The movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s doorstop of a book, “Atlas Shrugged,” didn’t exactly set the box office on fire during its opening weekend, but metro Atlanta audiences evidently liked it pretty well.
The Week magazine reports, in an article titled “Atlas Shrugged’ the movie: Dismal failure or cult hit?“, that the movie opened on 300 screens and took in about $1.6 million. (It cost $10 million to make.)
The Week says cites the metro Atlanta screening, which “took in $53,832 on Friday and Saturday alone,” as one of the more successful hauls. Libertarian talker Neal Boortz hosted a Friday night screening at the Regal Medlock Crossing Stadium Theatre, to which about 200 fans won tickets.
“For the most part, the acting is good,” Boortz told our colleague Rodney Ho. “Some people are going to say the actors are a little two dimensional. But the characters are that way in the book. They are all business in the book and in the movie.”
The book is Rand’s magnum opus, the deepest expression of her philosophy, Objectivism, which is a forefather of Libertarianism. It’s pretty complicated but here’s the plot, in broad strokes: High-achieving captains of industry get fed up with having the fruits of their labor redistributed to those they consider loafers, and they withdraw from the world. (The Atlases shrug, leaving the non-achievers and their advocates to fend for themselves.)
The tycoons are led by the mysterious John Galt, who doesn’t turn up until halfway into the book. The protagonist is female railroad baron Dagny Taggart, who is slowly converted to Galt’s way of thinking. The book contains a soliloquy by Galt that enunciates this point of view in exacting detail – it goes on for 80 pages or so.
Boortz said reading the book will make the film more meaningful. Good luck if you’re going to attempt that before this weekend, when the film expands to 1,000 screens nationwide.
Have you seen the film? Are you planning to go? Did you read the book? Who is John Galt?
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org with an assist from Charles Gayemail@example.com