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ATLAS SHRUGGED PART 2 Movie Collapses on Weekend No. 3

Atlas Shrugged Part 2 movie Dagny Taggart Samantha MathisAtlas Shrugged Part 2 box office: Down 85 percent on weekend no. 3 after losing nearly 800 locations

Atlas Shrugged: Part II, the second installment in a planned movie trilogy based on Ayn Rand's cult novel, plunged 85 percent on its third weekend out after losing 798 locations. The (reportedly) $20 million-budgeted drama about the moral and intellectual superiority of the rich and well-dressed has to date collected a dismal $3.2 million at the North American box office, after taking in $91,418 from 147 sites according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. Atlas Shrugged Part 2's international prospects, of course, are nil. (Image: Atlas Shrugged Part 2 Samantha Mathis as Dagny Taggart.)

Three weekends ago, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 had one of the worst domestic openings ever for a movie in wide release (600-2,000 theaters). The following weekend, the John Putch-directed drama suffered the worst box office drop (65 percent) among the top 15 movies on Box Office Mojo's domestic weekend box office chart. Following its 85 percent plunge and dismal $622 per-theater average this past weekend, chances are that Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will have disappeared next Friday.

For comparison's sake: the critically lambasted, nearly-as-disastrous box office bomb Atlas Shrugged: Part I – also made for a reported $20 million – pulled in $4.62 million over five weekends in North America last year. Atlas Shrugged Part 2, which stars Samantha Mathis as the enterprising Dagny Taggart (played by Zac Efron's The Lucky One leading lady Taylor Schilling in Part I), will be lucky if it reaches $3.4 million. In other words, prospects for an Atlas Shrugged: Part III movie don't look too promising.

Atlas Shrugged Part 2 to perform better on DVD?

Could Atlas Shrugged Part 2 find an audience on DVD? That doesn't seem all that likely if Atlas Shrugged Part 1's DVD sales are any indication. As per The Numbers, the first Atlas Shrugged movie brought in only $2.97 million from DVD sales in its first two weeks of release, sinking 67 percent on week no. 2.

In addition to Samantha Mathis, the Atlas Shrugged Part 2 cast features Jason Beghe, Esai Morales, Richard T. Jones, Kim Rhodes, and Patrick Fabian. The screenplay is credited to Atlas Shrugged Part 1's Brian Patrick O'Toole and TV writer Duke Sandefur.

The second Atlas Shrugged movie currently has a 0 percent approval rating and 2.2/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. “Like a soap opera,” writes the McClatchy Newspapers' Roger Moore, “[Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is] a tale set in the posh boardrooms, swank hotels, first-class passenger rail cars and limos of the super-rich. And just as in a soap opera, they're a bunch of put-upon crybabies, railing about 'government creeps' holding them back and 'moochers' and parasites who aren't working in a time of global depression.”

Samantha Mathis as Dagny Taggart Atlas Shrugged Part 2 photo: Atlas Distribution.

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21 Comments to ATLAS SHRUGGED PART 2 Movie Collapses on Weekend No. 3

  1. Moe

    I thought this film hit the nail on the head! Of all the futuristic, apocalyptic scenarios that Hollywood has produced recently, it is the most terrifying and horrific I have seen yet because it is happening everyday, right before my eyes. I believe that's why so many people didn't like it, they just don't want to know.

    A GREAT film and the critics lack of enthusiasm and peoples avoidance at the box office is proof that sometimes the truth hurts. Not those who hear it, but those who tell it. I'm sure Socrates didn't get good reviews from the industry critics of his time and there were only a handful of people who got what he was trying to say. But thankfully there are those who are willing to fore go fame and fortune, life and limb for truth and justice.

    I agree with DMG on many points especially government participation. If more intelligent and rational people were willing to take up the cause of protecting our land and it's people from hypocrisy, mediocrity and duplicity we would be in a better place right now.

  2. Linda Kay

    Rand lived her experiences which is more than can be said for the anti business pro “corrupt” government (really aren't they all?) crowd can say. Neither government nor business have exclusivity on moral corruptness. The thing is, we can make a personal choice to have dealings with businesses or not while we are just stuck with government oppression with nothing we can do about it,. NO CHOICE For example, all those people who whine and complain about wall street big cats can simply shut it down but not investing, but they don't do that. They just scream for the government to control them when really they have full control. And the government passes meaningless legislation to look like they are doing something for all the whiners while they are not. Where do you think they put their money. But of course they have all their friends in high places that offer them insider information. They aren't going to cut off their right hand are they?

    Fortunately everything as we know is coming to an end with violence and chaos and no business or governmental agency will be left to stand . I for one will be happy to see it all end.

  3. DMG

    I found the film to be all right - not a masterpiece, but certainly not terrible. IMO, if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had managed to make the film when they were looking to do so, they probably could have done better, given the kind of talents their industry clout could have helped them assemble for the project (and I still think Jolie would have made an excellent Dagny).

    But let's face it. Many people would hate this film regardless of whether it was a low-budget piece of mediocrity or one of the most well-produced and well-acted pieces in the history of cinema, just on principle. There a few things people resent more than having their illusions shattered. They will vociferously denounce anything that threatens to rouse them from the dream of a world where government can benevolently look after everyone with an endless supply of money that comes from some giant, magical ATM machine. (Which means from the rich, who they assume have a literally limitless amount of money to be appropriated by government force to fund their charitable intentions.)

    Yes, a lot of people ARE afraid of Rand's ideas. They're afraid of others waking up to the fact that it's not the rich and “evil” businessmen to blame for our economic ills, but rather government's hamfisted meddling with the economy (like government pressure on mortgage companies to give out a boatload of high-risk loans, causing an artificial housing bubble that eventually burst with disastrous consequences). They're afraid of being made to face the reality that you really CAN'T consume more than you produce and that there IS a limit to how much government can spend before the country is driven into financial ruin. Clearly a lot of people haven't woken up, like those misguided college hippie-wannabees “occupying Wall Street,” when they should have been on the Capitol steps protesting against the REAL villains robbing them of their futures.

    We had a fine example of the impotence of government spending in creating prosperity a few years back. Obama went on a mutli-trillion-dollar spending spree like a giddy teenage girl who just found daddy's debit card (trying to reverse a financial mess that government set in motion in the first place). If government spending is the ultimate answer to everything, we ought to be living in a new age of prosperity right now after a history-making expenditure like that. But we're not, are we?

  4. MikeA

    Why don't you see it and make that determination for yourself? Instead of making a fool of yourself on the Internet by commenting negatively about a movie that you didn't even bother to watch.

  5. MikeA

    Hmmm, a liberal media that does not give the movie any airtime and, if anything, discourages the movie with highly biased negative reviews. An opening to a scant few theaters (the nearest theatre near me in Long Island was over 50 miles away). Then political pressure for the theaters to drop the movie before the people that do know about it can even get to see it. Let's get real here, any movie would have collapsed under that pressure. The problem is that the small and weak minded in this country are incapable of coming to an unbiased conclusion and would rather laud in a failure that they created instead of creating the “even playing field” that they so often espouse.

  6. Yabeen Sees

    The movie wasn't lauded by the public, though, according to the box office numbers, or the user ratings at Rotten Tomatoes.

  7. Or maybe it's actually a legitimately terrible movie. But conspiracy theories are easier to believe, so you roll with that, Sunshine.

  8. The Real Howard S

    I first read “Atlas Shrugged” as a teenager in the 1960's. At the time I believed in the philosophy espoused by Ms. Rand and I could not put it down, even when slogging through John Galt's three-hour polemic. I haven't subscribed to Rand's economic theories for decades, but I still find (most of) the book to be a good read. I wanted to see Atlas Shrugged Part 2 on its initial release, but it wasn't scheduled to play anywhere within 50 miles of my hometown. Then, on November 23, there it was. One of our old movie house was being shellacked by a new multiplex, and in desperation for bodies to fill its seats, reduced ticket prices to $1.50 and began screening the films it could get most cheaply.

    I preferred this film to its predecessor for two reasons: First, this film is set in the very near future. The time setting in both the original novel and in Part 1 of the film series was ambiguous, and I found this to be a distraction. Secondly, the casting of Part 1 was so poor that the producers were able to to replace every member of the cast without skipping a beat. Part 2 has one actor, Esai Morales (Francisco) who will be missed if he is not cast in Part 3.

    I look forward to watching Part 3, but from what I saw at the theater I have little confidence that it can be produced. The theater I was in has approximately 200 seats. I looked around to estimate the occupancy rate, did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, and I determined with a fair degree of confidence that the gross revenue received by the theater operator was $1.50.

  9. Dan McCloud

    Interesting dichotomy here——-MSM engaging in censorship

  10. private citizen

    The book similarly was panned by mainstream critics and lauded by the public, eventually arriving second only to the Bible in hard-cover sales. The content is threatening to the powers that be.

    It would appear that the mainstream media has more influence on otherwise uninformed movie goers now.

  11. Swordbeater

    Ayn Rand's works are a guilty pleasure of mine… recently finished listening to the 26 hours unabridged AS audiobook as driving background sound just to refresh myself on original text (lots of road time and radio today? … well, there it is.) having been longtime since reading it cover 2 cover. Think she did a better work of it with Fountainhead, more concise and still the same ethos… but regardless, like Peyton Place, the works of Leon Uris and other novels where the ideas overwhelm the writers' talents, they can be a fun read. I mean, take a character like Mouch: cardboard would be overstating his depth… more like colorform deep. All this to say that I'm not unfamiliar with the work, nor unsympathetic to those who respond strongly to it regardless of pretty piss poor novel-craft.

    BUT… why do those who appear to be “True Believers” find any excuse to reject the pragmatic reality at hand and turn to fantasy prisms to interpret the facts around them. In the case of comments surrounding films I & II, it appears more delusional than Jim Taggart at a board table.

    Movies in 2012 represent the most “free market” sales-to-availability model around. Marketing is everything. Theater operators have to make their rent on soday and popcorn… ticket sales go back to the distributors. If they've got it booked in a big auditorium (say, 500) and sell a dozen tickets, well, that film is going to be dumped to a smaller room, it'll run fewer times during the day (following, say, a family kids film during afternoon run)… so the reason the folk have trouble finding it is pure market driven. And the weekend revenue numbers are public record by Sunday afternoon, followed religiously hour by hour by producers.

    However. in this day of “un-skewing polls” (how would you like your doctor to 'unskew' lab findings because they didn't match anecdotal information?) “conspiracy and MSM bias,” seem to be the first refuge of conservative believers when presented with raw data indicating their beliefs, or movies, aren't as popular as they think they should be.

    BTW, saw the first AS on Netflix, likely watch the second when its available, doubt the third will be released in theaters at all, but you never know: the producers are approaching this as a “labor of love,” appear to have no expectation of recouping their investment (what, maybe $60m by the time III is post produced? and net revenues at maybe $7m for both, and declining at this point?) But doesn't that all seem a little at odds with the core message?

  12. Diane

    This whole thing is just sad.

  13. Leslie Fish

    Are you quite sure of your facts here? The film's producers actually contracted with theater chains to show the movie for the first week; it wouldn't have lasted for the second two without audience support. What I found remarkable was the serious lack of advertizing for the film, and the even more remarkable tendency of movie-announcement websites to mysteriously “lose” all references to the film. As I can tell you from personal experience, people who knew in advance about the film and wanted to see it had a hard time even finding it. This smells strongly of political censorship, don't you think? Given that, one has to wonder if AS2's supposed poor boxoffice showing has been “misstated” too.

    Of course critics either carefullly ignored the film, or denounced it in the same purely political terms that you're using here. This is also what happened to AS Part One. Nonetheless, despite some mysterious problems with printing, shipping and so on, Part One got enough DVD sales and rentals to make its nut and gain funding for Part Two. Given the better production values of Part Two, I have no doubt that it will gain enough to fund the making of Part 3.

    No, Rand's masterpiece — and the film trilogy made from it — are just not going to go away.

    -Leslie < Fish

  14. Kim Southern

    I enjoyed both Atlas Shrugged movies. I never would have known it was in the theater if my daily commute does not require me to walk next a movie theater that happened to play it.

    I am not surprised if most people hate it and it didn't do well though because it seems like the number of people in this country who value hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit is drastically decreasing.

    And I am not even Dagny. In that movie I would be Eddie. I would be fiercely loyal to Dagny because I think she is smart and business-like and would expect her to take care of me because I would do my job well but I don't have the confidence yet to be her. I still need to be someone's sidekick.

    I don't think the message is that the 1% should have all the wealth I just think the concept of creating useful products and services like transit, food, raw materials and necessary goods should be more of an important than analyzing policy or non-profits and making up a bunch of stupid laws that help lazy or helpless people that the other things the government is so focused on in Washington DC. I am all about helping people but the number of people who need help should be a small minority so that in the grand scheme of things it wouldn't be that expensive to fully help all of them.

    That is why I am in the construction industry because every day I can look around my jobsite and see exactly what we accomplished just like a factory owner would know exactly how much steel he had produced that day.

    Maybe I am just jaded because I live in DC but it seems like all these people that work for the federal government and for the non profits, consulting firms , and defense contractors don't have clear objectives and they spend so they spend a lot of time on facebook and on-line shopping and it eventually it makes them lazy because they get out of the habit of real production deadlines and hard work. And I am talking about 20 somethings. Maybe older people in the government are actually busy but probably not.
    My dad spent his career in the government. In the last few years he worked at night and was actually allowed to set up a cot and sleep if there wasn't anything to translate and the stuff he did translate probably was only relevant back in the Cold War which was a really long time ago. So I have a lot of doubts if the government is really thinking hard about how they are spending their money.

    Could be completely wrong and the movie is definitely way extreme on some concepts but so much more refreshing than anything else I have seen come out. I am sorry it costs 20M to make it.

  15. just like in theory (in book) so in real life. intellect and logic doesn't ever sell anything. thats why her theory is flawed in many ways because it deliberately ignores and even more - puts down emotions, feeling, human aspect of life in people. any great marketer knows people buy on emotions not facts. and the results of this movie not selling is a result in what capitalists or objectivists value most - money. it made none, because whoever is after it knows nothing about advertising and fails to take into account simple fact that in this day and age there isn't too good of an image of the 1%-ers, let alone a movie that sells their ideals that Ayn wanted to impose onto everyone. her theory is slanted and I dont know how she was reasoning, but to me it seems its based on faith even more than buddhism in the sense that it hopes to create a laissez-faire society, which never existed and probably never will. I think its a mental illness to be grounded in a domain of thought alone(all the time). there are 5 more senses besides it that always represent reality. so too much of identification with only one is a very very small world you choose to live in. there is just so much more to life than that.

  16. John

    There is no mystery as to why the movie failed to bring in the numbers it should have. I do not recall seeing but a few advertisements on TV and that was on a FOX channel. Why did the other networks not have ads for it? Why were the critics slashing at it so mercilessly? I can only believe that politics has truly crept into even the cash cow of the media: advertising. The critics were so unified in their criticism of it and yet I thoroughly enjoyed both movies. Not far from now the censorship will eventually turn to book bans as we are programmed by the “thoughtful and educated” people who clearly believe they know better than what history teaches us.

  17. Bill

    I have to say I find the screenplay in many ways superior to Rand's book but it is not the book.
    The movie starts with the idea of an energy crisis that is pulling the economy down and that the Leninist moochers are a result. Rand clearly had Galt in the role of the motor stopper all by himself — a reaction to the socialist, or communists, who were taking over the government — not some other economic crisis.

    The entrepreneurs of her day, men and women who created and ran their own companies, are very different than the modern CEO character.

  18. BFurey

    One of my favorite books. And, no it's not about the “rich.” It's about being responsible and productive and not sucking off the government tit. What happens when productive people drop out and leave the “moochers” to fend for themselves. Huh? Find out “Who is John Galt.”
    Stop your b*tching and open your mind people. Remember what Kennedy said, “Ask not what you're country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” How quickly we forget in our meme culture. Working hard and being responsible for yourself and your family is the key to survival. If cave men didn't hunt and cave women didn't forage, their neighbor would not have shared their bounty. The “gimme” gang would starve. The bible says, “if you don't work, you don't eat.” Get it yet.

  19. Vanlinez

    I thought there was enough of a cult following to do more box office then this. Either Ayn Rand is not nearly as “popular” as the right wing crazies want to believe she is or this movie must have really been bad. Or both.

  20. Jango Davis

    “the moral and intellectual superiority of the rich” That is exactly what the movie, book, and Rand where all about.

  21. “the moral and intellectual superiority of the rich” - That has nothing to do with the theme or message of the novel or the movie.