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«Did conservatives make “Atlas Shrugged – Part 1,” a low-budget adaptation of Ayn Rand’s famous 1957 novel, a box office hit? While the film’s opening weekend sales didn’t reach blockbuster levels, earning $1.7 million from about 300 theaters, the film’s backers are enthusiastic about the results.

“We’re at the upper edge of our expectations,” said “Shrugged” producer Harmon Kaslow. “And we’re a way above what the industry expected us to do.”


Working with distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures, which is known for its Christian-targeted releases, Kaslow hopes next weekend to increase the film’s reach from 300 to 1,000 theaters, and from its current 80 cities to around 250, which would include smaller towns in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Montana.


“We’ve received an acknowledgment of the film’s commercial value, both in theaters and from the industry,” he said, noting that major studios have since contacted them, expressing interest in representing the film for overseas, television, DVD and VOD sales.

Whether the movie does break out or not, evidence of its potential impact can be felt on the increasing popularity of its source material: As of Sunday, Plume’s paperback edition of “Atlas Shrugged” was the No.4 bestselling book on


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