'Atlas Shrugged' Connects In Web Marketing

   April 20, 2011-The indie-distributed $10 million production of Atlas Shrugged-Part 1 is making waves, grossing $1.6 million in its premiere weekend April 15-17. The film ranks 14th for that weekend on just 299 screens, according to, for an okay $5,640 average per screen for three days.
   Rocky Mountain Pictures is distributing the PG-13 rated drama, which is based on the famous 1957 novel by Ayn Rand.
   The producers and distributor relied on Internet promotional direct marketing to conservative groups like the Tea Party, avoiding costly mainstream paid-media such as TV commercials. Atlas Shrugged-Part 1 celebrates the individual and Rand’s Objectivism philosophy. 
   Box office is sufficiently encouraging for producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 next weekend, and they have hopes of showing in 1,000 auditoriums by the end of the month, they told the Hollywood Reporter.
   A surprise has been brisk sales of merchandise based on the movie. “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,’” writes the Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond. “On Tuesday, the Website was sold out of its most expensive item: a $159 bracelet made of ‘Rearden Metal,’ a replica of the one heroine Dagny Taggart (portrayed by Taylor Schilling) wears in the film.”
   Though buoyed, the producers are not committing yet to do additional movie installments of the novel, as the current Atlas Shrugged is labeled as “Part 1”.
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