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“Atlas Shrugged” a hit with OTP Atlanta audiences?

Atlas-Shrugged-Movie-Poster1-199x300The 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 Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com with an assist from Charles Gay/cgay@ajc.com

30 comments Add your comment

hillbilly88

April 19th, 2011
5:01 pm

Boortz is not a libertarian! He is a GOP hack. Sure he says he’s libertarian, but just tune in to his show during election time and hear who he backs. He always ignores the libertarian candidates. LINO!

Brian

April 19th, 2011
6:21 pm

Most libertarians ignore the Libertarian Party. A vote for the Libertarian Party is functionally a vote for the left-most candidate in a given race, because it divides the right.

Alabama Communist

April 19th, 2011
6:24 pm

More Breaking News On Lib Corporate Fick with Boortz…….Boortz was shocked to find out that the Ghost of Ayn Rand appear along side with him and demanded a refund since she has join Charlie Sheen’s Warlock in training Milita and he was the first target on their pro-war list..

RGB

April 19th, 2011
6:28 pm

I look forward to seeing the film. That it had to be produced and distributed in a non-traditional way is evidence that Hollywood is indeed Hollyleft. The idea of diversity of thought is a non-starter there. What are they afraid of?

dabo

April 19th, 2011
6:29 pm

Boortz is definitely not a Libertarian…but that’s okay because neither was Rand who lived out her life collecting Social Security and Medicare…that fact is made more hilarious by the fact that the Ayn Rand Institute for Individual Rights calls Social Security ‘immoral’ !

John Galt

April 19th, 2011
6:37 pm

My long-time screen name exposes my opinion of the book, clearly. Written 57 years ago, it has such clear parallels to today’s political environment that it is frightening; it takes the attitudes of the class warfare to such a logical conclusion that it screams for economic reform before the book is not fiction, but current events.

Strong financial rewards for innovation and success produced the greatest economy in the history of the world at one point, and enabled americans to provide for the poor- domestically and around the world- at unprecedented levels. Progressive tax rates and social programs funded with involuntary confiscation of wealth has removed incentives and has NOT improved the plight of the poor.

We had better wake up- soon.

John Galt

April 19th, 2011
6:45 pm

The fact that Rand thought it immoral that her participation in Social Security was involuntary does not make it immoral for her to have her conributions returned to her. That is a tired mantra used for years in an attempt to kill the messenger because her message is so clear, and damning to those who do not want to take responsibility for themselves.

I am a committed conservative Christian, and Rand was a staunch atheist; that does not mean that I must disregard her clear understanding of the devastation of removing economic incentives.

terry

April 19th, 2011
6:50 pm

Boortz is the last thing from a GOP hack. I tune in. He is a Libertarian, not a put your finger in the wind person.

Objectivist

April 19th, 2011
6:51 pm

The fact that anyone took the time to watch this movie is a good sign. If this had opened in 2009, I imagine fewer people would have seen the movie. However, I think that this popularity shows society is in a swing to fiscal conservatism. Maybe, just maybe, the republican leadership will take this into account and not be so skittish…

objectivistpolitics.blogspot.com

blackbird13

April 19th, 2011
6:55 pm

What drivel. The so-called high achievers in our society wouldn’t survive very long without government protection from cradle to grave. Bank bailout, anyone?

terry

April 19th, 2011
7:07 pm

this is a streamlined version of the book but this movie viewerfound it riveting nicely paced and edited i was drawn in and did not want to see part 1 end looking forward to part 2 terry

dabo

April 19th, 2011
7:10 pm

@John Galt Ms Rand did not ‘have her contributions returned to her’. If SS recipients just had their contributions returned to them then there would be no problems with Social Security. Rand sucked at the teat of big government the same as so many hypocrites that say they hate taxes when times are good but when times are bad they scream, ‘gimme gimme !’. Rand was no different. With so many great conservative writers like Burke and Kristol I never understand why anyone pays attention to this looney hypocrite.

Michael

April 19th, 2011
7:10 pm

I read “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” when I was a teenager in the 60s, and that’s the best time to read them–when you’re young and too stupid to know how silly the philosophy is. You can read them for the plot and, to give Rand some credit, they’re pretty damn entertaining. My advice, though, if you’re curious about Rand, is to read “The Fountainhead”. It has all the basics of the philosophy, but it’s considerably shorter (not short, shorter) and more entertaining than “Atlas Shrugged”.

Rltfox

April 19th, 2011
7:14 pm

I can not wait to see the film. I have read the book twice, in college and again this year. Unless you have read the book you will not get this statement. Sell your GE stock.

Richard

April 19th, 2011
9:03 pm

I have not read the book, but enjoyed the movie. I believe that the message is clearly relevant to our current national crises. Forget liberal or conservative. The question is simple. Do you want America to survive, or do you want to stay on the current course of the Demopublicans/Republicrats and continue heading toward the falls as they tax and spend us all down the river. It’s time to get serious or move to another country with less crises.

Jon

April 19th, 2011
9:27 pm

As an entrepreneur who has built several businesses from scratch, I would wholeheartedly disagree with Michael above. If you actually produce, actually employ people and have their families depend on you and your ability to produce, this book is basic business philosophy 101. Sadly, I doubt Micheal has ever produced.

John Galt

April 19th, 2011
9:51 pm

Dabo-

If you can’t see the parellels between this book and America today, you have defined yourself- you are a moocher.

Even if Rand were a hypocrite, which I dispute, that would not invalidate the message. And as a 25-year banker who is glad to be out, I will share 2 secrets with you:
- the government intervention in the banking system CREATED the banking disaster; our banking system is not truly capitalistic, and the truth is that it is a prime example of what this book warns against. Ever hear of CRA? Red-line district? Government guarfanteed loan programs to assure that those who are not credit-worthy receive loans, because it wouldn’t be fair to exclude them?
- Few bankers are producers; it is a haven for people who will not take risks.

HaPPy DogDaY

April 20th, 2011
12:24 am

Thw movies content was faithful to the book; the movie shown in the San Antonio had technical issues with dark and poor contrast scenes and some garbled dialog. Fortunately, the railroad imagery was magnificent which carries the symbolism of the book – America falling of the rotten tracks. Overall a nice movie; the flashback with Dagny and the young Francisco D’Anconia as youths in the novel was missing. If it were there perhaps the movie could rank with Casablanca…

JackDennis

April 20th, 2011
8:46 am

It pisses off the left. That’s enough for me.

JackDoitCrawford

April 20th, 2011
11:36 am

I first read the book in 1968 while taking a 7 week auto-camping trip around the USA. I have seen the film 3 times. I recommend anyone to see the film and read the book. Enjoy your life.

Ann

April 20th, 2011
3:41 pm

I have the book and haven’t read it yet. We found the movie’s interpretation a little different than the author, Ms Brett. We saw the over regulation by the government and they thievery of private enterprise to fed the entitlement hoards. One of the first scenes was brother Phillip asking for money to give to his PROGRESSIVE group and wanted it wired into his account, because a check from the profit-producing, job-creating CEO Henry Rearden would be “an embarrassment to have his name as a contributor” to their organization. Not that is at the teat of the capitalist providing for them.

It’s the same phenomenon we’re seeing now. “You’re bad if you don’t Give give give to me me me. AND your bad bad bad if you recognize I’m stealing your labor from you and giving it to someone else. Not to mention questioning it.” This nation needs to wake up. Once you raid the treasury of all those who produce its gone and can never come back. Oh I know, I know, tax the rich. WELL, ladies and gentlemen you can confiscate all of the wealth from the rich and it will only pay for part of our debt and our costs. THEN once its gone. NO money to build more businesses to employ you to buy the computer your typing on right now. WAKE UP. This movie is just skimming the issues demanding our attention TODAY. Quit drinking the cool-aid and go back to first grade math.

Rodney

April 20th, 2011
5:38 pm

I liked “Anthem” better … it was shorter, and was a love story essentially. :)

Fred

April 20th, 2011
11:05 pm

Ann? Are you stupid or do you think everyone else is? you said you have the book but haven’t read it yet but the proceed to say “We found the movie’s interpretation a little different than the author”

If you haven’t read the book how in the HELL can you make that statement? Or are you just LIKE the author, and amped up meth head, completely out of touch with reality?

You can’t have it both ways. Either you read the book or you didn’t. I think you are a liar. The two statements can NOT be true without a lie.

Let me help you out. The book (which I read for the first time over 30 years ago when I was in the 6th or 7th grade) deals with logic. Your “argument” that you presented in your first two sentences doesn’t add up. I read no further than your two illogical lying first two sentences. Was there a reason to you LIAR?

S.Glover

April 21st, 2011
1:20 am

I loved the book. I am always concerned about movie adaptations after reading a really good book. However it has been a while since I read it so I will definitely go and see the movie.

Name (required)

April 21st, 2011
6:54 am

Hey Fred,

I understand you may be stupid, but Ann clearly stated she’s talking about the author of THIS BLOG. Could you really not comprehend that? One of the clearest posts ever posted on an AJC comments section, and you totally blew it in your haste to show how stupid you possibly are while throwing out the same insult.

Dennis On Strike

April 21st, 2011
8:25 am

I saw this movie in Duluth. I did not feel like it will win any academy awards, but it is such an important film. I was actually impressed with the non A-list cast. Hank Reardon was spot on. Wesley Mouch and Orren Boyle were brilliantly casted (Lerner and Polito). The book was the real focus and the director showed tremendous respect to Rand’s words.

I read some of the critic’s review and it does appear that they are afraid of the political message. Hollywood does not want films like this made. They attack the box office gross while ignoring the limit release. They act as if the expectations of the film were the same as “Godfather 2″. I don’t know about most fans, but I was more afraid that they would ruin it with big stars and explosions. They did it as well as I hoped. I will encourage others to see only because it is a tease to read the book and get the real message.

ATLiend

April 21st, 2011
9:22 am

Who cares what goes on OTP?

lkj

April 21st, 2011
11:34 am

Agree with the first poster who says Boortz is not a Libertarian, he’s a Republican.

I think he’s what used to be a ‘moderate Republican,’ of which there are no more. George H. W. Bush was really the last of that breed — fiscally conservative but not really interested in the social issues that arch-conservatives and the religious right deem so important.

Nancie

April 21st, 2011
11:51 am

You can’t be a follower of Christ and an adherant to the philophies of Ayn Rand. My experience as a fraud investigator has led me to believe that all libertarians are crooks and scam artists. That is why they fear regulation.

donald

April 21st, 2011
3:41 pm

fred, you are as confused as mike tyson taking a S.A.T. test