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Atlas Shrugged box office surprise

Posted by Richard on April 21, 2011

All I can say is "Woohoo!" This is one of the best headlines I've seen in a long time:

Box-office power of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ baffles insiders

The power of Ayn Rand devotees has impressed some Hollywood distribution executives, who took note of the hefty $5,640 per-theater average scored by “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” during its opening weekend.

“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 Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. They don’t have enough film prints to fill all the orders.

“Things have turned for us,” Kaslow said. “When we started, exhibitors were not embracing the film like we thought they would. Now, we can pretty much go into as many theaters as we want. It’s just a matter of logistics.”

The producers stand by their marketing campaign, which relied heavily on the Internet to drum up support among members of the Tea Party, libertarians and other Rand enthusiasts.

(HT: Instapundit and Atlas Shrugged Movie blog

And here's another one of the best headlines I've seen in a long time:

Atlas Shrugged Movie Boosts Book to #4 on Amazon Bestseller List

Here’s a marketing question I thought I’d never ask: Would you think that a critically panned, low-budget movie, with a virtually unknown director and cast, could catapult a more than 50 year-old book near the top of the Amazon bestseller list? Well, exactly that appears to be happening with the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

… Atlas fans will likely flock to cinemas if only to see whether the long-awaited movie adaptation lives up to their expectations. After this initial surge, the movie will have to stand on its own merits.

But more importantly: all signs point to the fact that the mere existence of the movie is causing interest in the book to spike to new heights. According to Google Trends, search volume for “Atlas Shrugged” has never been greater. Even more impressively, the book has surged to #4 on the Amazon bestseller list as of this writing. Likely it won’t stay quite that high for weeks on end, but expect book sales to remain elevated for some time to come. Atlas Shrugged has been in the top 100 of the Amazon bestseller list for 268 days. The movie makes it all the more likely it will still be in the top 100 268 from now.

Atlas Shrugged completely dominates Amazon's "Classic Literature and Fiction" section:

Three different forms of the Atlas Shrugged novel — kindle edition, paperback, and audiobook — currently top the “Classic Literature & Fiction” section in Amazon’s bestseller list.

Screen shot shown below. Click for full-size.

Here's more info on how Atlas Shrugged has been hot on Google:

According to Google, on Friday 15 April 2011, the day of the movie’s release:

  • ‘atlas shrugged’ was the #4 most searched keyword
  • ‘ayn rand’ was the #12 most searched keyword
  • ‘atlas shrugged movie’ was the #14 most searched keyword

Screen shot attached below. Click the thumbnail for full-size image.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Google Trends shows Denver as the top city for "atlas shrugged" searches. Cool!

Via the Atlas Shrugged Movie blog, here are a couple of articles/reviews to check out: 

  • Vin Suprynowicz: The enormous disconnect between 'mainstream' professional reviews and viewer response to 'Atlas Shrugged The Movie, Part I' 
  • Michael Shermer: Atlas Shrugged, But You Shouldn't

I'm going to see the film again this weekend. Which will still leave me behind Nathaniel Branden.

Have you seen it yet? If not, will you go this weekend? If you have, will you go again? Please?

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3 Responses to “Atlas Shrugged box office surprise”

  1. David Aitken said

    Unlike Mann’s global warming hockey stick, the Google one’s real!

  2. rgcombs said

    That deserves a rimshot! Thanks for the laugh!

  3. nickgb said

    I did a post on this over the weekend, but that Sun-Times article is a complete hackjob: http://poisonyourmind.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/why-atlas-shruggeds-numbers-are-actually-pretty-sad/

    A lot of the other attention to AS, like the amazon sales numbers, are real, so it’s pretty clear why a blogger at the Sun-Times tried to hop on a bandwagon without actually looking at the numbers.

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