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Limited and VOD Releases: Summer is Coming to an End

July 30th, 2015

The End of the Tour

It is a bad time of the year to release a limited release. It is too late into summer to think a limited release can expand wide enough to gain mainstream success before summer ends. At the same time, it is far too early for Awards Season buzz to have an effect at the box office. This partially explains why there are so few films on this week's list and fewer still have any chance at box office success. There are only two films on this week's list with strong buzz and overwhelmingly positive reviews. Best of Enemies and The End of the Tour. Both could do well on the Per Theater Chart this weekend, but The End of the Tour is the only film with a shot at expanding significantly.

Best of Enemies - Reviews
A documentary about the series of TV debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the week and for fans of political documentaries, it is a must see. Best of Enemies opens tonight in five theaters, including two theaters in Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary - Reviews
Video on Demand
A documentary about LEGOs and their global cultural effect. For a while, this looked like it would be a big hit in limited release. However, the reviews haven't lived up to the buzz and it is also playing on VOD, so its box office chances are even weaker. That said, the biggest complaint seen in most negative reviews is the lack of objectivity. The film feels more like a 90-minute commercial for the company. If you are interested in that, then renting it on VOD isn't a bad idea. Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary opens tonight in nearly 100 theaters. I would normally say check out the official site for more details, but currently the official said merely says, "Error establishing a database connection". Not helpful.

Drishyam - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about a man who was an orphan and a fourth-grade drop-out, but who rose to be a moderately wealthy businessman through hard work. He, his wife, and their two daughters live a modest, but happy, life. However, that could end when the son of a local cop goes missing and he becomes the chief suspect. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. There isn't even a review on Now Running, so I'm at a total loss with regards to this film's quality or box office chances.

The End of the Tour - Reviews
Jason Segel plays David Foster Wallace, the writer who wrote Infinite Jest, while Jesse Eisenberg plays a journalist, who followed David Foster Wallace while he was on a book tour in 1996. The reviews are amazing and the buzz is just as strong. Additionally, it is being released by A24, which has an impressive track record for such a young distributor. The End of the Tour opens tonight in four theaters, split evenly between New York City and Los Angeles. Check out the official site for more details.

Extinction - Reviews
Video on Demand
Extinction is a horror film with no positive reviews that is playing on VOD. That's three strikes against this film's box office chances.

Listen to Me Marlon - Reviews
A documentary about Marlon Brando comprised almost entirely of audio recordings Marlon Brando made of himself. The reviews are fantastic and it is worth checking out for all fans of the actor. On the downside, the film is opening in more than two dozen theaters in select cities nationwide. This is a lot for a limited release, so its per theater average might suffer as a result. For theater locations, check out the official site.

That Sugar Film - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film looks at the effects of too much sugar in one's diet and how the food industry tries to hide all of the sugar that is added to foods. The reviews are good, but not great. On the other hand, the main criticism is the shallow take on the subject matter and the critics said they were left wanting more. Being left wanting more is hardly a terrible insult for a documentary. The film has a VOD page on Amazon, but at the moment, it isn't available. I assume that will change before it comes out on DVD.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary, The End of the Tour, Extinction, That Sugar Film, Best of Enemies, Listen to Me Marlon, Drishyam, Marlon Brando, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley