Atlas Shrugged: Part II box office: Censorship-induced box office bomb? Well…
Four weekends ago, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 had one of the worst domestic debuts ever for a movie in wide release (600-2,000 theaters). The following weekend, the anti-altruism, anti-government melodrama suffered the worst box office drop (65 percent) among the top 15 movies on Box Office Mojo’s domestic weekend box office chart.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 has to date collected a paltry $3.3 million* at the North American box office. As I’ve mentioned before, the film’s international prospects, much like those of its predecessor, are nonexistent. The critically massacred box office bomb Atlas Shrugged: Part I finished its domestic (i.e., worldwide) five-weekend run with $4.6 million*.
Right-wingers should accept the fact that Atlas Shrugged Part 2 bombed in the “Free Market” of their nightmares – the one that doesn’t behave according to ideological thought. In fact, using the Free Marketers’ own ideology, it’s easy to explain the frigid reception for the Ayn Rand movie adaptation at the box office.
The market rejected Atlas Shrugged Part 2 because distributor Atlas Distribution failed to come up with the required capital, the marketing know-how, and the necessary “product quality” (in the eyes of the market) to stir up interest for its release. (Read the comments section in this site’s other Atlas Shrugged articles; many fans of the book have been very disappointed with the movie adaptations.) It’s pure insanity to blame Atlas Shrugged Part 2‘s disastrous box office performance on the Barack Obama administration or some conspiracy of silence by the (imaginary) “Liberal Media.”
Remember Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan’s 2016 Obama’s America? Distributed by Rocky Mountain Pictures – the same company that released Atlas Shrugged Part 1 – the 2016 movie became a sleeper hit (for a political documentary) this past summer, cuming at $33.4 million at the domestic box office.
Poor marketing strategies, an apparent lack of cash flow to plug their film, and a widely derided product – not anti-right-wing censorship by the Obama White House or conglomerate-owned media entities – are the reasons for the abysmal commercial failure of both Atlas Shrugged movies.
Atlas Shrugged: Part II movie cast
In Atlas Shrugged Part 2, Samantha Mathis plays the enterprising Dagny Taggart (incarnated by Zac Efron’s The Lucky One leading lady Taylor Schilling in Part I). Other cast members in the second (and quite possibly last) Atlas Shrugged feature includes Jason Beghe as Henry Rearden and Esai Morales as Francisco d’Anconia, plus 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.
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 was massacred by North American critics. The film has a rancid 6 percent approval rating and 3.2/10 average rating among Rotten Tomatoes‘ “top critics.” Fearing another such critical reception, Atlas Distribution opted to keep critics far away from their release. Now, that approach may work well for some horror movies, whose moviegoers don’t (or can’t) read; but one key problem for a “small movie” such as Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is that no reviews often means no audience awareness. Admittedly, not that reviews would have helped much: the Dagny Taggart movie currently has a 0 percent approval rating and 2.2/10 average rating at Rotten Tomatoes. (“A disaster as a film,” wrote the Philadelphia Enquirer‘s Tirdad Derakhshani, “Atlas also is laughable in its presentation of Rand’s ideology.”)
Better luck on DVD?
Things got so bad, that the following weekend weak-at-the-knees Atlas collapsed, down a whopping 65 percent.
Some have raised the possibility that Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will do better on DVD. Though not impossible, that doesn’t seem all that likely if the performance of its predecessor is any indication. Atlas Shrugged Part 1 grossed $4.62 million at the box office (five weekends), but according to The Numbers the film earned less than $3 million from DVD sales in its first two weeks out, plummeting 67 percent on week no. 2.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2‘s dismal box office performance is 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 mega-rich and the mega-powerful 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 box office: One of the worst opening weekends ever
Atlas Shrugged: Part II, the story of free-enterprising heroine Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling in Part 1, Samantha Mathis in Part 2), suffered one of the worst domestic openings ever for a movie in wide release (600-2,000 theaters), according to data found at Box Office Mojo. This past weekend, the sequel to last year’s box office bomb Atlas Shrugged Part 1 debuted with a dismal $1.75 million at 1,012 locations, averaging a disastrous $1,731 per venue.
Adjusted for inflation, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is no. 98 on the Worst Openings Ever chart, and despite a much wider release than its predecessor will quite possibly end its run with less than $4 million at the domestic box office – or rather, at the box office, period. Reportedly budgeted at $20 million, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will find no following internationally, as Ayn Rand’s Tea Party-embraced views (minus Rand’s derision of religion and the blindly religious) are a purely American phenomenon.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 vs. Atlas Shrugged Part 1
For comparison’s sake: Atlas Shrugged Part 1, the first part of a projected movie trilogy based on Ayn Rand’s sprawling 1957 novel opened with $1.68 million in mid-April 2011. Oh, but wait! What’s the problem with your math? Isn’t Part 2‘s $1.75 million more than Part 1‘s $1.68 million?
Well, of course it is. But another obvious fact is that Atlas Shrugged Part 1 opened at 299 locations vs. Atlas Shrugged Part 2‘s 1,012 venues. As a result, Atlas Shrugged Part 1‘s first-weekend per-theater average was a not unimpressive (for a little known small movie) $5,640 per site.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2‘s $1,731 per-theater average, on the other hand, leaves the film no room for any further expansions, unless multiplex owners are looking forward to screening the movie to mostly empty seats. For comparison’s sake: Last year, Atlas Shrugged Part 1 distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures added 166 locations on weekend no. 2, but to no avail. Despite its decent opening, the Tea Party crowd favorite’s per-theater average plummeted to $1,280. Atlas Shrugged Part 1 was gone after three more weekends, cuming at $4.62 million.
In the last two days, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 added $253,000 at the North American box office. Its cume after five days stands at $2 million.
Oct. 13 p.m.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 box office: One of worst opening weekends ever?
With luck, the Atlas Distribution release Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will collect $2.2-2.5 million by Sunday evening. More likely, the John Putch-directed sociopolitical drama will finish the weekend with $1.8-2 million. If the latter possibility becomes a reality, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will be included among the bottom 200 (adjusted for inflation): the movies with the worst opening-weekend grosses at the North American box office.
Even it reaches $2.5 million, Atlas Shrugged Part 2 will have a per-theater average below $2,500 – which means no chance of any further expansions unless movie-theater owners are eager for near-empty houses. For comparison’s sake: on its first weekend out, Atlas Shrugged Part 1, a favorite among the then-thriving Tea Party crowd, averaged an acceptable (for a small movie at 299 locations) $5,640 per venue. The following weekend, however, the film’s per-theater average plummeted to $1,280.
The $20 million-budgeted Atlas Shrugged Part 1 lasted all of five weekends on North American screens, cuming at a dismal $4.6 million. And since Ayn Rand and the Tea Party philosophy are intrinsically American, Atlas Shrugged Part 1 found no distribution overseas.
Rocky Mountain Pictures, which usually handles movies with “conservative” and Christian themes – i.e., the anti-Barack Obama documentary 2016 Obama’s America, the Christian drama End of the Spear – distributed the first Atlas Shrugged in North America. (Ironically, Ayn Rand was no fan of religion: “Blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason,” she told Playboy magazine. “Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason.”)
Oct. 13 early a.m.
Atlas Shrugged Part 2 & Kevin James bomb at domestic box office
Atlas Shrugged Part 2, based on Ayn Rand’s novel, and the Frank Coraci-directed Kevin James comedy Here Comes the Boom are about to become the weekend’s box office bombs.
Swept away to fifth place, Here Comes the Boom is expected to gross approximately $12 million over the weekend after bringing in an estimated $3–$4 million on Friday at 3,014 theaters, as per early, rough box office estimates found at Deadline.com. For comparison’s sake: The Dilemma, Kevin James’ most recent box office bomb, opened with $17.8 million.
By Sunday evening, the eagerly anticipated – by the red-white-and-blue far-right crowd – Atlas Shrugged Part 2 should collect a disastrous $2–$2.5 million at 1,012 locations after taking in an equally disastrous $650-850,000 on Friday.
Box office: Sinister, Seven Psychopaths open modestly
And here are a couple of other new releases: At 2,527 North American locations, Summit Entertainment’s horror flick Sinister, directed by Scott Derrickson and featuring Ethan Hawke, scored an estimated $5–$6 million on Friday, including $1 million from late-night Thursday and Friday midnight screenings.
By Sunday evening, Sinister should rake in at most $15 million. If so, its opening-weekend box office take will turn out to be quite a bit below the high teens some had been expecting. And even if it reaches the high-end of expectations, Sinister will likely still trail Hotel Transylvania‘s expected $16 million at no. 3 (behind Taken 2 and Argo).
Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths will also open more modestly than some had expected, with only $3–$4.5 million at 1,480 locations over the weekend, after collecting $1–$1.5 million on Friday. That’s a disappointing opening for the $15 million action comedy, which has garnered mostly enthusiastic reviews. The Seven Psychopaths cast includes Colin Farrell (who hasn’t had much luck at the North American box office of late, e.g., Total Recall), Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Olga Kurylenko, and Abbie Cornish.
Samantha Mathis Atlas Shrugged Part 2 movie image: Atlas Distribution.
Note: This post initially had Here Comes the Boom listed as Here Comes the Broom. A better title, but the wrong one.