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Limited Releases: Limited Window for Exhibitors

January 27th, 2006

It's an interesting week for limited releases, not because of the films themselves, but because of their release schedule. Today, Bubble opens in limited release and makes its debut on cable TV, while it hits the home market on Tuesday.

Bubble - Reviews
This is the big story this weekend, as it is an experiment with day-and-date theatrical and cable release schedules. Other films have dabbled with a similar formula, usually flopping, and I don't expect this movie to be any different. Even with a big name director and better than average reviews, it feels too much like a gimmick to draw people to the theatres. And unless it makes more noise, it will slip between the cracks on Tuesday. Bubble opens tonight in 32 theatres.

Image Me & You - Reviews
Your typical romantic comedy, with a lesbian twist. Unfortunately, like most romantic comedies, this one is not earning good reviews. That particular genre tends to be extremely formulaic; it's like the fast food of the movie industry. You know exactly how it's going to end before the movie even starts, and while it is not the best meal out there, sometimes it's exactly what you need. Image Me & You opens in eight theatres tonight including the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles.

Manderlay - Reviews
Another movie that is too experimental for its own good. This is the second film from Lars Von Trier's Land of Opportunities trilogy, and it uses the same minimalistic set as Dogville. That film ended up with about $1.5 million during its limited release, but I don't expect this movie to make the same amount since the buzz is much weaker. Manderlay opens tonight at the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza, both in New York City.

Rang De Basanti - No Reviews
The widest limited release of the week, this film was originally going to have both a Hindi version and an English version, but the latter was dropped. Like most Bollywood films, this one has niche market appeal, and is unlikely to reach a mainstream audience. Rang De Basanti opens tonight in 62 theatres in select cities.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story - Reviews
A movie about the filming of an adaptation of a novel that is widely regarded as unfilmable. Even if I wasn't on three different types of cold medication, I don't think I would be able to explain the movie and still make sense. The movie is both an adaptation and a look behind-the-scenes of the movie making process, and is easily the best movie coming out this weekend. However, it might be a little too out there for it to find a mainstream audience. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story opens tonight in three theatres including the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, Imagine Me & You, Bubble, Manderlay