'Atlas' appeals to the Hollywood averse

April 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

HOLLYWOOD, April 10 (UPI) -- Some Hollywood observers say being on the outskirts of the industry may pay off for the producers of the film version of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

The first part of the envisioned "Atlas Shrugged" trilogy will be released on about 300 screens in 80 markets Friday with a promotional campaign centered largely on word-of-mouth spread by conservative leaders.

The relatively small-scale release may not be standard strategy for a boffo opening, but some experts tell the Los Angeles Times it could work in the film's favor.

"There may be some advantages to these folks being outsiders to Hollywood," said distribution strategist Peter Broderick.

Broderick proposed that businessman-producer John Aglialoro will reap the benefits of doing the extensive legwork to get "Atlas Shrugged" on the screen himself.

"This guy wants to make sure that the message of the movie doesn't get watered down," Broderick said. "He can control the marketing, how much is spent. And if you can get enough people out from those core audiences the first weekend, it can build."

The movie industry has been leery of "Atlas Shrugged" for years, the Times said. A major red flag, the Times said, has been Rand's dense writing and a fan base that presumably would not tolerate the editing required to keep the narrative moving.

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