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Limited Releases Look to Earn a Billion Dollars

March 2nd, 2012

It's quite a busy week in terms of limited releases with nine films on this week's list. There are a couple that are earning very strong reviews, like Boy and Last Days Here. There are also a couple opening wider than the average limited release, like Paan Singh Tomar and Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. Unfortunately, the widest release of the week, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, is also earning some of the weakest reviews of the week.

Being Flynn - Reviews
This film is written and directed by Paul Weitz, who was nominated for an Oscar for About a Boy. It stars two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro, four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, and SAG winner Paul Dano. The end result of all of this talent are bad reviews and likely worse box office numbers. 46% positive reviews would be bad for a drama opening wide; it will likely prove fatal for a limited release. Being Flynn opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City.

Black Butterflies - Reviews
Set in the 1960s in South Africa, the film follows one of that country's poets, Ingrid Jonker, both through her personal life, as well as the political turmoil of the times. The film's is earning good reviews, but not great reviews, and since it takes place in a time and place that a lot of people here don't have first hand experience with, it might fail to connect with audiences. Black Butterflies opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Boy - Reviews
A film from New Zealand about a boy, simply called Boy. Set in 1984, Boy is a huge fan of Michael Jackson and imagines his father, who he hasn't seen in years, is a close relative of Michael Jackson and can dance like him. When his father returns, it turns out he was in prison for stealing a car, and he's back looking for stolen money he hid before going to prison. The film is earning excellent reviews and even took home a few awards at film festivals, so perhaps it will find an audience here. Boy opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center and the Film Society Lincoln Center, both in New York City.

Last Days Here - Reviews
A documentary about Bobby Liebling, a very talented rocker, whose personal demons kept him from earning the recognition he deserved. This film has been praised by a lot of critics as a tale of redemption, but it is also a little hard to watch how low he goes. Last Days Here opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Let the Bullets Fly - Reviews
An organized crime boss run into a conman who is pretending to be the mayor of a small town. He decides to take over this identity, but when he gets to the island town, he finds another powerful crime boss is already in charge of the town. This big-budget Chinese film has some big stars in it, including Chow Yun-Fat. The film is a black comedy / spoof, mixing eastern filmmaking and traditional westerns. It is earning good reviews, but I'm not sure it will find success here, as I have read a few reviews that suggest it is too "Chinese" to translate for North American audiences. Let the Bullets Fly opens tonight in five theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Honolulu and Toronto.

Paan Singh Tomar - Reviews
The latest Bollywood release is only opening in 12 theaters, which is a bit low for this genre. However, last weekend we had two such films open and neither managed to top the Mendoza Line, so maybe a less ambitious release is a better idea.

The Salt of Life - Reviews
Written, directed and starring Gianni Di Gregorio. He plays Gianni, a retired Italian man who is content with his life, but the passion is gone from everything. He's reduced to doing chores for his wife. His neighbor uses him as a dog walker. His mother's pushing him around. Then his best friend suggests what he needs to get back in the swing of things is a young mistress. But has he lost his romantic touch with the ladies? The film is earning some of the best reviews on this week's list, and while its chances of expanding significantly are limited, it could do well on the per theater chart. The Salt of Life opens tonight at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City.

The Snowtown Murders - Reviews
An Australian film about a 16-year boy who becomes close to his mother's new boyfriend, John Bunting. John Bunting was Australia's worst serial killer. It is being described as a very good movie, but one that is so intense that it is difficult to watch. It's not the right genre for limited release, but perhaps the reviews and the real life nature will help overcome that. The Snowtown Murders open tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie - Reviews
Star Tim and Eric of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! In it, they get $1 billion to make a movie, but manage to spend it all without shooting any film. Now the corporation wants their money back, or else. So they decide to run a failing mall. The TV show is a hit and miss sketch show, which is nearly the worst type of show to turn into a movie. Usually these turn into a series of barely connected five-minute skits, or one skit stretched way, way too far. I don't know which happened here, but given its reviews, one of these mistakes was made. Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie opens tonight in 22 theaters, which is too many for a limited release. There is good news. The film didn't really cost $1 billion to make, but only $3 million. It will still need a lot of help to cover that.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Paan Singh Tomar, Being Flynn, Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, Boy, Gianni e le donne, Snowtown, Black Butterflies, Last Days Here, Rang zidan fei