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Keeping Up with Limited Releases

February 3rd, 2012

Talk of Oscars is still dominating art house aficionados, so it comes as no surprise that the list of limited releases is not particularly strong this weekend. That's not to say there are no films worthy of watching, but it is unlikely any of them will be major hits. There are a few noteworthy releases, including W.E., Madonna's attempt at winning an Oscar. It won't. The Innkeepers is the widest release of the week and it is also earning good reviews. However, its the wrong genre for limited release. And finally, there's Moon Point, a Canadian film opening in Toronto. There are Q&A sessions with the filmmakers and cast for the evening shows over the weekend as an added bonus.

The Innkeepers - Reviews
The Yankee Pedlar Inn is said to be haunted. Whether or not that is true, it is closing down after more than a century of being in business, as two of its last employees, Sara Paxton and Pat Healy, decide to find out before it does. The film is earning good reviews, it even won a couple awards at horror film festivals. However, it is a horror film, it has debuted on Video on Demand already, and it is opening in too many theaters. I don't it will be a hit in theaters, but I hope to get a screener when it comes out on DVD / Blu-ray. The Innkeepers opens tonight in 27 theaters, but that's likely as far as it will go.

Kill List - Reviews
A returning soldier becomes a hitman. After a botched job, he retires, but his former partner gets him a new job with the promise of a big payday once he takes care of the three targets. It seems pretty easy of first, but perhaps he hadn't gotten over his psychological scars just yet. This film is earning very good reviews, especially for the genre. However, they are not great, and limited releases usually need great reviews. Plus, it's the wrong genre for limited release. Kill List opens tonight in two theaters: the IFC Center in New York City and the CineFamily in Los Angeles.

Moon Point - Reviews
When his older brother is getting married, Darryl Strozka (Nick McKinlay) decides he needs to get a date. When he learns the girl he had a crush on in elementary school is filming a movie a few towns over, he decides they need to reunite and coaxes his friend to give him a lift, by dragging him behind his electric wheelchair. This Canadian film opens tonight at the AMC Yonge and Dundas in Toronto, and the evening shows over the weekend include Q&As with the cast and crew.

Splinters - Reviews
A documentary about surfing in a small town of Vanimo, Papua New Guinea. The town has no economic or educational opportunities for its residents and surfing is the only way out. The reviews are very good, but I'm not sure they were quite good enough for limited release. Plus, as a documentary, its chances at expanding are very limited. Splinters opens this weekend in five theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, and most for limited runs. Check the official site for more details.

W.E. - Reviews
Madonna wrote and directed this film, which previously had an Oscar-qualifying run. It did earn a nomination for Best Costume Design; however, it's overall reviews are terrible. It tells two stories. The first is about a modern woman obsessed with the romance between King Edward and Wallis Simpson, but while she tries to find out as much as she can about the couple, we learn their post-abdication life was not a fairytale ending. W.E. opens tonight in four theaters, mostly split between Los Angeles and New York City.

Windfall - Reviews
A documentary looking at the downside of windpower from the noise, the sheer size of the windmills and the environmental effects. The film's reviews are barely above the overall positive level, which makes it much lower than one normally associates with success in limited release. Windfall opens tonight in three theaters, including the Quad Cinema in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, W.E., Windfall, The Innkeepers, Kill List, Splinters