Apparently, the free market has spoken. And it’s told the guy who made “Atlas Shrugged: Part One” that he sucks the ass of a dead donkey.
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.
“Critics, you won,” said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” which covers the first third of Rand’s dystopian novel. “I’m having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2.”
“Atlas Shrugged” was the top-grossing limited release in its opening weekend, generating $1.7 million on 299 screens and earning a respectable $5,640 per screen. But the the box office dropped off 47% in the film’s second week in release even as “Atlas Shrugged” expanded to 425 screens, and the movie seemed to hold little appeal for audiences beyond the core group of Rand fans to whom it was marketed.
Or as I put it a few weeks back.
And I made this point sometime back when the project was announced that maybe right now, just coming off a major financial upheaval, coupled with the country having the widest income gap since the Gilded Age, may not be the best time to make an “Industrialists are awesome” movie. We’re talking John Wayne’s “The Green Berets” at the height of the Vietnam War level of bad timing.
I’m sympathetic to anyone who spends years of their life and chunks of their own coin to make movies. It’s a tough game and it takes guts of steel to be willing to inflict your dreams on a possibly indifferent public.
But seriously, “Atlas Shrugged” now? A film who’s message is “Rich people, Yay”? You might as well film Rand Paul punching a hobo in the nuts while Donald Trump watches and whacks off in the corner. It’s roughly the same thing.
The kicker is that Aglialoro is choosing to take this lying down.
Though the film has made only $3.1 million so far, Aglialoro said he believes he’ll recoup his investment after TV, DVD and other ancillary rights are sold. But he is backing off an earlier strategy to expand “Atlas” to 1,000 screens and reconsidering his plans to start production on a second film this fall.
“Why should I put up all of that money if the critics are coming in like lemmings?” Aglialoro said. “I’ll make my money back and I’ll make a profit, but do I wanna go and do two? Maybe I just wanna see my grandkids and go on strike.”
Yes, he’s going Galt.
I like my irony like I like my women. Cheap and easy.
H/T to Devin Faraci and Badass Digest.