards the incompetent. The Ken Lays win and the Charles Kochs lose. The welfare state runs amok with the top burdened by the bottom until the top sinks toward the bottom.
Doubtless the welfare state is to blame for this miserable abortion of a movie. And while I speak in jest, this is really one of the major ironies in Rand's work; it worships an ideal of a naturally superior, overwhelmingly valuable and important person, the Great Man, who is so great that the rest of society is basically surviving on the detritus of his genius. As yet her writing is screamingly mediocre: the characters flat, the dialogue stilted, the conceits implausible and weird. In hating the average she is essentially hating herself, but her work has enduring appeal, not to the accomplished, whom it praises, but to other narcissistic mediocrities, who find in its obsession with an evil world conspiring against the pure genius an explanation for their own failures to succeed.


  1. The flick bombed. It came in 152nd out of 596 movies in 2011. It still beat 440 other losers. But I would not spend a cent on rubbish like that and I'm a right wing climate denier. Just like I have never spent a cent on the left wing rubbish "Inconvenient truth". Its pretty much the same level.


  2. Ken Lays = Charles Kochs


  3. Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post. It’s really very nice and useful post. Thanks for sharing this with us! It’s my first visit
    ac duct cleaning Wilton Manors fl