Dagny Taggart runs Taggart Transcontinental, the largest remaining railroad company in America, with intelligence, courage and integrity, despite the systematic disappearance of her best and most competent workers. She is drawn to industrialist Henry Rearden, one of the few men whose genius and commitment to his own ideas match her own. Rearden's super-strength metal alloy, Rearden Metal, holds the promise that innovation can overcome the slide into anarchy. Using the untested Rearden Metal, they rebuild the critical Taggart rail line in Colorado and pave the way for oil titan Ellis Wyatt to feed the flame of a new American Renaissance. Hope rises again, when Dagny and Rearden discover the design of a revolutionary motor based on static electricity - in an abandoned engine factory - more proof to the sinister theory that the "men of the mind" (thinkers, industrialists, scientists, artists, and other innovators) are "on strike" and vanishing from society.
||April 15th, 2011 (Limited) by Rocky Mountain Pictures|
||November 8th, 2011 by Fox Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for some sexuality.|
(Rating bulletin 2152, 12/22/2010)
||Government Corruption, Corporate Malfeasance, Dystopia, Directing Yourself, Inheritance, Intertitle, Voiceover/Narration, Development Hell, Trains, Agitprop, Political, Conspiracy Theory, Dysfunctional Family, Infidelity, Non-Chronological, Prologue, Cliffhanger Ending, Inventor|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Harmon Kaslow & John Aglialoro Prods|
It's kind of a slow week on the home market in two ways. Firstly, the only major release of the week is Super 8. Secondly, half the releases I was supposed to review are running late. Fortunately, Super 8 is a top notch film and the Blu-ray Combo Pack is this week's Pick of the Week.
Atlas Shrugged, the novel, was written more than 50 years ago. Since then, there have been countless attempts to turn the novel into a movie, mini-series, etc. The most recent attempt began as a $100 million three-part epic that was going to star Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. That didn't pan out. Worse still, they were about to lose the rights to the novel, so they had to start filming at rather short notice. Atlas Shrugged, Part I was the result. Now many films and other creative works have been mired in develop hell for many, many years. This doesn't mean the end result is a dud, but it is a warning sign. I'm proceeding with caution, but should others follow?
It's a rather mixed week on the home market. Granted, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is coming out this week, but it doesn't make its home market debut till Friday. Also, after the Harry Potter releases, there's a huge drop in quality. Given the issue with the Harry Potter releases, it's best to wait till next year and grab the ultimate editions. I'm not sure there's anything here that rises to the level of Pick of the Week. In the end I went with Captain America: The First Avenger on Blu-ray Combo Pack, even though it didn't come out this week. However, the screener was late and it is the best release on this week's list.
Thor was the only film to top the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart with an average of $16,618 in just under 4,000 theaters. Fast Five did come reasonably close to that mark with an average of $8,860, while the best limited release was Cave of Forgotten Dreams with $8,059.
Evil Bong 3D earned $19,315 in its lone theater to lead the way on the per theater chart, and clearly I've slipped into an alternate dimension. Actually, I'm very happy with this film's success, as it's distributed by Full Moon Features, the same company that released Puppetmaster and countless other low-budget films I've been a fan of. Second place went to The Double Hour with $14,990, which is less than 1% lower than its opening weekend. Madea's Big Happy Family was the only wide release to reach the $10,000 mark, and it was close at $10,957. There is one confusing release, Incendies, which earned over $60,000 in 13 theaters, if you include Canada. However, if you just look at its U.S. opening, it earned $50,679 in 3 theaters for an average of $16,893, which is much more impressive.
The Double Hour earned top spot on the per theater chart with an average of $15,123 in two theaters. The only other film to crack the $10,000 mark was the overall box office leader, Rio, with an average of $10,250.
At the 19th attempt, 2011 finally has a legitimate winning weekend at the box office, thanks to a better-than-expected opening for Rio (and, to be fair, a weak comparison weekend last year). With a $40 million estimated debut, Rio lays claim to having the best opening of the year so far, and the fifth-best April weekend of all time (nudging out Hop debut two weeks ago). While that's undoubtedly good news, the rest of the chart is something of a mixed bag.
It's another big week for limited releases with a couple that are opening in far more theaters than most limited releases can dream of, plus they are opening with a lot stronger buzz. ... Or to be much more accurate, much louder buzz, as the two biggest releases are not exactly earning top notch reviews. The Conspirator is benefiting from an incredible pedigree, which includes Robert Redford as the director. Meanwhile, Atlas Shrugged: Part I is based on a book by Ayn Rand, who has a committed fan base. Personally, the film I'm most interested in seeing is Daydream Nation, which opens in Canada this weekend and in the United States next month.
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