It’s the little movie that could! The first part of Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged" has left Hollywood execs scratching their heads at its success.
Despite being blasted by critics and having a marketing plan blasted as “awful,” the movie is set to expand to 1,000 theaters nationwide by the end of the month, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” scored a $5,640 per-theater average during its opening week on 299 screens, says the Reporter. One executive called the result “shocking.”
"Things have turned for us," said the movie’s co-producer Harmon Kaslow.
"When we started, exhibitors were not embracing the film like we thought they would.
“Now, we can pretty much go into as many theaters as we want. It's just a matter of logistics," he added. The expansion into more theaters would be quicker if it wasn’t for a shortage of prints of the film.
The movie’s publicity campaign has been aimed squarely at conservative audiences, who are lapping up its anti-big government message. One caller to Dennis Miller’s radio show said he had seen the movie and bought another ticket on his way out of the theater just to support the film.
Kaslow’s fellow producer John Aglialoro, who spent $10 million of his own money making the movie, said Rand’s message had struck a chord. "People are hungry for what these characters are saying.
“They're telling the government, 'Don't entitle me with your gifts and your involvement in my life, because there's a price I'll pay for that. Just leave me alone. Let me hang onto my life and pursue my passions and rational self-interest. That's what will benefit society,'" Kaslow said.
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