Audiences Shrugged

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 25 2011 8:07 AM

Audiences Shrugged

In its second week of release, after expanding from 300 to 465 theaters, Atlas Shrugged: Part I may have started to tank . The movie hauled $879,000 over the weekend; more importantly, it only made an average of $1,890 per screen. The first week , it made $5,600 per screen. Producers have been talking about expanding the film to 1000 screens by the end of the month, but even in a remarkably lame year for Hollywood films ( Water for Elephants , anyone? Anyone?) there's no new audience discovering the film. (A buzz-building small film doesn't fall off from week to week; consult the box office totals of My Big Fat Greek Wedding .

The movie is being marketed like a success. At its website, you can buy replicas of the Rearden Metal bracelet that Dagny Taggart wears after Hank Rearden's wife rejects it. And Tea Party groups are still pushing the film to members. This e-mail went out to the Tea Party Express's list last week.

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Normally we're not too focused on what movies are playing in local cinemas, but the release of Atlas Shrugged The Movie (based on Ayn Rand's monumentalbook) has become a seminal event in the tea party movement.

And we've got some good news toreport to you on the success of this movie that has liberal film critics up in arms.

In its debutweekend, Atlas Shrugged surprised everyone, grossing more in ticket sales per movie screen than any other movie save the hit family movie,"Rio."

And this week,  Atlas Shrugged expands - from 299 screens last weekend to 423+screens this weekend.  You can find the closest movie theater showing the film near you - FIND MOVIE THEATER HERE

The movie, like the book, serves as a wake up call to the dangers posed when governments takeon too much power and subvert the will and freedom of the individual.  Specifically, it showcases what happens when entrepreneurship and freemarket principles are deemed to be unseemly and unacceptable to Big Government.

When you watch the movie you'll feel like you could be watching the real-liveevents of today, not a fictionalized account written by Ayn Rand some 60+ years ago.

And the fact that this movie touches on many of the problems we face today, and that we in the tea party movement are fighting, explains whyso many liberal movie critics have slammed this movie and urged people not to see it.    They don't want you to see this movie, because they don't want you to see the truth about what is happening in Americatoday.

  • Michael Phillips, writing in the Los Angeles Times, complained about the film's"tea-stained politics."
  • Peter Travers in RollingStones vented, "Who's the idiot responsible for this fiasco?"
  • RogerEbert gave the film just 1-star and whined:  "And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Riverabroke into Al Capone’s vault."
  • Peter Debruge incorporated a swipe at Fox NewsChannel in his review for Variety, writing that: "... Atlas Shrugged " becomes a series of polite policy conversations interrupted byFox News-style updates whenever exposition is called for..."

Yes, weget it, liberal film critics.  You all can't stand free markets, and you can't stand that there is a film out there that echoes many of the sameevils that the tea party movement here in America is fighting against.

You can seethe movie for yourself this weekend, and in the process angry a Big Government, autocratic, liberal.  Watch it again, even if you've already seenit once.  Oh, and  be sure to take a friend with you too.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics