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Limited Releases, I Love You

October 16th, 2009

Some big limited releases coming out this week. Although in most cases they are big only in terms of theater count and the odds of box office success are slim to none. New York, I Love You is one of these too big releases, but while its reviews are a little weak, at least it has some pre-release buzz to help it at the box office.

All the Best - Fun Begins - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood extravaganza is opening in 55 theaters with no reviews and almost no shot at crossover appeal. Worse yet, it's one of two Indian films opening this week and that's really going to hurt its chances with moviegoers as the two movies split the niche market.

Black Dynamite - Reviews
A spoof of blaxsploitation films from the 1970s starring Michael Jai White. In the movie he stars as the titular Black Dynamate, who is fighting against The Man, who has been giving heroin to orphans, among other heinous acts. The reviews are excellent, but I'm not sure if this is the right kind of film to thrive in limited release. On the other hand, it could do well quite when it is released on DVD next month. Black Dynamite opens tonight in 70 theatres, which is likely too wide, which could further hurt its chances.

Food Beware - Reviews
The latest documentary on the state of our food industry. This French film argues the need to go organic and according to most critics it makes a compelling case. (Although here the term 'organic' is rather meaningless; it's more marketing term than anything else. I would suggest buying from a local farmers' market as the best choice for healthy food.) Food Beware opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Janky Promoters - No Reviews
'Bout time. This movie was pushed back a number of times but it appears to finally be coming out this weekend in just under two dozen theaters. However, despite some big names, there are no reviews, no promotion, and almost no chance it will find an audience in theaters. It should do better on the home market when it is released at the end of next month, but mainly because it will likely bomb theatrically.

The Little Traitor - Reviews
A movie about the creation of Israel as seen from the eyes of a 12-year old boy. The boy, Proffy, hangs out with militant Zionists who want the British out of their land. But when he starts a friendship with one British soldier, he is accused of being a traitor by his friends. So far the reviews for the movie are terrible, but the reviews for the book were not good either, so this is not much of a surprise. The Little Traitor opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

The Maid - Reviews
Written and directed by Sebastián Silva; this film is only his second film, but you can't tell from the reviews, which are perfect so far. The film is about a maid who has been working for the same family for 23 years, but when she becomes sick, they decide to get her some help. However, she doesn't know if they think she needs temporary assistance, or replacing. The film has won a number of awards, include two at the Sundance Film Festival, and it could be a hit at art house theaters. If you were to choose only one limited release on this week's list to check out, this one would be it. The Maid opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna - No Reviews
The second Indian film opening this week, this one is opening in more theaters (58 vs. 55) but with the same number of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (none) and the same chance at crossover success (also none).

New York, I Love You - Reviews
An anthology film that is a sequel of sorts to Paris, Je T'Aime. This movie's reviews are well below those earned by its predecessor, and well below the level normally associated with films that thrive in limited release. Like most anthology films, not ever segment works, in fact, in this case enough segments don't work that it is likely best to wait till the home market so you can skip the ones that don't. Additionally, it is opening in more than 100 theaters, and that is another troubling sign. That said, there's a lot of buzz surrounding this film and it has a massive cast that could help draw in moviegoers over the weekend, but I seriously doubt it will do well enough to expand over the coming weeks.

Opa! - Reviews
A romantic comedy / treasure hunting adventure film starring Matthew Modine and Agni Scott. The film was made in 2006 but was delayed till now. That's not a good sign. It is only has one positive review out of five on Rotten Tomatoes. That's also not a good sign. It is the widest release of the week opening in more than 200 theaters. That's the final nail, I'm afraid. Maybe it will be a pleasant surprise, but I doubt it will top the Mendoza line over the weekend.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Little Traitor, Opa!, Black Dynamite, Janky Promoters, New York, I Love You, Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna, All the Best: Fun Begins, Food Beware, The Maid