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Limited Releases: Girls' Night Out

September 7th, 2012

There are ten films on this week's list, including a couple that are earning quite a bit of buzz for limited releases: The Inbetweeners Movie and Bachelorette. Unfortunately, neither of those films is earning great reviews. There are some films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, including the documentary Girl Model and Keep the Lights On. Let's hope some films manage to find an audience in limited release, but it could be tough.

Bachelorette - Reviews
Rebel Wilson plays Becky who announces she is getting married, much to the surprise of three high school friends. She asks them to be bridesmaids and attend her bachelorette party, but the trio get out of hand. The movie has good buzz, but the reviews are merely mixed. Plus, it has been out on Video on Demand for a while, so its box office chances are weaker. Finally, it is opening in 47 theaters, which is way too many for a limited release. Hopefully Bachelorette will be a bigger than expected hit, but I have serious doubts.

Branded - No Reviews
Set in a dystopian future where corporations try to control our very thoughts. The trailer certainly has a lot of style, but with no reviews, it is hard to say how well that style is used in the narrative. Just having no reviews is a bad sign by itself. Also, Branded is opening in more than 300 theaters, which is way too many for this type of release. It could miss the Mendoza Line.

Detropia - Reviews
A documentary about Detroit and how its economic problems mirrors the collapse of the American manufacturing industry. The film is earning excellent reviews and it certainly is topical, but can it find an audience? Or are people getting tired of politics? Detropia opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

For Ellen - Reviews
Paul Dano stars as a rocker whose career never really took off and is now fading. He is in the process of divorcing his wife, but the divorce papers she wants him to sign include him giving up all parental rights to his six-year old daughter, the titular Ellen (Shaylena Mandigo). Paul Dano is an excellent actor, but he is having trouble finding good projects and this film's reviews are below 50% positive. That's generally fatal for a limited release. For Ellen opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Girl Model - Reviews
A documentary about the modeling industry as seen from a former model turned scout and a 13-year old girl just discovered and starting her modeling career. This film is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend and will certain make you feel differently about the fashion industry. Girl Model opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Hello I Must Me Going - Reviews
When Amy finishes her divorce, she has no where to stay, so she has to move in with her parents. When she's living there, she begins a romance with a younger man, Jeremy. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and limited releases usually require great reviews. Hello I Must Me Going opens in two theaters: Angelika Film Center in New York City and the Landmark in Los Angeles.

The Inbetweeners Movie - Reviews
Based on the popular British TV series. This film is earning a lot of buzz, and was one of the biggest hits in Britain, but the reviews here are weaker than expected. The main complaints seems to be that the filmmakers took a good show and turned it into yet another teenage sex comedy. One of the perils with turning a TV show into a movie involves getting lost in the freedom. Just because you can swear more and do more outrageous things doesn't mean you should. The Inbetweeners Movie opens tonight in ten theaters.

Keep the Lights On - Reviews
This film is about two men, Erik and Paul. The former is a documentarian and the latter is a lawyer. The former is openly gay, the latter is not. The pair begin a relationship, but there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. The film is earning excellent reviews and while gay cinema is still a niche market, it might be one of the biggest hits on this week's list, at least on the per theater chart. Keep the Lights On opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in New York City, but also in the Los Angeles area.

Raaz 3: The Third Dimension - No Reviews
A Bollywood movie without any reviews. The film is about an established entertainer using black magic to prevent an up-and-coming performer from taking her job. It is only opening in 28 theaters, which is actually low for this type of film. Perhaps being in 3D is limiting the number of theaters that can show it. Or perhaps the theater owners sense weakness in the box office potential.

[REC]3 Genesis - Reviews
The law of declining returns it hitting this franchise hard. The first film earned nearly perfect reviews. The second film was good, but not great. This film's reviews are well below 50% positive. Add in a genre that rarely does well in limited release and you have a movie that will likely struggle to find an audience. [REC]3 Genesis opens tonight in seven theaters.

Toys in the Attic - Reviews
A family film that is a political allegory about the Cold War and involves toys being kidnapped by an evil toy called Head of State. The reviews are very good, but even the positive reviews suggest it might not thrive in theaters. First of all, family films rarely thrive in limited release. Also, it might be too dark for families, which makes the marketing even trickier. Finally, it is opening in 25 theaters, which is just too many for a limited release.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, For Ellen, Keep the Lights On, The Inbetweeners, Branded, [Rec] 3: Genesis, Hello I Must Be Going, Bachelorette, Detropia, Na pude, Girl Model, Raaz 3: The Third Dimension