Despite the hype it's getting from conservative writers, the Atlas Shrugged movie is far from a ringing box office success. But since the movie's commercial failure does not fit with the Fox narrative -- "scrappy Tea Party film shocks stupid commie Hollywood liberals with its capitalist victories" -- Fox News has decided to just completely ignore reality and continue to declare the movie a success.
Have a look at the Fox & Friends segment this morning hyping what Doocy called "a great movie" and the chyron declared a "Victory For Capitalism."
Doocy frames his spin using familiar lines: while the "Hollywood community had very low expectations for this particular film," it has supposedly "really taken off" with "people who were aligned with the Tea Party." Guest host Juliet Huddy also played up the Tea Party connection, saying that the film "sort of goes along with the Tea Party movement, it sort of just came out of nowhere and it really blossomed - kind of understandable." Doocy added that the message of the film is "about capitalism," prompting Kilmeade to interject that people "don't need your entitlements!"
In an impressive display of lying by omission, Kilmeade laid out the hard numbers on the film: "You got 299 theaters last weekend - it averaged they say, and this is a lot of money for people in the business, they say this is staggering, $5,640 per screen - so now, Juliet, they are going to roll it out in 425" screens.
Kilmeade points to the opening weekend numbers, which he claimed "they say" is "staggering" (more like "pretty okay") and then makes it sound like the movie would be expanding into 425 theaters in the near future. But that already happened.
As we already documented, the movie rolled out into 465 theaters this past weekend ... and promptly collapsed. The "staggering" per screen average of $5,640 that Kilmeade was hyping took a freefall down to $1890, and the gross plummeted almost 48%.
Kilmeade used these numbers as evidence that the "profit's gonna go through the roof, perhaps." Well, "perhaps." But as of now, the movie has made back only $3 million of an estimated $20 million production budget, so its success is far from a sure thing.
Back on planet earth, New York Post film critic Kyle Smith - who is one of two reviewers to give the film a positive review, according to Rotten Tomatoes - notes on his blog that "unlike some other conservative writers, I said last weekend's numbers for 'Atlas Shrugged' weren't good and that the movie wasn't a hit." Responding to the film's producers' insistence that they're going to expand the film to 1,000 theaters - claims that Fox & Friends echoed this morning - Smith writes that "no way are that many theater owners going to take it on."
And while Fox was happy to hype the sequels, Smith notes that "whether the sequels get made is purely a matter of how much desire the producers have for losing money."
I guess Fox has a very strange definition of a "Victory For Capitalism."