The producers of "Atlas Shrugged, Part I" originally had high hopes for their ambitious film adaptation of Ayn Rand's best known novel, which tells the story of trains and steel and wordy egomaniacs prone to long monologues about objectivism. Its opening weekend went well -- a $5590 per screen average encouraged the filmmakers to expand the release.
But the second week's receipts fell off dramatically, probably because Rand's natural fan base (college sophomores) were off acting in their rational self-interest (buying weed). And critics more or less pantsed the movie. Producer John Aglialoro raged at the critical reception, accusing reviewers of being "lemmings" who "hate individualism." But film reviewers like Roger Ebert pointed out that the poor quality of the filmmaking was likely to disappoint the book's most ardent fans. And one such fan, libertarian film critic Cathy Young, seemed to concur, titling her review "Atlas mugged."
(The Wikipedia says that the "film closes with an answering machine voice-over," and that it is set in 2016. Oy.)
Nevertheless, after initially suggesting he was throwing in the towel, Aglialoro re-affirmed his desire to produce the second and third part of the series. Today he receives some encouragement from Andy Cobb and our friends at The Second City, who suggest that the filmmakers just need to readjust their standards of moviemaking to the realities of the marketplace. Please enjoy!