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These are Limited Releases?

April 1st, 2011

Normally limited releases open in only a couple theaters and even six theaters is quite a lot compared to the average. However, this weekend, we have a film opening in nearly a dozen theaters, another opening in a few dozen theaters, and even one opening in more than 100 theaters. It's always risky to open a film in that many theaters, and to make matters worse, most of the films opening in limited release this week are not earning spectacular reviews. But let's hope we have continued success on the limited release front.

Cat Run - Reviews
This movie combines a high-end call girl, private eyes, government conspiracies, and a hitmen and turns it all into one big mess. This spoof's reviews are weaker than any of the wide releases, but it won't have the marketing push behind it to see it through. Also, it's opening in just over 100 theaters, which is far too many for a limited release. I do not have high hopes for this movie.

Circus - Reviews
A documentary from Mexico about the Circo Mexico, a family circus that has fallen on tough times and that's having a really negative impact on the proprietor's relationship with his father, who used to run the circus, and his wife, who is upset at how much work is involved and how little reward there is as a result. So far the film is earning a perfect score over at Rotten Tomatoes, but it only has 8 reviews, which suggests a lack of buzz going in. Hopefully the former will matter more than the latter in the long-run. Circus opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Exit 67 - Reviews
The story of a boy who witnesses his father kill his mother and then is bounced between foster homes till he's recruited by a gang. Years later he tries to get out, which is a lot easier said than done. It's a Canadian film, and not just that, but a French-Canadian film, so it is kind of impressive there are any reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Exit 67 opens tonight at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto, Canada.

Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead - Reviews
A documentary made by Joe Cross to document his new healthy diet that helped him loose 100 pounds. Given the obesity rate in the United States, this is an important film to see, but the reviews are only mixed. Also, dieting is a really personal thing and what works for some won't work for others. If it gets people thinking about it, it's a success. Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

In a Better World - Reviews
The Oscar Winner for Best Foreign Language film, which should give it a huge boost at the box office. (Incendies should have won. It did earn better reviews.) The film was a huge hit in its native Denmark and it is looking to do the same here. Or at least be a hit compared to the average limited release. In a Better World opens tonight in four theaters, evenly split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

The Last Godfather - No Reviews
An American / South Korea film written by, directed by and starring Hyung-rae Shim. It also features Harvey Keitel, among other actors with serious name recognition Stateside. So it's a bit of a shock that there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Actually, since the last film Hyung-rae Shim wrote and directed was D-War, maybe that's not that big of a shock. The Last Godfather opens tonight in more 50 theaters in select cities nationwide. I don't expect it will expand beyond that.

Queen to Play - Reviews
A middle-aged housemaid, Sandrine Bonnaire, decides she needs a change and develops an interest in chess. In order to learn as much as she can, she enlists the help of an American expert, Kevin Kline, who emigrated to France to live as a recluse. The reviews are good, but not great at just above the overall positive level. Queen to Play opens tonight in six theaters, four in the Los Angeles area and two in New York City.

Rubber - Reviews
A movie about a psychic tire that rolls around and kills people by making their heads explode. That concept it certainly unique. However, the film's reviews are not at the overall positive level and they are far below the 80% usually associated with success in limited release. Given the type of film this is, it is likely it will have to wait till the home market to find an audience. Rubber opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City and Austin, Texas.

Super - Reviews
The Everyday superhero has become a genre all on its own with entrants like Kick-Ass and Defendor which came out last year. Super is going the limited release route like Defendor did, but its reviews are even more polarizing, which will likely really hurt its chances at the box office. Perhaps it will find a more receptive audience on the home market. Super opens tonight in 11 theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City, Boston, and Washington.

Trust - Reviews
This film is just the second theatrical release directed by David Schwimmer. It is also the second theatrical release for its star, Liana Liberato, who was previously in The Last Sin Eater. Here she plays the victim of an online predator, while Catherine Keener and Clive Owen play her parents. Like many of the films on this week's list, this one is earning good reviews, but not great reviews. It is also opening in more theaters than limited releases normally do, which is another impairment to its chances of finding box office success. Trust opens tonight in 28 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Wrecked - Reviews
A Canadian / American co-production. It stars Adrien Brody as a man who wakes up after his car crashes into a ravine without any knowledge of who he is or how he got there. It's mostly one scene, it's mostly one actor, and there's minimal dialogue. Obviously the film is not for everyone and it could struggle to expand. In fact, given the mixed reviews, it could struggle to find an audience at art house theaters. Wrecked opens tonigth at the IFC Center in New York City.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Wrecked, Super, Trust, The Last Godfather, Haevnen, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Cat Run, Joueuse, Circo, Rubber