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Limited Releases are a real Catch

August 3rd, 2012

There are seven limited releases on this week's list, but only two of them are earning overall positive reviews. None of them are earning more than 80% positive reviews, which is the level I normally associate with success in limited release. Does that mean none of them have a real shot at box office success? Hopefully not, but it could be an uphill climb for most of them. Sushi: The Global Catch is earning overall positive reviews and might find an audience, while Celeste and Jesse Forever has earned the best reviews and should perform the best at the box office.

360 - Reviews
An ensemble drama about many couples in different countries in different stages of love. The cast is incredible and the writer and director have both been nominated for Oscars and other major awards. However, the overall reviews are really bad. Earning just 28% positive reviews would be weak for a popcorn action flick, this could be fatal for a limited release drama. 360 opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City and the Landmark 12 in Los Angeles.

Assassin's Bullet - Reviews
Zero percent positive reviews. I'm not even sure it is worth mentioning plot details at this point. A vigilante is killing terrorist suspects and Christian Slater is called in to investigate. The reviews are not only unanimously negative, in many cases they are aggressively negative with most critics saying it doesn't even rise to the level of entertainingly bad. Assassin's Bullet opens tonight in three theaters, before coming out on DVD and Blu-ray on the 14th.

The Babymakers - Reviews
The latest from Jay Chandrasekhar. He has made a lot of really good TV episodes, but his track record in theaters is much worse. His best directorial effort according to Rotten Tomatoes is Beerfest, which only earned 40% positive reviews. This film is earning the worst reviews of his career. In the film, Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn are trying to have a baby, when it turns out he is infertile, he and his friends try to break into a sperm bank to recover the last sample he donated years ago. That's an interesting premise and it could have turned into a really good movie. But the reviews strongly suggest something went horribly wrong. Even if you are a fan of Jay Chandrasekhar's previous movies, you will likely want to avoid this one. The Babymakers opens tonight in ten theaters nationwide.

Celeste and Jesse Forever - Reviews
Rashida Jones wrote and stars in this romantic comedy. The films begins with her and Adam Sandberg married, but in the process of getting a divorce. However, they have decided to stay friends throughout this process. This plan doesn't work out when he starts dating a new woman. This film is earning the best reviews out of the new releases this week and it also has a lot of star power, especially compared to most limited releases. It has the best shot at winning the race on the per theater chart. Celeste and Jesse Forever opens tonight in four theaters split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Craigslist Joe - Reviews
A documentary about a man, Joseph Garner, who decides to use Craigslist to live off of the kindness of strangers. This film is earning better buzz than most documentaries and it has the support of Zach Galifianakis, who is an executive producer on this movie. However, so far there are just two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and they are split. This suggests the buzz hasn't spread as far as I thought it would, while the word of mouth won't help its legs. Craigslist Joe opened on Thursday at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.

Soldiers of Fortune - No Reviews
The second Christian Slater film of the day. This one also has no positive reviews, but that's because it has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes so far. In the movie, five millionaires go on an action vacation where they will be escorted by a mercenary through an actual warzone. This sounds like a dumb thing to do, and it goes horribly wrong. I did find some reviews online, which is harder than it sounds, because Soldiers of Fortune is a rather generic name. These reviews range from entertainingly bad to aggressively bad. Most compare it to The Expendables, but this film comes up really short in an head-to-head battle. Soldiers of Fortune opens tonight in 47 theaters, which is likely as far as it will go.

Sushi: The Global Catch - Reviews
A documentary about sushi and its growth from street vendor food to gourmet cuisine. The demand for high quality fish has become so intense, that some of the common species used to make sushi are dying out. The film looks at possible solutions from aquaculture to the use of invasive species in menus. It also looks at the politics of protecting an endangered species like the bluefin tuna, and the scientific evidence regarding the devastating effects the loss of an alpha predator can have on the environment. The film's reviews are good, but not great, so it will likely struggle to find an audience in theaters. Hopefully it will find an audience on the home market. Sushi: The Global Catch opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Celeste and Jesse Forever, 360, Soldiers of Fortune, The Babymakers, Assassin’s Bullet, Sushi: The Global Catch, Craigslist Joe