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Some of the Limited Releases are Spectacular

August 2nd, 2013

While there are not a ton of new releases on this week's list, one of them, The Spectacular Now is not only earning spectacular reviews, but it also has the pedigree and the buzz to suggest it will thrive in theaters. Our Children should also do well in limited release, but likely won't expand significantly. Meanwhile, Cockneys vs. Zombies and Europa Report have niche market appeal that could be filled on the home market. Finally, The Canyons could test the theory that there's no such thing as bad publicity.

The Artist and the Model - Reviews
An artist living in the south of France during World War II has all but given up on his art when a refugee comes to live with them. This Spanish lady begins to inspire the artist once again. The film is something that should appeal to art house critics, but the reviews are merely mixed and that's well below acceptable for a limited release. The Artist and the Model opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles.

The Canyons - Reviews
This film stars Lindsay Lohan, who is a good actress, but whose personal life has long since over shadowed her acting career. Unfortunately, this film is earning bad reviews, so it is unlikely to turn around her career. On the other hand, the publicity from the troubled production could be enough for the film to do well, at least on Video on Demand, if not in theaters. The Canyons opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City before expanding to Los Angeles next week. It is also on Video on Demand, which will likely turn out to be much more lucrative.

Cockneys vs. Zombies - Reviews
There's no way this movie is going to be a hit. It is simply too bizarre for that to happen. It is about a group of amateur bank robbers who are only robbing a bank to save the retirement home where their grandparents live. In the process, they get caught by the police, but during the stand-off at the bank, there is a zombie outbreak and all of the cops are killed. However, now the robbers have to get to the retirement home before the zombies do. The reviews are good, but given the genre, they are not good enough to suspect it will do well in limited release. On the other hand, it could become a cult hit on the home market. Cockneys vs. Zombies opens tonight in ten theaters in select cities nationwide.

Drift - Reviews
Two brothers try to revolutionize the surfing industry during the 1970s. Surfing has never really been a big sport in the movies with Soul Surfer being the biggest hit in the genre in the last decade. This film won't change that, as its reviews are really bad. Drift opens tonight in select cities.

Europa Report - Reviews
This is a film I really hope does well at the box office, but I have my doubts. It is about a near future relatively realistic space program. There is already a mission in the planning phase to send a probe to Europa to look for life. In this film, that probe was sent and the data seems to indicate life is on the moon of Jupiter. A private space investor then sends a manned mission to Europa with six astronauts to confirm this data. The reviews are good, but not great, and the film is opening in Video on Demand, so its box office chances are weak. Then again, for a lot of indie films, the Video on Demand numbers are more important than the box office numbers. Europa Report opens tonight in three theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

Our Children - Reviews
Emilie Dequenne and Tahar Rahim play a couple who have been in love for a long time, but when they get married, they move in with Tahar's adopted father. At first this seems like a great deal, because the older man is a successful doctor and well off, but soon this arrangement takes its toll on Emilie. This film is earning incredible reviews and was Belgium's official entry for last year's Oscars, but it didn't make the shortlist. It should do well in limited release, but as a foreign language film, its potential to expand is limited. Our Children opens tonight at the The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York City.

Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers - Reviews
A documentary about the Pink Panthers, a group of jewelry thieves, who just struck in Cannes very recently. A more conspiracy minded person might think they are connected to the filmmakers and did that to give the film more publicity. The reviews are good, but not great, while documentaries rarely have breakout success in limited release. Smash and Grab opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

The Spectacular Now - Reviews
This film is directed by James Ponsoldt, who previously directed Smashed. It is written by Scott Neustadter and Micheal H. Weber, who previously wrote (500) Days of Summer. It stars, among others, Shailene Woodley, who is suddenly one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood. Finally, it has some of the best reviews of the year. If it is not the biggest hit of the weekend, I will be surprised. The Spectacular Now opens tonight in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Top Cat - Reviews
An old Hanna Barbara cartoon made 50 years ago brought to the big screen. The film was actually animated in Mexico, where it was a big hit, but it struggled in most other markets. Now it is coming out in limited release here, but it will likely crash and burn. Top Cat opens tonight, I think. Even the official site just says Coming Soon under theaters.


Filed under: Limited Releases, El artista y la modelo, Drift, Europa Report, The Spectacular Now, Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers, Cockneys vs. Zombies, Top Cat, The Canyons, A perdre la raison, Emilie Dequenne, Lindsay Lohan, Shailene Woodley, Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, James Ponsoldt, Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber