Atlas Shrugged Part 2 box office plummets
Last weekend, Atlas Shrugged: Part II had one of the worst domestic openings ever for a movie in wide release (600-2,000 venues). If that wasn't bad enough, the widely derided sequel to last year's major box office bomb Atlas Shrugged: Part I suffered the worst box office drop among the top 15 movies on Box Office Mojo's domestic weekend chart. (Photo: Atlas Shrugged Part 2 Esai Morales as Francisco d'Anconia, Samantha Mathis as Ayn Rand's businesswoman Dagny Taggart, Jason Beghe as Henry Rearden.)
Starring Samantha Mathis as individualistic entrepreneur Dagny Taggart (The Lucky One's Taylor Schilling in Part I), Atlas Shrugged Part 2 was down an alarming 65 percent, raking in a comatose $613,000 at 945 venues (67 fewer than last weekend), according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Among the top 15 movies, the closest to Atlas Shrugged Part 2's drop-off rate was Trouble with the Curve's: the Clint Eastwood / Amy Adams baseball flick was down 53 percent — but after losing 887 sites.
For comparison's sake: on weekend no. 2, Atlas Shrugged Part 1 was down 48 percent despite the addition of 166 locations. That's a terrible performance, of course, but even after the first Atlas Shrugged began shedding theaters on weekend no. 3, it never suffered as steep a drop as the sequel. In fact, Part 1's worst drop-off rate was 58 percent on weekend no. 3 — after losing 143 venues. Three weekends later, the film was gone.
After ten days, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 has yet to reach $3m; its box office cume currently stands at an estimated $2.9m. And as mentioned in my previous post about Atlas Shrugged Part 2's box office performance, the John Putch-directed sociopolitical drama will likely end its run with less than $4 million at the domestic box office. And that means less than $4 million at the box office, period. Reportedly budgeted at $20m, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will find no international following.
And, U.S. presidential elections or no, expect even fewer theaters screening Atlas Shrugged Part 2 next weekend. On weekend no. 1, the film averaged a disastrous $1,731 per venue. This weekend, the estimated average is a catastrophic $649.
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 has a 6 percent approval rating and 3.2/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. That's about as low as it gets. True, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 currently has a 0 percent approval rating and 2.2/10 average, but that's because only ten top critics have been listed so far (vs. 17 reviews for the first movie). Someone will eventually post a positive review at Rotten Tomatoes.
A mind-boggling flop
Atlas Shrugged Part 2's dismal box office performance is quite surprising, considering the fear in the hearts of so many Americans that the United States government is about to be taken over by those who want to destroy their civil liberties. As a reflection of author Ayn Rand's views, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is a cinematic depiction of the dangers of government control, dictating what choices people are allowed to make for themselves.
In my understanding, that would encompass what to produce, what to create, what to read, what to watch, which gods (and/or goddesses) to believe or not believe, whom people are allowed to marry (and/or divorce), taking away women's (and men's) control over their own bodies and sex lives, allowing the megarich and the megapowerful to usurp democracy, and higher taxes to finance disastrous military operations. Watching the news, those seem to be clear and present dangers the United States is currently facing; so, it's truly mind boggling that Atlas Shrugged Part 2 has been unable to reach a broader audience.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 cast
Besides Samantha Mathis, the Atlas Shrugged Part 2 cast features Jason Beghe, Esai Morales, Kim Rhodes, Richard T. Jones, and Patrick Fabian. The screenplay is credited to television writer Duke Sandefur and Atlas Shrugged Part 1 and Cemetery Gate's Brian Patrick O'Toole.
Esai Morales, Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe Atlas Shrugged Part 2 photo: Atlas Distribution.