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'Atlas Shrugged' Author Attacked While Film Expands
By Michael Duncan on April 22, 2011
First Ever Big Screen Adaptation of Ayn Rand's Epic Masterpiece Hits No. 2 in Per Theater Sales Opening Weekend
CULVER CITY, Calif., -- Atlas Productions, a motion picture studio, announced today that "Atlas Shrugged: Part I," the first ever big screen adaptation of Ayn Rand's epic novel, will be expanding from 300 to nearly 1,000 theaters nationwide.
"We're extremely pleased with the groundswell of support the movie is receiving from the fans," said John Aglialoro, producer and a co-writer of the film. "The movie's opening weekend success has now given us the opportunity to open the door to a wider audience."
Although almost universally dismissed by Hollywood critics, "Atlas Shrugged: Part I" was the top-grossing limited release of the weekend, earning an average $5,600 per screen, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, which compiles theater revenue figures. Compared with other opening weekends, "Atlas Shrugged: Part I" was second in total per screen sales behind "Rio."
"The film performed in line with our expectations, but we were surprised by the ovations to the movie that we've been hearing about. Our fans are embracing the message and responding to the cinematic experience," said Harmon Kaslow, a producer of the film. "Despite the continued attacks from the mainstream, our audience is on fire for this movie and will not be deterred."
While on viewer-reviewed sites Fandango.com and Rottentomatoes.com, "Atlas Shrugged: Part I" has received an average "Must Go" rating and 85 percent positive rating respectively, ThinkProgress.com, an Ultra-Left Wing blog, recently attacked Ayn Rand, the author of the 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged," of which the movie is based, by calling her philosophy a "frightful concoction."
Although first published in 1957, "Atlas Shrugged" the book also jumped to No. 4 on Amazon's Top Ten bestsellers list over the weekend, while a YouTube video featuring scenes from the film with footage of Washington politicians uploaded by FreedomWorks has received more than 84,000 views since April 14 and the movie's own YouTube channel topped 2 million views.
During the afternoon of April 15th, opening day, the term "Atlas Shrugged" was also the number 1 search term on Google, Yahoo, and Bing while trending on Twitter.
Recently, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Vin Suprynowicz underscored the story's enduring message when he wrote that "our current economic crack-up is a result of precisely the kind of arrogance Rand saw in the 1933-45 New Deal." Regarding the critics, Suprynowicz said, "they're offended by this movie's themes... and they want it silenced, immediately."