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Whatever Limited Releases Work

June 20th, 2009

Not a big list of limited releases this week, and it includes two-releases, two Canadian movies, and two movies that I thought was opening last week. (I think I just got the dates wrong last week, which I believe is a sign of senility.) There are a couple films that look promising, but none look likely to expand truly wide.

$9.99 - Reviews
This film had an Oscar qualifying run at the end of last year, but despite excellent reviews, it went nowhere at the box office. (Granted, they probably didn't spend a lot of money on advertising, as that wasn't the point of the film's entrance into theaters.) It should do better this time around, but I'm not sure about its potential to expand, as it is still a small film that was only able to earn a couple Annie Award nominations to boost its publicity. The home market will be where it shines. $9.99 opens tonight in two theaters, the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles and the Sunshine Cinema in New York City.

Brighton Rock - Reviews
A re-release of the 1947 film starring Sir Richard Attenborough as a small time hood running a production scam at the Brighton race course. The film has excellent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but I think it is mostly forgotten by now. That could change next year, when the remake comes out.

The Baby Formula - Review
A Canadian dramedy about a lesbian couple, Lilith (Megan Fahlenbock) and Athena (Angela Vint) who decide they want an child. But instead of recruiting a sperm donor, they decide to use an experimental procedure using stem cells from one woman to fertilize the egg of the other. However, while Athena is impregnated first, Lilith decides she too should be carrying their child and goes behind her back to get the procedure done to herself as well. The mockumentary style are the real-life pregnancies of both lead actresses add a sense of realism to the movie, and it could do well in limited release. The Baby Formula opened on Wednesday at the Gene Siskel Theater in Chicago before expanding tonight to Toronto.

Dead Snow - Reviews
A movie about Nazi zombies, which is a sub-sub-sub-genre of horror that has a cult following, but not a large enough following to thrive in limited release. Add in a foreign language aspect (it's Norwegian) and its soft reviews, and I don't know if it will even find a significant audience on the home market. It could become a cult hit, on the other hand. Dead Snow opened tonight in one theater, I hope, or it might have opened last week. It is also coming out on VOD, which will further limit its box office potential.

Whatever Works - Reviews
The latest from writer / director Woody Allen starring Larry David, who best known for Curb Your Enthusiasm and of course being the inspiration for character of Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld. High hopes and mixed reviews... This has been a pattern for limited releases with buzz for the past year or so. That said, the cast should help the movie thrive for a weekend or so, but its potential to expand is limited. Whatever Works opens tonight in a number of theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Victoria Day - Reviews
A Canadian movie set in 1988 Toronto dealing with the end of school and the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The film is earning good reviews, not a lot of reviews, but good reviews. And while the coming of age story might not have the starpower for it to thrive south of the border, but it could do well up here in Canada. Victoria Day opens tonight in Toronto at the AMC on Young & Dundas, and after the 7:15 showing on Saturday, there's a Q&A session with the director, David Bezmozgis. While it is also playing in Vancouver starting this weekend.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Whatever Works, $9.99, Dod sno, Brighton Rock