News/Commentary,  Uncategorized

Atlas Shrugged Viewings: Meetings of the Minds

Written on May 21, 2011 by Ann-Marie Murrell

Despite negative (liberal) reviews and limited release in theaters (because of liberals), “Atlas Shrugged Part 1” still did exceptionally well in the box office—despite the liberals.  With no major studio backing it and relying basically on word-of-mouth advertising, Atlas earned $1.7 million last weekend and was bumped up from being show in only 244 theaters to 400 this weekend.

After my non-liberal review was published last Friday, I kept hearing amazing stories from some of my Facebook friends about their “Atlas Shrugged” experiences.  Some had to drive a long way to see it and made a mini-vacation out of it; others met with their local Tea Party groups and had ‘viewing parties.’

I asked some of my friends to comment on their experiences and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“The rise of the movie, in marketing terms, almost parallels the rise of Rand’s novels,” said Paul Beaird of Missouri.  “The underground current of word-of-mouth recommendations, overwhelming the low expectations of the established methods–with a lifetime in marketing, I have to love it!”

Dave Cordes of Minnesota drove 210 miles to see it but said it was worth it.  “I saw it yesterday with my daughter.  It seemed like it was ten minutes long, leaves you wanting more.”

“Awesome, awesome movie,” said John Feeny of Rhode Island.  “When it ended, I immediately looked up when part 2 was coming. This movie is gonna drive the people who don’t want to work out of their minds!”

Although Mitch van Biljon of Utah initially had to force his teenage son to see it, the results were worth the effort.

“My son, who never worries about politics, was taken against his wishes to see the movie but he came out beaming and praising it afterwards,” said Mitch.  He encourages parents to take their teenagers, adding you should do a little prep work ahead of time.  “Explain what socialism is and the satanic methodology of using marketing gimmicks to hide the truth under the guise of ‘equal opportunity’,” he said.  “Young people have not learned the art of delving into details. They hear cliché’s that sound good but are not what they appear to be and are easily deceived.”

“I went last Friday night,” said Susan Inserra, New Jersey.  “The movie theater was 80% full.  People were not talking to each other, everyone was paying attention.  I liked it, and will go again next week to see it. I belong to three Tea Parties in my area and I was surprised I didn’t see anyone I knew.”

Tom Robinson in Texas said, “My wife I attended the movie on Friday as well. It only showed in one theater in the San Antonio area and I would say the theater was also around 80% full. We attended the later show and I don’t know if the 7:30 show was as full but we had to line up to get in.”  After Tom’s showing, he said “On the way out of the theater, I heard people explaining the relevance of the film to today’s events, which is what I was doing with my wife, who doesn’t follow political stuff like I do. I think people are using this movie to educate others on what can happen if we continue down our current path.”

“I went to opening night in Westwood,” said Ellen Field of California.  “It was packed and our adjacency to LA ensured little pre-show gab, “she said.

Ellen witnessed the extreme difference between groups of Conservatives and liberals when a trailer was shown prior to the movie.

“The trailer was a left-leaning documentary on vegetarianism called ‘Forks and Knives’,” she said.  “The theater was packed from stem to stern with Conservatives, Tea Partiers and Libertarian-types when there on the screen was an ideological target if there ever was one: First Lady Michelle Obama.”  Ellen said Mrs. Obama was giving one of her ‘I know what’s good for you’ obesity lectures.

“No one, I mean not a person, made a single peep,” she said.  “No one hissed, called out a name, or anything. Now I can’t vouch for the thoughts that were thought, but the respectful silence that met that screeching socialism told me everything I need to know about which side we’re on.”

Ellen saw it a second time with about 20 people from her Tea Party group.  “There was lots of talking with coffee and tea afterward,” she said.  “Looks like the lack of marketing is a problem because it’s not the quality of the film; they did a damn good job” she said, adding, “Did anyone else see Andrew Breitbart in the party scene?”

Deb Lytle in Texas talked about the lack of posters and advertising at her local theater.

“My husband found two theaters in Austin where it was showing,” she said.  “The one we chose did not have any announcements on the outside marquee. You have to purchase your ticket before entering the building, where they did have it on the marquee. But if anybody just happened to come up to the building trying to decide on what movie to see they would not have known it was playing there.”  Deb said, “I think we filled half the theater.  We loved the movie. I didn’t want to see it end so I’m anxious for Part 2!”

“I saw it last weekend,” said Nancy Smith.  “I so wished it wasn’t over.  The theater was about 2/3’s full. Everyone there had an air of expectation about the movie before it started, and everyone was talking about it when it was over.”

Patty Bride of Kansas said, “My husband and I saw it today.  It was fantastic and I can’t wait for Part 2!”  Patty said there were lots of people at the early showing, including “a lot of couples and single men; they all seemed amazed at the movie and wanted more.”

“My wife and I went to see it Friday at an early matinee,” said Jeff Oosterman in Massachusetts.  “There were only about a dozen people in the theater with us which is actually pretty good for that time; I don’t think any of the other movies playing had any more people. We did talk to another couple after the show and they wanted to see part two.”  He said afterwards he and his wife went to their local book store and bought the book.

Jim McIlroy of Southern California said, “When I saw it last Sunday early evening in Northridge, there were about 25 to 30 people in the room with me.”  Jim said he went to a second screening and this time he took his 17 year old son, who was anxious to see it, too.  “It was even better the second time,” he said, “and I am sure will get better the more I watch it.”  He said his son enjoyed it as well and it generated some thought-provoking dinner conversation.  “He hit some of the major points in the movie about the way the government took over, making people sell of their companies if they owned more than one, and also how that Union Guy tried telling Dagny Taggart that her rails were a threat to public safety.  What a bunch of cowards–just like what’s happening right now with the Obama Administration.”

“We had a nearly full theater in Fresno.  Great movie!” said Kevin Peck of California.  Kevin said he had recently experienced local government corruption first-hand, adding “This is real folks; you or your neighbor might be next if you don’t stand up for your rights.” Kevin said everyone cheered at the end of the movie, “save for a few liberal folks who can’t stand truth.”

Michael Gerardi of California said he saw it in San Diego with a Tea Party group.  “The theater was probably 2/3 full.   I talked with a few new acquaintances before and after. The feedback was pretty positive,” he said.  Regarding the movie, Michael said, “I thought the adaptation was pretty good, especially the updating of why railroads are significant again for travel (in 2016). I didn’t expect scintillating dialogue or amazing characterizations, because that’s not what the book’s about.”  Overall, he said he was pleased with the movie and “I hope to see the remaining two parts!”

So the consensus of “Atlas Shrugged Part 1” is that it is definitely worth seeing, and is becoming a new way for like-minded Conservatives to get together.

Ultimately, I think Paul Beard summed it up best:  “It’s a pure good-versus-evil story. But this time the hard-working, inventive, obstacle-overcoming businesspeople are the heroes, with the parasites and politicians doing all they can to stop them. Dagny’s soul-wrenching scream of NO at the end expresses the tone of what we who love America and see it disappearing feel. My friend bawled outside. The lady sitting next to me had never read the novel and wanted to ask an hour’s worth of questions. The young 20s outside the theater didn’t want to leave, talking about the movie and the novel.  It was a religious experience!”

To find an Atlas Shrugged Part 1 viewing in your area, check the AS website. As word-of-mouth (and the Tea Party) makes it more and more popular, as business owners they have no choice but to show it in more theaters.  Go Tea Party!
The Patriot Update 2011 May 21

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts


  • Neo Vida

    Neo Vida

    First of all, it’s not my article. Second, I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve read the book twice. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, and not just because of the subject matter, but because I love Ayn Rand’s writing style. And yes I’ve read some negative reviews and I know it’s not exactly a box office hit. Normally I watch movies purely for their entertainment value, but in this case it’s not about entertainment at all but rather education and enlightenment. I was hoping that re-publishing this article might encourage people to see it, but unfortunately the subject matter seems to be beyond most people’s ability to comprehend, in spite of it’s relevance to current events.

  • Avatar

    Henry Tudor

    Your article is either intentionally deceptive or very poorly researched.
    Either way, it is a very poor reflection on the Tea Party Movement.

    Atlas Shrugged has already sealed it’s fate as one of the biggest box office disasters of 2011. The movie peaked on Day One and has been in a steep nose dive since.

    On a $20 million dollar budget, AS has now grossed $4.6 million and is already down to showings in 91 theaters. Last week, AS was grossing on average only $15,000 per day. There is no chance that it will make back even 25% of it’s production budget at the box office. If DVD sales and TV rights are sold at a blistering pace, AS might recover a maximum of $10 million on a $20 million budget.

    For you to state that AS “did exceptionally well in the box office” is disingenuous at best. Does your local Tea Party have an Accountant? Run these figures by him or her. Even the Democratic Party would not openly claim a $10 million loss on a $20 million investment to be a financial success story,

    And what is your source that all the critics who gave it bad reviews were liberals – or that there was some sort of liberal conspiracy?

    P.J. O’Rourke, for one, would be very surprised to be called a liberal. Did you read his review? What is your evidence that he’s a liberal?

    And what about critics Steve Persall; Scott Tobias; Ann Lee Ellingson, and Peter Sobczynski? What evidence have you unearthed that they are liberals?
    Do you think there could be another reason why not one critic on Rotten Tomatoes gave AS-1 a ringing endorsement?

    I remember at one point earl on, I thought the Tea Party to be a breath of fresh air above all the mud-slinging and lying to fit a particular agenda. I thought truth would be a hallmark, unlike what we have gotten used. to. Unfortunately, your column seems to be typical of the Tea Party response to the critical and marketing calamity that was Atlas Shrugged. (And yes, I can back this up by sending you links to over 25 columns that either downplay what a box office failure the film was, or blame the liberal critics and/or theater owners for the debacle). Please tell me why I should trust anything else that you guys claim.

    Its a shame really.

Leave a Reply