Ayn Rand

Atlas Makers Defend Their Political Promotion Plans

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The Hollywood Reporter notes surprising-to-the-industry success for the launch of Atlas Shrugged Part One:

"Shocking," one executive said about the healthy business the low-budget film has been doing considering its "awful" marketing plan.

Awful or not, business has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslowand John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month, they toldThe Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.

The two said they fielded 500 inquiries from theater bookers Monday but didn't have enough film prints to fill orders….

Kaslow and Aglialoro stood by their marketing campaign, which relied heavily on using the Internet to drum up support among members of the Tea Party, Libertarians and other Rand enthusiasts….

"We didn't take the needle-in-the-haystack approach by running a bunch of TV ads looking for the needles who might want to see the film," Kaslow said. "We turned that model on its head. When the needles looked for us, we advertised to them. We were getting 9 million online impressions a day from people looking for Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged and [the book's popular line] 'Who Is John Galt?'"….

Aglialoro said his "aspiration" is to make Parts 2 and 3, though he won't determine whether it makes economic sense for several weeks. He spent $10 million of his own money to make Part 1.

Merchandise, he said, is helping the cause. When Aglialoro obtained rights to the movie almost 19 years ago, he also got rights to sell such items as T-shirts, mugs, posters and even jewelry, though not dolls, video games and other "interesting exceptions."

On Tuesday, the Website atlasshruggedpart1.com was sold out of its most expensive item: a $159 bracelet made of "Rearden Metal," a replica of the one heroine Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) wears in the film.

My Reason magazine feature from May on the making and promotion of the film.

Atlas makers talk to a Reason event with host Nick Gillespie:

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119 responses to “Atlas Makers Defend Their Political Promotion Plans

  1. Does Nick Gillespie really have a copy of Atlas Shrugged shoved up his ass, or is that just an urban legend?

    1. No, it’s true. It keeps him focused.

      1. Max|4.20.11 @ 8:58PM|#
        “No, it’s true. It keeps him focused.”

        Hey, Max, does that copy of Das Kapital up your ass keep you smiling?

        1. More pussy, Balko or O’Keefe? You know it’s O’Keefe did you see his video and all those sexy babes? Balko last piece of ass was Andrew Sullivan!

    2. Re: MLK,

      Does Nick Gillespie really have a copy of Atlas Shrugged shoved up his ass, or is that just an urban legend?

      – Don’t answer that question, Nick; it is clearly a trap! –

      1. He’s right, Nick. It is a trap. Bastard.

  2. Whoops! Turn out the teabaggers are just a Medicare Lobby group (just as I predicted).

    Weigel – 70% of Tea Party OPPOSE cuts in Medicare!

    http://www.slate.com/BLOGS/blo…..-cuts.aspx

    1. Wrong thread, dick wad.

      1. shriek is too stupid to differentiate between threads, dude. He just sort of clicks at random.

        1. Shriek will talk about what Shriek wants to talk about. Like the dirty minded, who turn every conversation to sex, Shriek turns every convo to the TP. Post a topic on the regulation of orchid bulbs, and within three responses this bore will have the TP, the Church and Rush Limbaugh denounced in the most strident of terms.

          1. Jeffersonian, what an unfortunate handle, or rather, an appropriate for such a pietistic remark

            1. Then I’ll redeem myself by offering to shit in your mouth, rectal.

              1. ah, unlike your namesake, you reveal yourself

                  1. coward, if you give me your name, I will dedicate a post to your stupid ass

      2. Not the wrong thread – teabaggers are trying to co-opt Ayn Rand (who would hate them as much as I do).

        They glom on to her – like she would love the Christo-Aborto-Freaks they really are.

        Fuck them – and Episiarch too since he loves their statist ideology.

        1. I could be wrong about this, but I harbor a secret suspicion that Episiarch is an anarchist. Which means he hates the state and can’t be, by definition, a statist.

          But I could be wrong.

          1. Don’t swerve off topic.

            Episiarch is a Apocalyptic misanthrope – the state can be useful for those types.

            The important thing is the integrity of Ayn Rand – which I do not want to see besmirched by a Medicare Lobby Group.

            1. I do agree that when humanity comes to a dramatic and unexpected end, it will be Episiarch’s fault.

              1. Do you have anything constructive to say about the Teabagger Medicare Preservation Lobby Group and their hypocritical new found admiration of Ayn Rand?

                1. Yeah, ProL. Do you have anything constructive to say about teabaggers? Or are you just going to hurl insults?

            2. You’re so fucking dumb, shriek. Your response to being called out for being the cretin that you are? To make up people’s beliefs from whole cloth.

              Do us a favor and shoot yourself in the fucking head. You’re too stupid to live.

              1. It seems to me an Objectivist would embrace the entire philosophy espoused by Ayn Rand – and not just the part of it where one depends on the state when cancer-stricken at an elderly stage in life.

                But then again – I don’t see teabaggers as rational actors (nor do I see you as such, Episiarch).

                1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                  You don’t have the intelligence, not even remotely, to judge whether anyone is a rational actor. You’re too stupid to understand the word “rational” or “actor”.

                  Hey shriek, give us some of your market advice. It’s even funnier than you telling us what we believe, you unbelievably moronic pussy.

                  1. having a nice day baby?

              2. Be nice to shrieky, the poor little tweaker ran out of electronic devices to take apart.

            3. Don’t swerve off topic.

              Nice try, but “pointing out where something you said is the complete opposite of objective reality” =/= “swerving off topic”.

        2. Did you even look at the poll question? It’s crap.

          1. Yep. Pretty crappy. But it makes for a nice sound bite which is what the media (including Weigel) and most people have the time (and the mind) for.

            Without error bars, it’s hard to say if Obama really moved the numbers or not with his speech. Even if he did, so what. With the attention spans of gerbils, people will just parrot the last thing they heard.

            Amazing how the looming deficits and shortfalls in the middle of a recession is not urgent but things like global warming are.

    2. Alright, there’s just no way shrike is a real human being.

      I hope.

    3. So you are saying 30% are willing to at least consider cuts in Medicare? Sounds good to me. Anybody know what number would be for the whole population?

  3. Rearden Metal?

    Barnum was right.

    1. *rolls eyes*
      Yes, because the people buying them really think it is made out of an imaginary metal.

      1. At least they didn’t call it “unobtainium”, unlike a certain movie with a huge budget, cool visual effects and a suckass story line. Unobtainium? Really? I’m guessing these are the same people that named the itamponpad

        1. I’m so pleased that I haven’t watched that film. Just like I didn’t watch Cameron’s movie about Kate Winslet’s bosom–what was it called, Tit-Antic?

          He’s got Coppola disease, regardless of how many tickets he sells.

          1. I’m about halfway through it, and I’m really underwhelmed.

          2. It is a terribly stupid movie.

          3. I haven’t seen Avatar either and I am pretty happy with my decision. I accidentally watched most of Titanic once and you are not missing anything that can’t be satisfied by googling “Kate Winslet’s tits”.

            1. I much prefer the Nazi version of Titanic.

              1. That looks interesting. I’m surprised there are extant prints.

                I recently saw Harlan, about the filmmaker responsible for Jud Suss.

                I have to agree with this assessment: “Seen today, Jew Suss looks bizarre, wildly over-acted and ludicrous ? it could almost be called anti-Semitic camp…” It was hard to take seriously, it was so over-the-top.

              2. …but the documentary about Veit Harlan was good.

            2. Googling Kate Winslet Pantyhose goes straight to my blog. Still the most popular picture I posted after finding it in hi-res on some obscure corner of the internet a few years ago.

            3. I accidentally watched most of Titanic once and you are not missing anything that can’t be satisfied by googling “Kate Winslet’s tits”.

              Besides Winslet, I enjoyed the scenes of the engine room – neat old steam engines. Other than that the Titanic struck me as another Hollywood leftist hit piece on capitalism and the wealthy.

            4. Well, I’ve seen the movie now. Thanks.

        2. “unobtainium” has long been a joke name among engineers and scientists for a substance assumed to have impossibly wonderful properties.

          And Avatar wasn’t even the first movie to use that name; the probe that dug through the Earth’s crust and mantle in The Core was said to be made of unobtainium as well.

          1. I LOL’d when they used that in The Core. I figured most people wouldn’t get the joke, but I thought it was funny as hell.

            1. I prefer Upsidaisium

  4. If these guys make their money back and then some, well, they succeeded. Good for them.

  5. “Shocking,” one executive said about the healthy business the low-budget film has been doing considering its “awful” marketing plan.

    That’s Hollywood. “Never mind the story. If we can get a couple of name actors and market the product it’ll be a smash!”

    1. And a property the middle-of-the-road audience is already familiar with.
      Make a sequel to something–anything!–remake a classic, or retread an old TV show.

      Also, we don’t want them to think too much. If you’re going to make it confusing, dumb it down, and give away the ending in the previews, so they have time to absorb it.

  6. Why would they need to pay for TV advertising when they can get free advertising elsewhere–from those places having the most likely audience for the film, anyway?
    Choosing to pay over free advertising is an “awful” marketing plan.

    I’m not enthused about seeing a low-budget film (by today’s standards), but if they can generate funds for a full-scale part 2 and 3, that interests me.

    I realize production value doesn’t bother everybody–or that some people would probably still watch this if it involved a nickelodeon and a hand-crank–but I’m one of those people that notices all the weird little flaws on an HD set or Blu-Ray.

    1. Dude, I saw it Fri at 10pm. Production value is fine. I could not differentiate it from say a Happy Gilmore, Love Actually, etc. It is no Avatar but then again, NOTHING is an Avatar (stupid ass story aside i still saw it three times in the theatres). So I suggest you go see it. The biggest complaint I have with it is some stilted dialogue…Comes from turning a 47000 page tome into a 1:45 min movie.

      1. Well, and their decision to use dialog from the book whenever possible.

        That’s a romantic concept and all, but not how adaptations work. What characters say in a book is often quite unrealistic, and drastically different from what would be said on screen or on stage. That’s probably why they are called SCREENwriters.
        Nobody expects that, or even wants that, unless maybe it’s Shakespeare. Silliness.

        (Either that or they didn’t have the money for screenwriting.)

        1. Unfortunately, this book has some rather “enthusiastic” fans (to use a non-clinical term) who didn’t want a word of the dialog changed. And they let the filmmakers know it.

          The filmmakers were worried that these influencers could totally derail the marketing; it happens a lot in other genres which is why studios spend so much time sucking up, giving sneak peeks, special screenings etc for the fanboys.

          1. Unfortunately, this book has some rather “enthusiastic” fans (to use a non-clinical term) who didn’t want a word of the dialog changed.

            Here’s a link to one of those enthusiastic fans’ review of the movie. One of the first things she says is that they couldn’t and *shouldn’t* just copy the book into movie form:

            http://blog.dianahsieh.com/201…..of-my.html

            1. That was basically everything I’ve been saying. Especially about Ellis Wyatt. Thanks, I’ll check out more of her stuff.

      2. You saw a movie with a stupid story line three times?

        I do not think I will ever understand most people.

        1. How do you know what Obama will say in his SOU speeches until he says it?

          1. LET ME BE CLEAR

        2. Maybe he thought Zoe Saldana would be topless the third time.

        3. STUPID AVATAR STORY LIKE VANNEMAN RAPE SCREAMS. DISTRACTING AT FIRST BUT EASIER TO IGNORE EACH TIME.

      3. The biggest complaint I have with it is some stilted dialogue…Comes from turning a 47000 page tome into a 1:45 min movie.

        Well, no, the stilted dialogue comes from their decision to use the actual dialogue from the book, instead of having characters talk like people do in real life.

        1. My thoughts exactly.

    2. If you’re someone who pays attention to production values, it’s highly doubtful you’ll like this film. I really like “Atlas Shrugged” as a book — despite its flaws as literature — but the movie was pathetically bad as a FILM. I’ve made some of my fellow libertarians angry over the last six days by savagely criticizing something they enjoyed, but the film was very, very bad. For those who already love the book, their standards of “good enough” are pretty low, it seems. People who haven’t read the book and don’t have a strong political ax to grind are going to be bored to death by it. In my view, it’s a dreadful film.

      1. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a pretty accurate description. I like the book but while watching the movie I kept feeling like “This is not what we need. To get people who don’t read to understand these concepts from the book, you have to make the movie speak to people who aren’t already on board. Fuck the Rand fans. They already have the book to love. We need everyone else to love the movie.”

  7. we demand coverage of the manhattan mosque!

  8. and royal wedding coverage too!

    1. I wish somebody could find a clip of Fred Astaire dancing with the vacuum cleaner. It doesn’t seem to be on Youtube.

  9. though not dolls

    2012 RESOLUTIONS:

    1) Wake up New Year’s morning with a Dagny Taggart doll stuck in your ass.
    2)

    1. No word on whether they can still make action figures.
      🙂

      1. Human Action figures??

  10. T-jack

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s outgoing communications chief is known for his combative style. But in a confrontation that was undisclosed until now, he once threatened to “f—ing decapitate” the staff at the immigration office press shop.

    Now we know where Osama has been hiding-in plain sight

  11. considering its “awful” marketing plan.

    I wonder why the left are better salesmen at selling their marginal political philosophy then libertarians.

    By political disposition you would think the exact opposite.

    Perhaps Tony is right. Libertarians think of the market the same way that Hindus think of cows.

    Too sacred to touch.

    1. Joshua Corning|4.20.11 @ 7:40PM|#
      “I wonder why the left are better salesmen at selling their marginal political philosophy then libertarians.”

      You don’t have to “sell” if you’re offering to give stuff away.

      “Tony is right. Libertarians think of the market the same way that Hindus think of cows.”
      Great! Now we have “straw cows”!

    2. Liberalism is a far more profitable philosophy to pursue, for those who pursue philosophies…until the money runs out, that is, which is why we’re currently seeing the mad scramble on the Left to gnaw the last few scraps off the elephant carcass of America.

    3. What are you even talking about?

    4. Maybe because you buy into the liberalism they’re selling, so you find the sales pitches attractive rather than repellant?

      Maybe?

      No?

      There’s something there.

    5. Re: Joshua Corning,

      Perhaps Tony is right. Libertarians think of the market the same way that Hindus think of cows.

      You think that Libertarians consider the market too sacred to eat?

  12. A cult classic with a cult already built in. A perfect business plan. That didn’t work out for battlefield earth, or did it?

    1. It might have if they had made a 10 million dollar movie.

      1. Plus, more people have read Atlas Shrugged.

    2. Battlefied Earth was perfect for Science-Fiction Theater treatment. I had a great time doing that in the theater with friends.

      1. You mean MST3K treatment ?

  13. The Reg presents the 50 best unfilmed sci-fi books:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2…..i_fi_poll/

    1. I was about to say “no Chasm City?!?”, but there it is.

      No Altered Carbon?!?

      1. That’s a travesty. Morgan’s politics make me laugh whenever he goes there in his books, but his action sequences are awesome and highly visual. You can SEE them like a movie running in your head.

        Even Market Forces, which was mostly silly crap, shined during the car races.

        1. Starship Troopers should be on the list.

          1. You beat me to it. That thing they made was not Starship Troopers.

            1. It was better. So much better.

              1. This, +1 etc. Should really be +1E9 though.

              2. The movie titled Starship Troopers was the biggest piece of blasphemy in the history of humanity. No hyperbole. When the director admits he did not read the book the movie was “based” on, it does not count as an adaptation.

                1. Different than the book, but very enjoyable movie.

                  I like things that can be serious and ironic/sarcastic at the same time (it’s very hard to pull off).

                  1. I agree, I enjoyed it also for the same reason.

                2. They should have just called it “Space Troopers” or “Bug Attack” or some other generic bullshit title, since it had very tenuous connections to the book itself. Fun movie though. Fun stupid movie.

      2. Supposedly the movie rights to Altered Carbon were purchased shortly after the book was released.

    2. I’d probably do “That Hideous Strength” before I’d do “Out of the Silent Planet.”

      1. Perelandra would be interesting…probably would work better as a play.

        And, agreed totally on That Hideous Strength.

    3. They lose all credibility by not including Stranger in a Strange Land or Life the Universe and Everything. Also choosing The Caves of Steel over the far better sequel The Naked Sun is puzzling.

      1. Stranger in a Strange Land is by far the worst book I’ve finished. Just horrible in every way.

        1. Despite widely-spaced attempts I’ve never been able to finish it. I get about halfway through and ask myself “Just why are you reading this crap?”.

          1. Dude, it gets better.

            In fact, it’s really almost three distinct books jammed together with the character names overwritten to make it one big book.

            The middle book sucks.

            The first book is “meh”.

            The third book kicks dick in the dirt.

    4. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say they’d all make terrible movies.

      LOTR was a fluke.

      FREAK!

      FLUKE!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh6s4FpemZo

      1. That said, the only unfilmed sci-fi book that would make a good movie is Snow Crash. Except that the movie would be terrible.

        1. Pandora’s Star would actually be a really good movie. Morning-Light-Mountain is pretty much the best alien menace ever.

      2. It was no fluke. It just had producers & a director who actually understood the book and the genre.

    5. Fallen Angels
      Lucifer’s Hammer
      The Systemic Shock trilogy.

    6. Ringworld isnt on list…ignoring.

    7. Guys, that link goes to the list of books that DIDN’T make the final 50.

  14. What? No hat tip? Wow! Here is the face of your doom, fat meat bag. LOL

    Jess
    http://www.anon-lol.com

    P.S. ‘Eff’ a bunch of that Dr. Who commercial. They’re first into the grinder.

  15. I’ll wait for the porn parody, “Atlas Shagged.”

    1. That’s funny! Every time!

  16. Don’t know about the porn parody, but did you see this? “Onan Pulled Out” cracks me up.

  17. Turn out the teabaggers are just a Medicare Lobby group (just as I predicted).

    Weigel – 70% of Tea Party OPPOSE cuts in Medicare!

  18. Wait. There is an Atlas Shrugged movie?!!???!??

    I never heard of that.

  19. Looks to me like they are basing their marketing on the hugely successful marketing Mel Gibson did for his crucifixion move. Rand has a smaller cult following, sure, but it looks like its working pretty well.

  20. They released it only in major cities. They think PA only consists of Pitt and Philly. Screw it, I wanted to see this movie in the theaters but I won’t travel that far just to see a, supposedly shitty, adaption of Atlas Shrugged. I am a fan of Rand and even though this isn’t supposed to be that great, I was looking forward to this movie. Unfortunately, I’ll probably end up streaming it when it makes its way online.

  21. “Awful or not, business has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslowand John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month, they toldThe Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.”

    What do you want to bet that Aglialoro or his spies were in the back of the theatre, gauging audience response to the picture before making this decision? What was it I said in another thread about the potential value of applause at a film’s end???

    One never knows.

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