Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Atlas Shrugged" box office success stuns liberal Hollywood

I'm waiting for it to come to a theater nearby.

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.

So is it the film’s message that Hollywood is so opposed to? In the Age of Obama, Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” may be resonating more than ever before and that can’t be sitting well with Hollywood progressives.

A New York Times poll this week showed a 73% disapproval of Congress. A Gallup poll showed President Obama’s approval rating plunged to an all-time low of 41%.

“People are hungry for what these characters are saying,” says executive producer John Aglialoro “They’re telling the government, ‘Just leave me alone. Let me hang onto my life and pursue my passions and rational self-interest. That’s what will benefit society.”

That message is what is driving the success of “Atlas Shrugged.” Although it was written more than fifty years ago, Rand’s unabashed defense of individualism seems more relevant than ever before.

“We’ve touched a nerve with people,” agrees Kaslow. “Really it is all about the (Rand) brand. Here we haven’t diluted it with any names of anybody. It simply stands up there on its own because it means so much to so many people. Everyone is Atlas Shrugged. Everyone is carrying a weight on their shoulders.”

Read full Washington Times article here.

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