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Limited and VOD Releases: Will there be a Monster Hit?

January 22nd, 2016

Monster Hunt

There are not a lot of interesting limited releases this week. The lone exception might be Monster Hunt. This film earned nearly $400 million in China, so box office analysts will be paying close attention to its limited release run. If it can find crossover appeal, it could signal a wave of Chinese movies getting releases here. On the other hand, its reviews suggest that won't happen.

Aferim! - Reviews
Set in the early 1800s, the film focuses on a man hired to track down and return a Romani slave, who had run away after having an affair with his master's wife. This is the best-reviewed film of the week and it is earning 100% positive reviews. On the other hand, it is a foreign-language film, so the odds it will expand significantly are limited. Aferim! opens tonight in five theaters, two in New York City and three in the Los Angeles area. Check out the official site for more details.

Exposed - No Reviews
Video on Demand
There are probably more people who watched the trailer for Keanu than will watch this movie. (Hopefully a green-band trailer will come out soon, because we can't have red-band trailers on our site.)

Ip Man 3 - Reviews
This is the third, and very likely last installment in the Ip Man franchise. The budget ballooned to $36 million this time around, but its box office numbers didn't grow along with it. That's too bad, as the reviews for the three films were all about 80% positive. Ip Man 3 opens tonight in just over 100 theaters, which will likely prove to be too many for a limited release.

Martyrs - Reviews
Video on Demand
This is a remake of a French film of the same name. Both films are in the Torture Porn subgenre, which was on its way out in 2008 and is all but dead today. Futhermore, it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are nearly zero.

Mojave - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Film Noir about an actor who has a violent encounter with a man, who then tries to destroy the actor's life. The film's reviews are bad and it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are nearly zero. Mojave opens tonight in 26 theaters.

Monkey Up - No Reviews
Video on Demand
A movie about a talking monkey who wants to be a movie star. It's made by the same people who made Air Bud, but I don't think it will be the same quality. It might not be worth renting on VOD.

Monster Hunt - Reviews
This film earned nearly $400 million in China and if it makes even 1% of that here, it could usher in a new era where Chinese films are routinely imported into North America. However, there are two major problems that will make success difficult. Firstly, the film's reviews are mixed, which is terrible news for a limited release. Secondly, it is aimed at a younger target demographic and movies aimed at kids rarely do well in limited release. Monster Hunt opens tonight in 45 theaters.

Synchronicity - Reviews
Video on Demand
A sci-fi movie about an inventor who creates a time travel device, falls in love with a woman, then suspects she's working for the man trying to steal his invention. Most critics agree that it is smart and deals with the philosophy of time travel well, but most critics all agree that the storytelling is really weak. Maybe it is worth a rental on VOD.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Mojave, Exposed, Yip Man 3, Monster Hunt, Aferim!, Synchronicity, Monkey Up, Martyrs, Ip Man