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Waiting for Super Limited Releases

September 24th, 2010

It's the last weekend of September, which means Awards Season could start any weekend now. (In fact, it might have started last weekend with the release of Never Let Me Go.) There are a few films that look like they might have been made to be Awards Season contenders, but of those only Waiting for Superman has a real chance. On the other hand, Buried will likely be the biggest box office hit, mainly because it is already scheduled for a wide expansion in a couple weeks.

Buried - Reviews
Ryan Reynolds stars as an average guy who wakes up buried six-feet underground and has to figure out who did it and why. And how to get out. Normally I would be really down on a film's chances, as it is the wrong genre to thrive in limited release. However, it is already scheduled to open wide in a couple weeks, so this is less a limited release than it is a prestige release, so as long as it doesn't completely bomb during its opening weekend, it shouldn't have an issue expanding. Additionally, its reviews are excellent, so the odds it will do well are quite high. Buried opens tonight in close to a dozen theaters in major cities nationwide (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, etc.) before expanding wide on the 8th of October.

Enter the Void - Reviews
A French thriller about a drug-dealer who dies only to return as a ghost to keep a watch on his sister. The film is written and directed by Gaspar Noé, who previously made Irreversible, among other films, and he does have some drawing power here. Its reviews are great, but it is a limited release, not to mention a foreign language film, so it will have a hard time expanding significantly. Hopefully it will at least do well in art houses. Enter the Void opens tonight in three theaters split between New York and Los Angeles.

Howl - Reviews
James Franco stars as writer Allen Ginsberg in this biopic that focuses on the obscenity trail from the late 1950s over his poem, "Howl". Franco has earned some praise for his performance, but the overall reviews are below 50% positive, which spells trouble for the film's chances at the box office. Howl opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in New York City.

Like Dandelion Dust - Reviews
The widest limited release of the week, assuming you count The Virginity Hit as the narrowest wide release and not the widest limited release. However, currently there are only three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. True, they are all positive, but only three reviews suggests the film isn't earning a terrible amount of buzz. It is Jon Gunn's follow-up to My Date With Drew, which also earned good reviews, and it does have some big name stars (Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, and Cole Hauser). It has also picked up a huge number of wins in film festivals around the nation, so its prospects are not all bad. I'm still a little concerned about the lack of reviews and the number of theaters, but hopefully it proves to be a hit. Like Dandelion Dust opens tonight in 25 theaters in select cities nationwide.

Waiting for Superman - Reviews
A documentary about the state of the education system in the United States. Studies have shown that the United States is well behind most industrialized nations when it comes to most educational ratings, except confidence. I heard about this statistic from one of the What the Flick? hosts and that speaks volumes. The film is earning amazing reviews and could be a serious contender for major awards. Waiting for Superman opens tonight in four theaters, two in New York City and two in the Los Angeles area.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - Reviews
Woody Allen's latest film has an amazing cast, but the end result is only earning mixed reviews. Woody Allen does have a large following and most of his films do expand enough to earn some measure of mainstream success. In fact, three of his last five films have earned more than $10 million, while two of those have crossed $20 million. Will this film do the same? Unlikely, but it could match Whatever Works with $5 million or so. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger opened on Wednesday in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Like Dandelion Dust, Buried, Waiting for Superman, Howl, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Enter the Void, The Virginity Hit