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Saturday, April 19, 2014



Perfect Limited Releases

There are only four films on this week's list that we have solid theater counts for, but I've included a few others that are coming out on this week's list. The biggest limited release of the week is Pitch Perfect, which is expanding wide next Friday (assuming it doesn't bomb this weekend). However, the limited release that is earning the best reviews is The Hole 3D. I would not have guessed that would happen. Pitch Perfect will obviously earn the most in terms of raw dollars, some even think it will reach the top ten overall, but I don't think there's any film that will really be a hit on the per theater average.

The Barrens - Reviews
A horror film opening in limited release. There are not many genres that perform worse in limited release than horrors films do. There is also only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests there's not a lot of buzz. The one review is positive, so that's at least a mildly good sign, but overall I'm not bullish about the film's chances. The Barrens opens tonight in six theaters. Check the official site for more info.

BearCity 2 - Reviews
The original BearCity wasn't a major hit with critics and it barely made a peep at the box office. On the other hand, it must have made enough money on the home market and other sources to justify a sequel. This time around, the early reviews are weaker, but perhaps the same target audience will check it out, but the crossover appeal is very limited. BearCity 2 opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Bringing Up Bobby - Buy from Amazon
Famke Janssen wrote, directed, and produced this movie. It is also the first time she's gotten any of those credits on a film, so it might be interesting to see because of that. Unfortunately, the critics are not being kind to the film, complaining about over-the-top acting from the lead and supporting characters that are little more than stereotypes. Bringing Up Bobby opens tonight at the Beekman Theatre in New York City.

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal - Reviews
A Canadian horror / comedy about an artist, Lars, who has lost his inspiration. Or to be more specific, he intentionally threw it away. His art is based on bloody and gory images, which caused him to have a breakdown in the past and now he wants to avoid a relapse. His agent gets him a job as an art teacher in a small town, which seems like a good place to relax. That changes when he meets Eddie (Dylan Smith), the titular sleepwalking cannibal, who acts as his new muse. There's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, but that's actually better than a lot of Canadian films have, plus it is positive. Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal opens in its native Canada tonight in Toronto, Ottawa, and Calgary.

Headshot - Reviews
A neo-noir cop thriller from Thailand. I heard some good buzz about this film before its release, but the actual reviews are only mixed. It's not the usual genre for limited release and with the weaker than anticipated reviews, it likely won't thrive. Headshot opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City and the Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle.

The Hole 3D - Reviews
This film was made at the end of 2008 but has been sitting on a studio shelf for three years. That's a really bad sign. However, it's reviews are really good. Even so, it is a 3D horror movie opening in limited release, which is not a good sign for its box office potential. The Hole 3D opens tonight in five theaters, one in Los Angeles and the other four in Georgia. Check the official site for more details.

Pitch Perfect - Reviews
A couple years ago I saw a list of the 25 hottest actors under 25. ("Hot" in this case was describing their careers and not physical appearance.) About a quarter to a third of them were from Twilight. My initial reaction was, 'Wait to see how well they do outside of this one franchise before you use the term, 'hot', to describe their careers. While Anna Kendrick hasn't found box office success to match Twilight, she's proved she can act and in that regard, she's a step up on most of the rest of the cast. In Pitch Perfect, she plays a college student who is roped into joining an Acappella group and helps bring them the energy they need to win. The reviews are good, but not great. Normally limited releases need great reviews, because they don't have the advertising budget to generate buzz, so they need fantastic word-of-mouth. But with a wide expansion planned for next weekend, perhaps good will be good enough. Pitch Perfect opens tonight in more than 300 theaters and hopefully will expand to 2700 theaters next week.

Solomon Kane - Reviews
This film first appeared on our site in 2007 when it was announced. It was filmed in 2008 and hit theaters internationally in 2009. However, it made just a fraction of its $45 million production budget at the international box office, while it is being dumped in limited release domestically. According to the reviews, it's not a bad movie. Granted, it's not good enough to thrive in limited release, but maybe it will find an audience on the home market. Solomon Kane opens tonight in 15 theaters, but that's likely as far as it will go.

Vulgaria - Reviews
Chapman To plays To Wai-chen, a filmmaker who has still not found success, or even come close. He's desperate for money to pay his ex-wife, but he has a new potential investor, Brother Tyrannosaurus. Unfortunately, Brother Tyrannosaurus is a leader of a Triad gang and has very peculiar demands if he is to agree to fund To's next movie. The film's reviews are weak, while it is hard for foreign language films to find an audience outside of the art house circuit at the best of times. Finally, Vulgaria is opening in a dozen theaters, which is too many for a limited release.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-09-28

Movies 
 The Barrens
 Bringing Up Bobby
 Fon tok kuen fah
 The Hole 3D
 Pitch Perfect
 Solomon Kane