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Limited Release: Don't Want to Start in the Red

January 23rd, 2015

Red Army poster

It is not a great week for limited releases, as there are many films opening with mixed reviews and opening on Video on Demand as well as in theaters. That doesn't mean there aren't some films that could be hits. Mommy's reviews suggest it could land near the top of the per theater chart. Meanwhile, Red Army is still rocking 100% positive reviews, but it is a documentary.

Against the Sun - Reviews
When a torpedo bomber goes down in the ocean, the three survivors need to work together get back to land. The reviews are mixed and it is opening on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are poor. Get used to reading that phrase, or something similar, as most films on this list have the same problems.

Americons - Reviews
A drama about a college football star whose career ends, but has a chance to become rich in a real estate deal that is not 100% above the board. The reviews are really bad, as are its box office chance. Americons opens tonight in just over a dozen theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Baby - Reviews
An Indian action film about a special ops agent trying to stop a potential terrorist attack. Like most movies from India, there are no reviews. Also, there is direct competition for this target demographic and it is unlikely both films will succeed.

Big Muddy - Reviews
Nadia Litz plays a woman who goes on the run after her teenage son commits a horrible crime. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and they are mostly positive, so its box office chances are really weak. Big Muddy opens tonight in three theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Black Sea - Reviews
Jude Law plays a submarine captain in charge of looking for a World War II submarine that is rumored to be carrying gold when it went down. The reviews are good, but the buzz is a little too quiet. Black Sea opens tonight in five theaters.

Cake - Reviews
Jennifer Aniston stars as a woman who gets into a car accident that kills her daughter. She also suffers from chronic pain and becomes addicted to pain killers. When one of the people in her chronic pain support group commits suicide, she begins to investigate. Jennifer Aniston earned a lot of praise for her performance in this movie, and even some Oscar buzz, but the overall reviews are weak. Additionally, the film is opening in nearly 500 theaters, which is just too many.

Dolly Ki Doli - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about a con woman who marries men only to steal their wealth on their wedding day. There are no reviews, which is common for Bollywood films. Dolly Ki Doli opens tonight in select theaters. Click here for more details.

The Duke of Burgundy - Reviews
An erotic drama about a S&M relationship between two women that starts out mutual, but one of them wants to take it further than the other is comfortable with. The reviews are amazing, but it is playing on Video on Demand, so it likely won't find an audience in theaters. The Duke of Burgundy opens tonight in three theaters, including the IFC Center in New York City.

The Humbling - Reviews
Al Pacino plays an aging stage actor who begins an affair with a much younger lesbian. The reviews are mixed and it is playing on Video on Demand, so it likely will go nowhere at the box office.

Killers - Reviews
A serial killer posts videos of his crimes online and a journalist is one of the people who watches. The journalist then discovers, through an accident, he has the talent to kill and becomes a vigilante. The reviews are excellent, but the film might be too extreme to find an audience in theaters.

Manny - Reviews
A documentary about boxer Manny Pacquiao. I don't think there's a lot of crossover appeal between boxing and documentaries, while the reviews are terrible. Finally, it is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are even worse. Manny opens tonight in just over 20 theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter - Reviews
A documentary about Martha Hill, who helped establish dance as a serious artistic movement in the United States. There are only three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests there's not a lot of buzz for this film. On the other hand, all three reviews are positive. Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Mommy - Reviews
A Canadian movie about a single-mother dealing with a troubled son, who had been recently institutionalized. The reviews are among the best of the week and the writer / director, Xavier Dolan, is building a reputation for excellent films. Hopefully it will find an audience in theaters, but that is always tricky. Mommy opens tonight in 8 theaters, while it has been playing in Canada for weeks.

R100 - Reviews
A mild-mannered Japanese business man joins an S&M club, but soon realizes once you join, you can never get out. The reviews are good, but right on the border between good and good enough to thrive in limited release. Also, R100 is opening on Video on Demand and it seems like a film that will do better there than in theaters.

Red Army - Reviews
A documentary about the Red Army hockey team and the social and political elements that were mixed up in the sport. At the moment, the reviews are perfect, but I'm not sure there is enough crossover appeal for hockey fans and art house cinema. Red Army opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, with planned expansions over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Salvation Army - Reviews
A coming of age story about a young man growing up gay in Morocco and who travels to Switzerland for college. In doing so, he gains more freedoms to be himself, but being away from home is still tough. The reviews are good, but I don't know if they are good enough to thrive in limited release. Salvation Army opens tonight at the Film Society Lincoln Center in New York City.

Son of a Gun - Reviews
This film is about a young man sent to prison for a relatively minor crime, but, once there, falls under the influence of a much more powerful criminal, whom he helps escape. The reviews started out excellent, but has since fallen below the overall positive level. Additionally, it is playing on Video on Demand, so its theatrical chances are even worse. Son of a Gun opens tonight in more than 20 theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Song One - Reviews
Anne Hathaway plays a woman whose brother gets into a car accident and she looks through his things trying to find something that will help him get out of his coma. One of the things she tries is tracking down his favorite musician and after she meets him they begin a relationship. The buzz here was good, as is the cast, but the reviews are weak and there are just too many other options out there. Song One opens tonight in 27 theaters, as well as on Video on Demand. It will very likely do better on the latter than in the former.

We'll Never Have Paris - Reviews
A man is about to get engaged when a co-worker announces she loves him. He dumps his long-time girlfriend to be with the new girl, but when that doesn't work out, he travels to Paris to win his ex back. This is a Romantic Comedy that is earning really bad reviews. Those two factors will kill its chances at the box office. Worse still, We'll Never Have Paris opens tonight in fifteen theaters, as well as on Video on Demand.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Song One, The Humbling, Black Sea, Mommy, The Duke of Burgundy, Red Army, Manny, Against the Sun, We'll Never Have Paris, Americons, Cake, Son of a Gun, Big Muddy, L'armee du salut, Killers, Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, R100, Baby, Dolly Ki Doli, Jude Law, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston, Greta Gerwig, Anne Hathaway, Nadia Litz, Xavier Dolan