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Limited Releases make an Offer You Can't Refuse

February 13th, 2009

Only three limited releases on this week's list, but all three are earning amazing reviews. This includes an IMAX documentary, a foreign language drama, and possibly the last film Joaquin Phoenix promotes before he is taken away in a straight-jacket. Or starts his rap career. For his sake, I hope it's the former.

Gomorrah - Reviews
An Italian drama that opened in its native market with nearly $3 million, which is roughly equivalent to $30 million or more here. However, despite earning great reviews, and a couple of nominations, the film would be lucky to earn $3 million in total here. The Mafia story is gripping, but limited releases have a hard time expanding at the best of times, and a foreign language film has an added barrier. Gomorrah opened in December for an Oscar qualifying stint, and now it opens in five theaters, two in New York City, and three in the Los Angeles area.

Two Lovers - Reviews
Joaquin Phoenix is either having a meltdown not seen since Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch, or he is screwing up for fun or profit. The film does have very strong reviews, strong enough to suggest some hope at expanding, and the added publicity could help draw in moviegoers. Or they could be turned off by his weird behavior. We will know after the weekend. Two Lovers opens tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City.

Under the Sea 3-D - Reviews
The latest IMAX film takes a 3-D look at underwater life. So far the reviews are nearly perfect, and fans of the format and nature documentaries will likely love this movie. I expect it to have the best start of the three films on this week's list, but with such a large advantage in theater count, that's not an impressive prediction. However, it should also have the best legs and should still be playing in theaters this time next year. Again, since it is an IMAX movie, this is also not a bold prediction. Under the Sea 3-D opens tonight in 49 IMAX screens nationwide.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Under the Sea 3D, Two Lovers, Gomorra