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Limited Releases Lack Killer Instincts

August 27th, 2010

There are only six limited releases on this week's list, only one of which is earning overall positive reviews. That film, Mesrine: Killer Instinct, is also the widest release of the week and hopefully it can do well enough to earn some measure of mainstream success. I'm not willing to wager money it would, but I remain hopeful.

Aashayein - Reviews
The first of two Indian films on this week's list. This film tells the story of a compulsive gambler who finally wins big, only to learn shortly afterward that he has incurable cancer and just three months to live. He then travels to a hospice to get a lifetime of living done in 90 days. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but that's common for these types of films. It is opening in 14 theaters, which is wide compared to most limited releases, but narrower than most Indian movies. This makes it hard to predict its chances at the box office.

Centurion - Reviews
One of the bigger releases on this week's list, both in terms of budget and in terms of style. This feels like it should be a wide release, because it has more in common with films like 300 than its fellow limited releases. In fact, its reviews are very similar to 300's reviews and if it was given a wide release during a better time of year, it could have been a midlevel hit. On the other hand, it did bomb in its native U.K. when it opened there at the end of April. Maybe it will find an audience on the home market, but its chance of finding success in theaters is slim. Centurion opens tonight in 9 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Chak Jawana - Reviews
This is the second Indian film on this week's list, and it suffers from the same problems as the first one. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is opening in 15 theaters, there is nearly no crossover appeal, etc.

Change of Plans (a.k.a. Le Code a Change) - Reviews
Written and directed by Danièle Thompson, who has earned five nominations for the César Awards and even picked up an Oscar nomination back in 1977. Unfortunately, this is not one of her best films. In fact, it is earning weaker reviews than either of the wide releases coming out this week. Maybe her past works will help the film thrive for one weekend, but I'm not sure it has any chance at expanding. Change of Plans opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema and the IFC Center, both in New York City.

Daniel & Ana - Reviews
Daniel and Ana are brother and sister who at the beginning of the movie are kidnapped and forced to do something awful in order to win their freedom. The rest of the movie looks at the ramifications. The film hasn't earned a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and all of them are negative. Add in the difficult subject matter and there's almost no chance it will thrive. Daniel & Ana opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Mesrine: Killer Instinct - Reviews
A biopic of French gangster, Jacques Mesrine. This is the best-reviewed film on this week's list, yet it is still just shy of 80% positive. Additionally, it is opening in 28 theaters in select cities. It was a pretty big hit in its native France, but I doubt it will have much of an impact here.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Le code a changé, Centurion, L'instinct de mort, Chak Jawana, Aashayein, Daniel y Ana