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Limited Releases: Death of Limited Releases

March 8th, 2013

Last week, the film with the most buzz was Stoker, but it only had good not great reviews. It still started very well at the box office, thanks in part to the buzz. This week, the film with the most buzz is The ABCs of Death; however, its reviews are really bad. There are some films earning great reviews, like Electrick Children, but none have really loud buzz. Maybe there will be a surprise hit, but it could be a slow week for limited releases. There are also two Canadian films opening this week, Hit 'n Strum and Ferocious. Check the First Weekend Club for more details.

The ABCs of Death - Reviews
A horror anthology film, which is not good news for its box office potential. It is so rare for anthology films to work in theaters unless nearly all of the shorts are worth watching, it is better to watch it on the home market. Even if two thirds are good, you will still be bored a third of the time. On the home market, at least you can skip the weaker shorts. According to the reviews I've read, of the 26 short films, there are two to six that are worth watching. Even on the high end, that is an unacceptably low number. The ABCs of Death has been on Video on Demand for a month and now opens tonight in 20 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Beyond the Hills - Reviews
A film about two women who have known each other since they met in an orphanage years ago where they're been raised by nuns. One of whom, Alina, wants to move back to Germany and live together> The other, Voichita, has decided to stay in the nunnery. As Alina tries to win Voichita's affection, the nuns and monks decide she must be possessed by a demon and try to perform an exorcism on her. The reviews are great, but a lot of critics say it will only appeal to fans of art house cinema. Beyond the Hills opens tonight in three theaters, split between New York City and Los Angeles.

Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey - Reviews
A documentary about the 1980s rock bank Journey and their search for a new lead singer for their recent reunion tour. The search ends when they hear a sound-alike on YouTube, Arnel Pineda, who is from the Philippines. The reviews are good, but not great. This film could have more popular appeal than some of the political documentaries that have been recently released have. Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey opens tonight in 15 theaters in major cities nationwide.

Electrick Children - Reviews
Julia Garner stars as a 15-year girl growing up in a strict Mormon household. One day she discovers a tape of rock'n'roll music, which is something she's never heard before. Three months later, she's pregnant and she thinks the music did it to her. Julia Garner is a relative newcomer and I've only seen her in a couple films, but she's impressed me in both of them. Out of all of the films on this week's list, this is the one I most want to succeed. Electrick Children opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City and the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles.

Emperor - Reviews
This is the widest limited release of the weekend, but its reviews are terrible at just 32% positive. It does have a cast with better name recognition than most limited releases have, but I don't like the film's chances at the box office. Emperor opens tonight in 260 theaters, which is too many for a limited release.

The Girl - Reviews
A woman loses her child to foster care. She begins to help immigrants from Mexico illegally cross the border and in the process becomes close to a young Mexican girl. There are almost no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is never a good sign, but at least they are both positive. The lack of buzz will likely hurt the film more than its two positive reviews will help it. The Girl opens tonight at the The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and the AMC Village 7, both in New York City, and both have special events this weekend. Check the official site for more details.

The Monk - Reviews
Set in seventeenth Spain, the film focuses on a very pious monk whose sermons become very popular, so much so that Satan begins to take note. The reviews are good, but not great, and since it is a foreign language film, it has an extra obstacle to overcome. The Monk opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

The Silence - Reviews
The kidnapping / possible death of a 13-year old girl brings back memories of a similar crime that took place 23 years earlier. Those involved try to solve the new crime. The film's reviews are nearly perfect and there is some buzz, but as a foreign language film, its chances of expanding wide enough to reach a major milestone are limited. The Silence opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Stoker, Le Moine, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, Electrick Children, Emperor, The Girl, The ABCs of Death, Dupa dealuri, Das letzte Schweigen, Cosmina Strantan, Cristina Flutur, Julia Garner