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Limited Releases Try not to go Un(fore)seen

February 29th, 2008

The weekend after the Oscars should see some award-winning limited releases expanding, and No Country for Old Men is expanding while The Counterfeiters could be as well (we don't have a theater count for the latter film). However, there is still plenty of room for new limited releases and City of Men could do well in its 75 theaters over the next three days.

Bonnieville - Reviews This film has earned the weakest reviews for limited release of the week; it is also the widest release of the week. It's surprising how often that happens. Bonnieville is a road trip picture starring three incredibly talented actresses, however, they don't have a strong script to work with. The film is also a Mormon movies, which is a problem at the box office as this is still a niche market that has never been able to expand wide. (There was a time not too long ago where it looked like that would happen, but since then these films have been in a massive slump.) Additionally, the film is opening in more than 100 theaters, which is too much for this type of movie and it might not even match the Mendoza Line opening with a sub-$2000 per theater average.

The Chicago 10 - Reviews
A documentary about the trail of 8 political protesters arrested at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The use of rotoscoping is either a very cool effect or completely off-putting, depending on who you are talking to. This has left the film with reviews that are strong, but perhaps not strong enough to survive the tight limited release market. The Chicago 10 opened tonight in more than a dozen theaters, including some in Illinois and Washington, D.C., which are places that don't normally get to see limited releases opening night.

Chop Shop - Reviews
The director of Man Push Cart returns with this coming of age story about a young Latino street orphan working in a auto body repair shop trying to support his older sister. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the week and helped the director win the Someone to Watch award at this year's Independent Spirit Awards. Chop Shop opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

City of Men - Reviews
The sequel to City of God. That film earned just over $7.5 million during its run back in late 2003 / 2004, however, this film's chances to match that are mixed. The film is earning great reviews, but not up to the level of the Oscar nominated City of God. Also, the film is opening in 75 theaters tonight, which is a little high, more than a little high, quite frankly. Then again, the competition is not particularly strong, and it should be the biggest limited release of the week and it should earn some measure of mainstream success.

Romulus, My Father - Reviews
One of the weaker films on this week's list, the movie is the directorial debut of actor Richard Roxburgh. This is not an easy transition, and in this case it was not a smooth one, at least according to the reviews. The film stars Eric Bana, who is also in The Other Boleyn Girl, but neither film is earning the reviews needed to draw in their target audiences. Romulus, My Father opens tonight in two theaters in the Los Angeles area.

The Unforeseen - Reviews
A documentary that questions the environmental sustainability of the American dream taking a look at a specific, local example that is certainly applicable to many other situations. An excellent documentary about a subject that is becoming increasingly important and it should be seen by more people. The Unforeseen opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Vivere - Reviews
A German romantic drama about a woman trying to rescue her sister after she ran off with a musician, only to pick up a suicidal hitchhiker along the way. The film is only earning mixed reviews, which wouldn't be bad for a wide release with a populous feel, but this is not. It is a foreign language limited release and these films normally need much better reviews to survive. Vivere opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City and the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Bonneville, Cidade dos Homens, Chicago 10, Chop Shop, The Unforeseen, Romulus, My Father, Vivere