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Limited Releases Looking to Make Lots of Noise

May 20th, 2011

This week's list of limited releases is not very strong with only one film with a better than 50% chance of making much noise. That film, Midnight in Paris, is the latest from Woody Allen and is earning the auteur's best reviews in more than a decade and a half. Perhaps it will be able to join Jane Eyre and Win Win at more than $10 million. (The latter hasn't made it there yet, but it should do so relatively soon.) Speaking of movies with $10-million ambitions, The Beaver was supposed to expand wide this weekend, but after struggling in limited release, that's not happening. It will be playing in more than 160 theaters, on the other hand, which is higher than most limited releases ever manage.

35 and Ticking - No Reviews
A group of African-American friends are approaching 35 years old and are in different points of their lives with regards to families from very much single to married with children. Some of the cast have good name recognition (Meagan Good, Tamala Jones, Nicole Ari Parker, Kevin Hart, etc.) but with no reviews, it's hard to judge its box office potential. 35 and Ticking opens tonight in six theaters in Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C.

Bloodworth - Reviews
Kris Kristofferson leads an impressive cast starring as the titular E.F.Bloodworth, a country singer who left his family decades ago and is trying to reconnect. Despite the cast, the film only has three reviews at the moment, which suggests a lack of buzz. They are also all negative, which is even worse news for the film's box office chances. Finally, the film was made more than two years ago and has been sitting on the studio's shelf for a while, and in the meantime, it underwent a name change from Provinces of Night. This suggests the studio doesn't have faith in the film. Bloodworth opens tonight 8 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Cost of a Soul - Reviews
Two soldiers returning from war come home to the same bad situations that made them join the army in the first place. It's writer / director / producer Sean Kirkpatrick's first film and some are giving him praise for getting an ambitious project done, but most critics are still giving the film an overall negative review. Also, the film is opening in more than 50 theaters, which further dampens its chances of box office success.

Hard Breakers - Reviews
Two women tired of dating losers decide to kidnap two men and use them for sex. So far the film has zero positive reviews and it is unlikely to find an audience in limited release.

The Lion of Judah - No Reviews
This is the third time I've seen a release date for this film, but the other two times it was pulled from the schedule. It was first scheduled for a release in March, then closer to Easter, and now this weekend. Since it is an Easter film, being moved from March to April made sense. Being pulled from April to late May is likely a disaster. The distributor has had some success with religious films in the past, but it has also had more than a few flops. I think this will be one of the latter.

Louder Than A Bomb - Reviews
A documentary about four poetry teams as their prepare for an important spoken word competition. So far the film's Tomatometer Score is perfect, but this seems like too niche market to be a breakout hit. Louder Than A Bomb opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Midnight in Paris - Reviews
So far, this film is earning the best reviews for a Woody Allen film since Bullets Over Broadway. Owen Wilson plays a writer suffering from writer's block and Rachel McAdams plays his soon-to-be wife. They travel to Paris ahead of their wedding but decide to explore the city on their own. She meets up with a former lover, while he finds a portal to the past. This film is getting some of the best reviews of the weekend, and it has massive name recognition on both sides of the camera, so it could be the first big limited release hit of the summer. Midnight in Paris opens tonight in three theaters, including the Angelika Film Center and the Clearview Chelsea in New York City, as well as the Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles.

Mighty Jerome - No Reviews
A documentary about Harry Jerome, a Canadian track and field star who suffered a devastating injury but battled to make a comeback. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but there are a few positive reviews elsewhere and hopefully the film can find an audience. Mighty Jerome opens tonight at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas in Vancouver, Canada.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, The Beaver, Midnight in Paris, Win Win, Jane Eyre, The Lion of Judah, Bloodworth, Cost of a Soul, Hard Breakers, Louder Than A Bomb, 35 and Ticking