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Anti-limited Releases

October 23rd, 2009

After a couple of weeks of too many releases, the list this week is a lot more manageable and hopefully that will prevent the huge list of films that miss the Mendoza Line like we've had the past two weeks. On the other hand, none of the five films on this week's list are opening in just one theater and more than half are opening in ten or more. The theater count could work against them and really stifle their box office chances.

Antichrist - Reviews
William Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in this horror film from Lars Von Trier, which is not the auteur's usual genre. So far the reviews are mixed with some critics complaining about the misogyny and brutal violence in the movie, while others are praising the visuals. However, even most critics that have given it a positive review admit that it is a difficult movie to sit through. Antichrist opens tonight in six theaters in major markets nationwide (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.)

Motherhood - Reviews
Uma Thurman stars as a mother whose life unravels over a single day as she tries to prepare for her daughter's sixth birthday party. The film is earning very weak reviews for a limited release, and it's opening in 48 theaters, which is far too many for a limited release. Looking at the facts, there's little here to suggest that it will thrive in limited release. It might find an audience in the rental market, but that's as far as I will go.

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Reviews
The annual re-release of this claymation classic. The film made $50 million during its initial run, but the film has made more than $25 million in the three previous years. Granted, it only made $1 million last year, but t his was because last year was the first year it was released after the film's debut on Blu-ray. This time around it is opening in 100 theaters, which is quite a bit fewer than it opened in last year, but it should improve upon last year's run in terms of opening weekend and yearly total.

Ong-Bak 2 - Reviews
Ong-Bak opened in 2005 earning amazing reviews but didn't find an audience during its short theatrical run. The sequel is earning weaker reviews and is only playing in ten theaters. The film is earning mixed reviews, it's the wrong genre for limited release, and it has already been released on Video-on-Demand last month. There's almost no chance the film will succeed at the box office, but Tony Jaa's directorial debut should find a more receptive audience on the home market. Ong-Bak 2 opens tonight in ten theaters nationwide, literally. These include theaters in New York City, as well as in Hawaii, and a few places in-between.

Untitled - Reviews
A romantic comedy set in the world of art. Adam Goldberg stars as Adrian Jacobs, an avant garde composer (he makes music by breaking glass and kicking buckets). Eion Bailey stars as Josh Jacobs, his brother, who is a more conventional painter. They compete for the attention of Marley Shelton, who runs the art gallery where Josh's painting are displayed but who starts dating Adrian. The review are merely mixed, which is normal for the genre, but devastating for a film opening in limited release. Maybe it will surprise, but I have my doubts. Untitled opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in New York City and the Los Angeles area.


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Filed under: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D, Motherhood, Ong-Bak 2, Antichrist