The second installment of the threatened cinematic trilogy of Ayn Rand’s insipid novel Atlas Shrugged is set for release in October of this year, a month before the presidential election. The release date was deliberately chosen by the producers for its political significance despite the fact that they haven’t even begun production.
John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow, reprising their roles as producers, claim that part two is fully funded. And why shouldn’t it be? Part one, which ran for all of five weeks last year, was universally panned by critics and theater-goers, and earned back only one-fifth of what it cost to produce and distribute. This dismal performance was achieved despite a massive effort on the part of right-wing media and Tea Party activists to prop up the film.
Everyone from Andrew Breitbart, to the Koch brothers, and John Boehner, and, of course, Fox News, joined the hype campaign with the vain hope of turning this turkey into a hit. The day care kiddies at Fox & Friends spun the story so hard they must have gotten nauseous the next day when the producers contradicted their phony hoopla and publicly admitted that they had a bomb on their hands.
The hype has apparently already begun with an article by Paul Bond in the Hollywood Reporter that inexplicably describes Atlas Shrugged part one as having “earned a respectable $5,640 per theater.” Respectable to whom? That is an even lower take than the unmitigated theatrical disaster of Sarah Palin’s Undefeated, which pulled in only $6,500 per screen before shuffling off to an early video demise. By contrast, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth did $70,000 per screen; Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story did $58,000 per screen; Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop did $21,000 per screen.
Adding to the irony is the fact that under Rand’s philosophy this film project should be abandoned. The obedience to free market principles demands that failures such as this be relegated to history’s garbage heap. But conservatives always exempt themselves from the rules they apply to everyone else. So the [dog and pony] show must go on. Here’s a peek at the promotional trailer just released that features absolutely nothing from the actual film:
Wow. Compelling stuff. The promo begins with Glenn Beck and features snippets from six people who don’t do much more than mention Rand’s name. Five of the six are Fox News personalities (how did Phil Donahue get mixed up in this?). Who do you suppose this film is being targeted at? The rest of the promo shows a clip of Rand that conveniently leaves out her notoriously anti-American, atheistic views. Perhaps this would have made a better promo: