Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Great Job, Movie Critics: 'Atlas Shrugged' Producer Scrapping Plans For Pt. 2 & 3, Blames Reviews

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist April 27, 2011 at 1:32AM

God damn, we love writing about "Atlas Shrugged." Even more than "Twilight"-related stories, or the persistent commenter who insists that Scarlett Johansson is the product of stolen DNA, nothing brings out the frothing-at-the-mouth zealots like stories about the long-awaited, independently-produced adaptation of Ayn Rand's magnum opus. Self-financed and distributed by millionaire businessman John Aglialoro, the film was rushed into production to prevent the rights from lapsing, with a decidedly D-list cast and crew, but it did have relevance on its side: with the Tea Party movement, who are perhaps more in step with Rand's beliefs than any major political movement in decades sweeping the nation, could the film find itself becoming a runaway hit? Would we spend the next few years writing about the second and third installments of Aglialoro's dream project?
34


God damn, we love writing about "Atlas Shrugged." Even more than "Twilight"-related stories, or the persistent commenter who insists that Scarlett Johansson is the product of stolen DNA, nothing brings out the frothing-at-the-mouth zealots like stories about the long-awaited, independently-produced adaptation of Ayn Rand's magnum opus. Self-financed and distributed by millionaire businessman John Aglialoro, the film was rushed into production to prevent the rights from lapsing, with a decidedly D-list cast and crew, but it did have relevance on its side: with the Tea Party movement, who are perhaps more in step with Rand's beliefs than any major political movement in decades sweeping the nation, could the film find itself becoming a runaway hit? Would we spend the next few years writing about the second and third installments of Aglialoro's dream project?

Not so much. Despite our commenters predicting that "This movie and this idea will grow and grow like a Tsunami" and that "This movie will break records... for years... remember "Star Wars"?," the film managed a decent enough limited opening a few weeks back picking up $1.7 million at around 300 locations, but this past weekend, it took a hefty 50% drop, despite adding more than 150 screens to its count suggesting that the rails had already run out on the film's commercial prospects.

And it's fair to say the film's hefty drop was down to the critics -- "Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1" managed only a 7% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics happy to tear the film a new asshole. Even Jeff Otto, who reviewed the film for us, who took a far more impartial look at the film that this writer could have managed, gave it a rare 'F' grade, calling it "an aimless, amateurish and, more to the point, stone cold boring piece of drivel." All in all, it seems to mean that Aglialoro won't push ahead with his plans to film the rest of the book.

24 Frames talked to the producer, who told them "Critics, you won. I'm having deep second thoughts on why I should do Part 2... Why should I put up all of that money if the critics are coming like lemmings? 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." A strike? Now that's something that Rand would certainly have approved of. No one loved the labor movement more than she did.

As Aglialoro suggests, he won't lose money on it -- the film was produced far too cheaply for that -- but it seems that the effort involved, the low profit margins, and the critical brickbats slung at the film, have sapped his desire to get Rand's work on screens. So, a victory for our liberal media elite conspiracy! Oh, shit, uh, we mean, uh... Look over there, there's evidence of Barack Obama faking his birth certificate!

In reality, "Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1" was, ironically, crushed at the free market -- the film had every chance of being a crossover hit, but it was marketed exclusively at a niche audience of Tea Party types, who either didn't bother to show up, or don't exist in sizable enough numbers to sustain a film like this. Essentially, it's the "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" of Objectivist thinking.

Aglialoro isn't done with movies yet -- he's developing a gambling script called "Poker Room," and we wish him all the best with it. And maybe things will turn around, and healthy DVD sales will see a greenlight of "Atlas Shrugged Pt. 2" down the line. We hear Tommy Wiseau might be available to direct. For the moment, we'll leave the last word to commenter "Robert," who suggested that our negative view of the quality of the film's trailer was way off -- "As for the film, I think you’re predictions of its failure will prove about as accurate as two years of predictions of the failure and collapse of the Tea Party movement." Fingers crossed, then!

This article is related to: Films, Atlas Shrugged: Part I


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates