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Limited and VOD Releases: To Infinity and Polar Bears!

June 19th, 2015

Infinitely Polar Bear

While there are a huge number of limited releases on this week's chart, almost none of them have a real shot at mainstream success. There are two films that at least have a legitimate chance at expanding significantly: Infinitely Polar Bear and The Overnight. There are also a number of documentaries and foreign-language films that could do well in limited release, but they won't expand enough to earn significant amounts.

3 and 1/2 Minutes - Reviews
A documentary about the killing of Jordan Davis, a Florida teen shot after a dispute about loud music. The assailant, Michael Dunn, claimed self-defense under the stand your ground law. The reviews are unanimously positive and sadly the subject matter remains very relevant three years later. 3 and 1/2 Minutes opens tonight, but the official site doesn't have any details.

ABCD 2 - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about the rise, fall, and redemption of a dance troupe. It is a sequel to ABCD, which made $222,000 during its run here. Let's see if this film can top that.

Anarchy Parlor - Reviews
Video on Demand
Torture porn about a tattoo artist with dark powers. It's the wrong genre for limited release, the reviews are weak, and it is playing on VOD. That's three strikes.

The Ark of Mr. Chow - No Reviews
A Chinese film about a group of teenagers who are recruited to be part of a special college program, but have trouble fitting in with the older students. There are no reviews, but that's common for Chinese films. The Ark of Mr. Chow opens tonight in a dozen theaters, including some in Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

Balls Out - Reviews
Video on Demand
The poster makes the movie looks like a really bad raunchy comedy, but the reviews are actually really good. They are above the 80% positive level one wants to see in a limited release. However, it is still the wrong genre and it is also playing on VOD. Maybe it will be a hit on the home market, but its chances in theaters are not great.

Burying the Ex - Reviews
Video on Demand
Anton Yelchin stars as a man who wants to break up with his girlfriend, Ashley Greene, but he's too scared to. When she dies in a freak accident, he meets Alexandra Daddario. However, Ashley Greene comes back from the dead and demands they start their relationship again. This isn't the first time I've seen a film have a plot very similar to this one's. The reviews are terrible and it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are limited indeed.

Eden - Reviews
Set in the electronic music scene starting in the 1990s, this is a semi-autobiographical story of Sven Hansen-Love and is directed by Sven's sister, Mia. The reviews are excellent—well above the 80% positive level I prefer to see in limited releases. However, it is a foreign-language film, so while it might do well in limited release, I don't think it is going to expand significantly.

The Face of an Angel - Reviews
Video on Demand
Michael Winterbottom is an excellent director, but this is one of his rare misses. It is about a filmmaker and a screenwriter who are trying to adapt a real-life crime story into a movie. Like so many other films on this week's list, this one is earning weak reviews and is also playing on VOD. Maybe it's worth a rental, but I don't think many people are going to check it out in theaters.

Gabriel - Reviews
A drama about a man trying to get over his father's suicide by getting back with his ex-girlfriend. The reviews are excellent, but this is not one of the bigger releases of the week and I fear it will get lost in the crowd. Gabriel opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City with other screenings planned in the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor - Reviews
A French dramedy about a a young doctor working as an intern in the same hospital as his dad. The reviews are excellent and French cinema has an audience here, especially with art house aficionados. However, foreign-language films rarely expand significantly.

Infinitely Polar Bear - Reviews
Out of all of the films on this week's list, this is the one I think has the best shot at mainstream success. It stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana as a couple living on his inheritance, but when his mental illness sends him to a hospital, she needs to take care of the family financially. In order to this, she will need to complete her MBA, so he will need to become the caregiver to their two kids. The reviews are great and the buzz is a lot louder than all but one other film on this week's list. Infinitely Polar Bear opens tonight in five theaters, three in New York City and two in Los Angeles, with plenty of more debuts in the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Manglehorn - Reviews
Video on Demand
This movie has a great cast, led by Al Pacino and Holly Hunter. However, its reviews are weak and it is playing on VOD, so I'm not bullish about its box office chances. I'm writing that sentence, or something very similar, a lot this week.

Phantom Halo - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film is earning terrible reviews and it is playing on VOD. Its box office chances are next to zero.

Rubble Kings - Reviews
Video on Demand
A documentary about the gangs of New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. The reviews are good, but not great. It is also playing on VOD, so its box office chances are not very good. Rubble Kings opens tonight in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Check out the official site for more details.

The Overnight - Reviews
A couple with a young son move to Los Angeles and have trouble fitting in. They go to dinner at the parents of one of their son's new friends and as the night wears on, the conversions get stranger. This film has a great cast, it has great reviews, and it has better pre-release buzz than most limited releases can hope for. It is one of only two films on this week's list that I think has a legitimate shot at expanding significantly. The Overnight opens tonight in select cities.

Plemya - Reviews
A young man joins a boarding school for the deaf, but soon finds himself involved in the school's criminal gang. The reviews are amazing and it does have an art house feel in some parts. It could do well on the per theater chart. However, like most foreign-language films, it's chances of expanding significantly are not good.

The Wanted 18 - Reviews
A documentary about the Israeli defence forces' attempt to capture 18 cows, which were seen as a security threat. This is certainly an interesting topic, but the reviews are only good and not great. The Wanted 18 opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles. Check out the official site for more details.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Intramural, Infinitely Polar Bear, Manglehorn, The Face of an Angel, The Wanted 18, The Overnight, Eden, 3 and 1/2 Minutes, Plemya, Burying the Ex, Phantom Halo, Anarchy Parlor, Gabriel, Hippocrate, Rubble Kings, The Ark of Mr. Chow, ABCD 2, Holly Hunter, Al Pacino, Ashley Greene, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Michael Winterbottom, Anton Yelchin, Alexandra Daddario, Mia Hansen-Love, Sven Hansen-Love