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Limited Releases for My Horses

August 8th, 2008

The Olympics have started and this might be scaring away some limited releases as we only have eight films in total, including three that are opening in dozens of theaters each. However, these wider releases are not necessarily the strongest releases. That said, none of the releases look particularly strong this week.

Amal - No Reviews
A Canadian film set in India telling the story of an autorickshaw driver, the titular Amal. One day during his work, he carries a vagabond, or at least someone pretending to be a vagabond, and their meeting changes both of their lives. It's a Canadian movie, so it should come as no surprise that there few reviews, but the few reviews online are positive and the film could do well in limited release, but will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience.

Beautiful Losers - Reviews
A documentary about a group of artists born out of the 1990s that took the mentality of skateboarders, graffiti artists, creating a do it yourself motif. Sadly, while the art scene might be interesting, the movie has so far failed to earn overall positive reviews, which is a death sentence for limited releases. Beautiful Losers opens tonight at IFC Center in New York City before switching to Los Angeles at the end of the month.

Beer for My Horses - No Reviews
Toby Keith stars in this movie... which is all you really need to know. The film is opening in 80 theaters, but has not been screened for critics and I suspect it will earn no better than Broken Bridges earned. Granted, this is not going for your typical art house crowd, but that is still a bad sign. The only chance this movie has is if it becomes controversial enough to generate news, and basing it on a pro-lynching song is a good way to generate controversy, but it seems no one cares. Beer for My Horses opens tonight in 80 theaters, mostly in the Midwest and the Southeast.

Bottle Shock - Reviews
Tells the story of the 1976 wine contest in which two Californians, Jim and Bo Barrett, travel to France to take part in a blind bottle taste test to determine the best wine in the world. Not too long ago, this was considered one of the potential limited release sleeper hits, along with Son of Rambow, The Promotion, The Wackness, etc. However, given its reviews, it seems it will fail to reach its potential, just like Son of Rambow, The Promotion, The Wackness, etc. Bottle Shock opened on Wednesday in 4-dozen theaters in major cities nationwide.

Elegy - Reviews
One of the best reviewed movies of the week, limited or otherwise, and it is barely earning more than the overall positive level on Rotten Tomatoes and not up to the usual level needed for a limited release to thrive. Here Ben Kingsley plays a college professor and Penelope Cruz plays a younger woman he has an affair with. The affair destroys his well-ordered life, but we she returns years later, she has a new revelation. Elegy opens tonight in 6 theaters, half in the Los Angeles area.

Hell Ride - Reviews
The second widest limited release of the week and like the widest, reviews will not be a selling point here. This is Larry Bishop's first directorial effort in more than a decade, but it is not doing as well with critics as Mad Dog Time, which didn't earn good reviews to begin with. Add in a theater count that is more than 60, and there's little hope for this film at the box office. Hell Ride opens tonight in more than 60 theaters in major cities nationwide.

Red - Reviews
Not a strong week for limited releases, so much so that this film, which is earning below the 60% needed is still better than average for the week. In the movie, Brian Cox plays a solitary man who tries to get revenge on the teenagers who killed his dog, Red, who was his only companion. Most critics agree that Brian Cox gives a great performance, but many also agree that the performance is not enough. Red opens tonight in two theaters, including the Cinema Village 12th Street in New York City.

What We Do is Secret - Reviews
A film about the 1970s punk band, The Germs. The film's box office chances depend on the film's reviews, which are weak, and the popularity of the band, which was an influential band during its time, but I think a lot of people today don't know much about them. Additionally, not many of similar films have done a huge amount of business lately, which is three strikes against this film. What We Do is Secret opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City before it expands to Chicago and Pittsburgh next week.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Bottle Shock, Elegy, Beer for My Horses, Hell Ride, Red