‘Atlas Shrugged, Part 1’ to Appeal to Conservative Tastes?

COMMENTARY | The Wall Street Journal reports that an independent adaption of part one of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” is slated to hit movie theaters this weekend. So far, the film has received mixed reviews. “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1” is a movie based on conservative ideas of the free market and individualism which should become a big hit among conservative Americans. The movie is not a big hit among most liberal movie critics but the Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and various Tea Party groups are praising the movie, and they see it as a big hit.

Movies that are more conservative in nature are usually a hit for right-leaning viewers, and can become huge even if they were independent films. In 1996, filmmaker Oliver North made a documentary called “A Perfect Candidate” about his 1994 bid in Virginia for the Senate. This was an independent documentary that made a lot of headlines and was actually a fairly big hit among conservatives, making $48,522 domestically at the box office . This movie scored big with many men and women who were over 45 years old, which is considered a highly conservative demographic.

There have also been a lot of mainstream films that have been hits that were based on conservative viewpoints. Some of these movies included “Forrest Gump” and “300.” At the box office, “Forrest Gump” earned $329,694,499 domestically and $677,387,716 worldwide. “Gump” scored big with many critics as well, such as the National Review, and has been a staple of conservative politics and values ever since. “300” had a total domestic gross of $210,614,939 at the box office and made $456,068,181 worldwide. “300” also scored big with conservative critics such as Right Wing News.

Conservative viewers are a reliable audience for alternative films to appeal to for many reasons. Conservative viewers are likely to see an alternative film because it is not based on mainstream ideologies, which are usually liberal or Democratic in nature. Independent movies also are great for conservative viewers because they are done on a smaller budget, which could put more emphasis on the theme or plot of the movie instead of on the computer animation or graphics.

When it comes to movies, conservatives like to see films that deal with issues that face the world such as the economy, homosexuality, abortion and social values and tradition. The conservative market is also great for movies because the conservative-leaning films are so rare in liberal-leaning Hollywood that viewers tend to flock to them as soon as they come out.

Usually conservatives are older people who might want to see a good movie with their families that revolves around social traditions and family values. Conservatives are also a great base for independent films because they can see past bad movie reviews and see the true meaning of the movie, so bad reviews or popular trends do not affect their decisions.

Anthony Kaufman, “Will Conservatives Make ‘Atlas Shrugged’ A Hit?”, Wall Street Journal

Internet Movie Database, “Best Conservative/Independent Films”