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Limited Releases come with Terms and Conditions

July 12th, 2013

There are nine films on this week's list, including four that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. It is unlikely that all of them will find success, as the competition is high. Both Terms and Conditions May Apply and The Hunt should do well, but will have trouble expanding. On the other hand, I don't think strong reviews will translate into ticket sales for Crystal Fairy. This leaves Fruitvale Station as the best bet. Then again, predicting limited release success is even harder than predicting box office numbers for wide releases.

Crystal Fairy - Reviews
Michael Cera stars as a tourist in Chile looking for the ultimate hallucinogen. He picks up Gabby Hofmann along the way, but the two butt heads. The reviews are great, but this is a character Michael Cera has played before and I think moviegoers might have grown tired of this performance. Crystal Fairy opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Dealing with Idiots - Reviews
Written and directed by Jeff Garlin, who previously wrote and directed I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With. That movie earned good reviews, but failed to find an audience in theaters. This film is earning weaker reviews, but more telling, there are almost no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. This suggests no buzz. Or perhaps it suggests it's not coming out till next week. There seems to be some difference of opinion here. I think it is opening tonight at the IFC Center in New York City, but the IFC website is down, so I can't double-check. If not, it opens next Wednesday. ... The site is back and it is opening tonight in theaters and in Video on Demand.

Fruitvale Station - Reviews
A dramatization about the killing of Oscar Grant by a BART cop. The film has a strong cast and among the best reviews of the week. It is also an important story, which should help it thrive in limited release. It might be the biggest limited release hit of the week. Fruitvale Station opens to tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also a couple in New York City.

The Hot Flashes - Reviews
A group of former basketball champs take on the current high school champs in a charity game. The big twist, it's women's basketball. The reviews are only mixed, to be generous, and it is the wrong genre for limited release. The Hot Flashes open tonight in eleven theaters in select cities nationwide.

The Hunt - Reviews
Mads Mikkelsen stars as Lucas, a man dealing with a divorce and the loss of his job as an elementary school teacher. Things seem to turn around when he gets a new job as a kindergarten teacher, finds a girlfriend, and even begins to reconnect with his son. However, then he is accused of showing his genitals to a child and his world comes crashing down. This film is earning the best reviews this week, but it is a foreign language film, which will limit its potential to expand significantly. The Hunt opens tonight in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area, while it expands over the coming weeks.

Killing Season - Reviews
Robert De Niro and John Travolta star in this movie, which at one time would have been enough to make it a major release. That time has passed. Additionally, the reviews are terrible and it is the wrong genre for limited release. Finally, it also opening in Video on Demand. Killing Season opens tonight in twelve theaters in select cities nationwide.

Pawn Shop Chronicles - Reviews
The first of two anthology series on this week's list. This one is has a bigger cast, but it is earning much, much weaker reviews. It is also opening in more theaters than most limited releases, which will further hurt the film's chances. Pawn Shop Chronicles opens tonight in 15 theaters.

Terms and Conditions May Apply - Reviews
A documentary about privacy concerns on the internet and how corporations are collecting private data and selling it to the highest bidder, including sometimes to the American government. The film's reviews are amazing and it could do well at the box office, at least it could do well for a documentary. Terms and Conditions May Apply opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City and the 8 o'clock showing includes an appearance by the director, Cullen Hoback.

V/H/S 2 - Reviews
The original film earned mixed reviews and bombed at the box office, but earned a lot of money on the home market. This film's reviews are better, but I still think it will have to wait till the home market to make a profit. V/H/S 2 opens tonight in eleven theaters, as well as video on demand.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Jagten, Pawn Shop Chronicles, Killing Season, Fruitvale Station, V/H/S 2, Crystal Fairy, Dealin' with Idiots, The Hot Flashes, Terms and Conditions May Apply, Robert De Niro, John Travolta, Michael Cera, Jeff Garlin, Mads Mikkelsen, Gabby Hofmann, Cullen Hoback