Saturday, June 4, 2011

John Aglialoro Does Not Shrug

Atlas 2 and Atlas 3 are still in the works.  Obviously John Aglialoro was disappointed by the lack of response.  If everyone who bought the book saw the movie, the profits would have been monumental. The rumor that he was throwing in the towel apparently began with the LA Times Entertainment section, "24 Frames" story (here).  But a week later, Aglialoro told the Hollywood Reporter (here) that he is going forward after all.
On the Official Movie Website you can get the news, watch out-takes, and buy gear.  The company started a "Demand Atlas" campaign worldwide.  The "Demand Atlas" campaign here in Ann Arbor worked.  When the initial release was announced, only 10 cities were on the list.  The Demand Atlas clicks (via an Event marketing site) brought it to 30 metro areas and 300 theaters.   It ran for three weeks here in Ann Arbor.  And right now - two months later - it is still in Grand Rapids.  

The way theaters work, if you have a local social group that wants a movie, find out how many seats you need to sell.  In addition to the big name cineplexes, here in Ann Arbor, we have two theaters downtown that show second-run and art films.  One of the malls without a theater has a converted space with Dollar Movies, sort of a 100-minute babysitter, if you think of it that way.  Atlas Shrugged Part 1 is still earning income, though not making money and if your town has not seen a run, you might have an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Harmon Kaslow, Jeff Freilch, and John Aglialoro
from the Official Movie Website Gallery

Like Star Trek, LOTR, and Pride & Prejudice, this is an entertainment product that appeals to a fan market, rather than making one. Yet, the history of entrepreneurship shows that failures are the price of profits.  Interestingly, railroading itself provides a convenient paradigm, as many roads failed financially several times in succession, going through new receiverships or the same guys back again, until the economies of scale and interconnected lines finally allowed profits.  Yet, investors still poured in money.  (Read The Man Who Found the Money: John Kennedy Stewart and the Financing of the Western Railroads by Engelbourg and Bushkoff, Michigan State University Press, 1996.   Beginning as a grocer in the 1840s, Kennedy financed James J. Hill's Great Northern in 1890.)  Considering the 50-year history of Atlas Shrugged in particular, and Ayn Rand's influence in general, it is clear that we are not yet at the end of the line.  
These comments were first posted somewhat differently on the "Objectivist Living" discussion board. Read hereOL poster "Randall" provided Donovan Albanesi's “An Open Lettter to John Aglialoro” from his Culture of Reason Center blog.

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