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Invading Limited Release

April 3rd, 2009

An eccletic bunch of limited releases this week including a Sci-Fi spoof, a Christian thriller, a baseball drama, and even Alia Shawkat's second prom movie in as as many years. There are only a couple movies on this list that have a shot at significant expansion, but a few others could do well on the home market.

Alien Trespass - Reviews
A Sci-Fi spoof of alien invasion movies from the 1950s. There has been quite a bit of buzz from genre fans, but I'm not sure of its crossover appeal. Add in weaker reviews, and a theater count that is too high for limited release, and there's little hope this film will make it in limited release. On the home market... that's another story. Alien Trespass opens tonight in 40 theaters in select cities nationwide, but will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience.

Bart Got a Room - Reviews
Starring Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development. This is the second prom related limited release she has starred in in the past year. The other being the Canadian film, Prom Wars, which is worth importing. Other cast members include Cheryl Hines and William H. Macy, while the reviews are good, but not great. I don't have a lot of faith in the film's box office chances, but it could do well on the home market. Bart Got a Room opens tonight in nearly a dozen theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, as well as a few in Florida.

C Me Dance - Reviews
Widest limited release of the week, but so far the film only has one review on Rotten Tomatoes... and it's negative. Really negative. In the, 'So Bad, It's Good!' category. On the other hand, it is a religious film and they have a built in audience that doesn't pay too much attention to critics and it could do respectable business in its 150 theaters. Or it could crash and burn. It could go either way.

The Escapist - Reviews
A prison break movie. This is not a bad genre that has a lot of opportunity for tension, thrills, etc., but it is not the kind of movie that generally thrives in limited release. Additionally, the reviews are good, but not great. The positive reviews outnumber the negative reviews by a margin of two to one, which would be great for a wide release, but substandard for a limited release. The Escapist opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City before expanding to Los Angeles next weekend.

Gigantic - Reviews
Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel star in this quirky Indie comedy about a man trying to adopt a Chinese baby and the woman that comes into his life through strange circumstances. There was a bit of buzz building for this movie, especially with Zooey Deschanel who has quite a list of starring roles under her belt; however, one look at the reviews and any hope for breakout success fades. Gigantic opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City before expanding wider in New York, and adding Los Angeles, Chicago, another cities to its list next week.

Paris 36 - Reviews
Set in Paris in 1936, hence the name. The film has a nostalgic sense to it, which might limit its audience to those with some connection to the city and / or timeframe, or at the very least, the movies from that time and era. Given the reviews, I don't think there's enough such people that this film will succeed. Paris 36 opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area but also in New York City.

Songs of the Sparrow - Reviews
This Iranian film is earning stunning reviews. It's a culture clash movie of sorts focusing on the life of an Ostrich farmer in rural Iran who decides to become a taxi drive in urban Tehran in order to support his family. Songs of the Sparrow opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City before expanding to Los Angeles next weekend, before touring major cities over the coming months.

Sugar - Reviews
A sports drama about a young man who goes from the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic to the major leagues. This is one of the best-reviewed movies of the week, which is not surprising as it was written and directed by the same team that made Half Nelson. I'm not sure if this movie will do as well at the box office, but it it has a shot at expanding over the coming weeks. As for this week, Sugar opens in a number of theaters split between New York City and the Los Angeles area,


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Faubourg 36, The Song of Sparrows, Alien Trespass, The Escapist