The idea is good, but they made no effort to sound like Randian characters. I liked the model trains, though.
Thou dost protesteth muchest!
A while back, either Greg or Dan (I forget) observed that the box office take of the AS movie would give us a fair idea of the actual size of Objectivism's core audience. With the movie rapidly running out of steam (down to $140 per theater last time I looked), we can probably make this assessment now.It looks as if AS will gross slightly more than $4 million. If we assume an average ticket price of $10, that's 400,000 people. Some people saw the movie multiple times or even bought extra tickets they didn't plan to use, just to support the film. And some non-Rand fans undoubtedly went to the film, dragged by Objectivist pals or drawn by curiosity or a sense of allegiance to any anti-government film. OTOH, some Rand fans undoubtedly didn't go to the movie because it wasn't playing in their area, or they were too busy, or they objected to the way the adaptation was handled, etc. All in all, it looks like 400,000 is a pretty safe upper limit for the number of dedicated Objectivists in the US. The actual number may be smaller, possibly a lot smaller, but it is unlikely to be larger.400,000 isn't chump change, but neither is it a particularly impressive total for a movement that's been active since the early 1960s.
@MP>All in all, it looks like 400,000 is a pretty safe upper limit for the number of dedicated Objectivists in the US.Yep. I'd say it's very generous even, given we'd have to minus a lot of the religious/conservative Tea Partiers who were a big target market, plus any curious general public.So far I've seen nothing to suggest my original back-of-an-envelope figure is very far from the truth.And this, at a high tide of quasi-Randian fervor in the American political environment...
The largest conservative religious organization in the US is the Southern Baptist Convention with 16 million members.
Daniel, your back-of-the-envelope calculation is probably accurate enough according to your definition of Objectivist, but I would define the term more broadly. I'd count many libertarians as more-or-less Objectivists, in the sense that they have Rand read, feel inspired by her, and want to put her ideals into practice. The fact that they are scorned by ARI or that they disagree with Rand on some issues would not, in my mind, rule them out as Objectivists in the broad sense. Moreover, not all libertarian- minded people join (or vote for) the Libertarian Party, so party membership isn't necessarily a reflection of how widespread this viewpoint is. Many libertarians with Objectivist leanings try to work within the Republican Party. As an example, GOP Congressman Paul Ryan is reportedly a big Rand fan who makes his office staff read Rand's books. Hard-core, ARI-approved Objectivists are probably about as small a minority as you suggest, but Rand's influence extends well beyond this group. Clearly, though, Objectivism remains a fringe movement that cannot even generate enough public interest to make a low-budget movie pay off.
Very long but intelligent and interesting review of the AS movie at Ace of Spades: http://minx.cc/?blog=86&post=315526
For such a fringe group 400,000 is pretty decent; despite their claims of 8 million, Scientology is estimated to only have 20,000 members maximum and many of those people are on the rolls to keep the statistics up.So any reports that the makers of "Atlas Shrugged" have ordered that the prints shipped to theaters be destroyed after the movie's run ends? It sounds bizarre but that's what the distributor of "After Last Season" did in order to avoid paying return fees. And people somehow think that film was some sort of tax scam....
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