Atlas Shrugged Part I rolled out in limited release to 300 movie theaters over the weekend, and the early estimates of revenues might be a sign of encouragement. According to the web site Box Office Mojo, Friday's revenues (Saturday's results weren't in when this post was written) clocked in at a mere $683,000. That's not very encouraging until these numbers are broken down per theater: Atlas Shrugged earned $2,277 per theater, comparable to the major film releases Rio ($2,666) and Scream 4 ($2,421). The Conspirator opened up with revenues of $1,542 per theater.
Given that the marketing was largely internent and word of mouth--that's the only way I knew it was showing in my home town--this doesn't seem to me to be a bad start. Also, initial reports indicated taht the movie would only be shown in 11 cities to start, so, fortunately, the actual distribution was much wider than I expected. We'll have to see if Saturday and Sunday revenues are as strong.
Oh, and for the record, I thought it was a good movie, better than the reviews, and much better than merely "competent."
For more on Reason's coverage of the making of the movie, see Brian Doherty's excellent article in the May 2011 issue and Reason.tv's interviews from behind the scenes.