Depending on which way you phrased your Google search, Atlas Shrugged was either a triumphant success despite the Hollywood conspiracy, or looking at the dollar and cents side of things (you know, that little thing called reality), it has been a failure so far. Because if Scott Pilgrim making 3/4 of its money back is a failure, only making about 1/4 of the budget back is most certainly one too.
So here are 11 reasons why Atlas Shrugged failed at the box office:
1. The source material is what the word turgid was invented to describe.
2. The threat that it was a trilogy and the psychic scarring the general public had from the last pseudo-philosophical trilogy of movies featuring human parasitism. You know, the Matrix movies.
3. To quote Cloris Leachman during the Roast of Bob Saget: "Somebody punch me in the face so I can see some stars."
4. The only place I hear about this movie are political shows either lauding it or ripping on it.
5. 13% on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. It was apparently badly written and directed. That's a biggie.
7. The writer/producer honestly believes that the critics conspired to destroy the movie based on its ideas rather than reasons #3 and #6.
8. Ayn Rand isn't a great selling point for the majority of the population, considering in her mixed bag of beliefs, she holds positions which are anathema to both sides of the political divide (anti-religion, pro-abortion, anti-social safety net, anti-affirmative action etc). If you really put that out there, that would alienate a lot of people.
9. They didn't even market it to people who would be outside of the core libertarian/Tea Party base, so they were basically trying to market a 20 million dollar movie to a really small audience. The Passion of the Christ cost about 30 million a few years ago, and they marketed that thing to everyone, even though it most of the money it made was likely from a very small group of people.
10. As has been joked in the past, market forces determined that this film was found wanting in so many ways.
11. The movie wasn't advertised with the tagline "See the source material for Bioshock!"