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Limited and VOD Releases: Feeling Blue

March 25th, 2016

Born to Be Blue

It is a relatively good week for limited releases with a few films earning stunning reviews. This includes Born to be Blue, which I think has the best shot at mainstream success. April and the Extraordinary World and Mia madre also have a chance at doing well in limited release.

April and the Extraordinary World - Reviews
An animated film set in France in the 1940s. It is about a young woman, April, whose father was a scientist who was kidnapped when she was a girl. She is now a scientist in her own right, but she might fall victim to the same shadowy group that kidnapped her father. The film is earning 100% positive reviews, which is obviously a positive. On the other hand, it is an animated film opening in limited release and those rarely do well. Back to the original hand, it is being released by GKIDS and their track record is amazing for this type of film. I don’t expect it to expand significantly, but it has a shot at some measure of mainstream success.

Baskin - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Turkish film about a police raid that goes very, very wrong. The reviews are good, but not great, while it is the wrong genre for limited release. It should do well on VOD, on the other hand.

Born to be Blue - Reviews
Ethan Hawke stars as Chet Baker, one of the greatest jazz artists of all time. The movie is earning some of the best reviews of the week and it should do well enough to earn some measure of mainstream success.

Fastball - Reviews
Video on Demand
A documentary about baseball, specifically the fastball and the pitchers who threw them the fastest. The reviews are great and there are plenty of baseball fans out there who should be interested in seeing this movie. On the other hand, it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are very slim.

Get a Job - Reviews
Video on Demand
I really like Anna Kendrick and much of the rest of the cast, but not enough to make up for the single-digit Tomatometer Score. It is not even worth renting on VOD. On a side note, Miles Teller has starred in a couple of Award-worthy movies, including Whiplash, but most of his output has been terrible.

I Saw the Light - Reviews
A Biopic about Hank Williams. The film has an amazing cast, but the reviews are abysmal. A Tomatometer Score of just 15% positive would be awful for even the most mindless of actions films. It will very likely prove fatal for a limited release. To be fair, the average score is more “meh” than aggressively negative, but that’s the nicest thing you can say about its critical reception. I Saw the Light opens tonight in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville with a planned expansion next weekend. I have a feeling that expansion won’t go so well.

Mia madre - Reviews
Margherita Buy plays a director dealing with a difficult actor. She also has to deal with an ill mother and a teenage daughter. The reviews are among the best on this week’s list, but foreign-language films rarely have breakout success in limited release.

Rocky Handsome - Reviews
A Bollywood action revenge film. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is not surprising. There are some reviews on Now Running, but they are really negative.

They’re Watching - Reviews
Video on Demand
A TV show about home renovation travels to Eastern Europe to film an episode. However, once there, there is a misunderstanding with the locals and the TV crew has to fear for their lives. This is the wrong genre for limited release, its reviews are bad, and it is playing on VOD. That’s three strikes for its box office chances.

Valley of Love - Reviews
Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu star as an estranged couple who travel to Death Valley after given instructions by their deceased son. The reviews are great and French films do have an audience here. However, its chances of expanding significantly are limited.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Get a Job, I Saw the Light, Fastball, Mia madre, Baskin, Born to Be Blue, Avril et le monde truqué, Rocky Handsome, They’re Watching, Valley of Love, Ethan Hawke, Marion Cotillard, Gerard Depardieu, Isabelle Huppert, Anna Kendrick, John Turturro, Miles Teller, Margherita Buy, Giulia Lazzarini, Beatrice Mancini