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Limited and VOD Releases: Will The Wailing be the Moby Dick of Limited Releases?

June 3rd, 2016

The Wailing

One second. ... I'm going to have to take a break to recover from that pun in the title. That one hurt me just typing it up. There are several films on this week's list that are earning unanimously positive reviews, or very close to it. Unfortunately, none of them look like they have what it takes to be a break out hit in limited release. The Fits (Reviews) is just too small a film, while both The President (Reviews) and The Wailing (Reviews) are foreign-language films. Hopefully I'm just being too pessimistic.

Approaching the Unknown - Reviews
Video on Demand
Mark Strong plays an astronaut on a one-way mission to Mars to help with future colonization missions. The reviews are below 50% positive, which is not good enough to thrive in theaters, but might be good enough to rent on VOD, especially if you like the cast and genre.

The Final Master - Reviews
A martial arts movie set in China just before the start of World War II. A martial arts master goes to start a new school to pass on the teachings of his master; however, he gets wrapped up in a convoluted political power play. The reviews are good, but not great, so it will likely struggle in limited release.

The Fits - Reviews
Anna Rose Holmer has worked on a number of movies and even previously directed a documentary; however, this is her first narrative movie as director. If the critics are correct, it is one hell of a way to start a career. Speaking of starting a career, it is also the first film for the star, Royalty Hightower. The reviews are nearly unanimously positive, but I am a little worried the film is too small and it will slip between the cracks. The Fits opens tonight in New York City, but is also playing in some film festivals over the weekend. Check out the official site for more details.

The President - Reviews
A film from Georgia, the country and not the state, about a dictator who has just been overthrown. He needs to escape the country with his grandson and in doing so, comes face-to-face with the people he subjugated. This is one of three films on this list earning near perfect reviews. Unfortunately, this is a foreign-language film, so it won't be able to expand significantly. It could find a receptive audience in art house theaters, on the other hand.

Time to Choose - Reviews
A documentary about Global warming and how a lot of the tools we need to use to overcome this crisis are already here, we just need to choose to change. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but documentaries are rarely breakout hits in theaters.

The Wailing - Reviews
This is the biggest film on this week's list earning $40 million internationally, so far. The movie is set in a small village in South Korea. When a stranger arrives, the people start acting strangely and then begin killing each other. The film's reviews are 100% positive and there have been some South Korean movies that have done well in limited release in the past. However, this movie will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience.

The Witness - reviews
A documentary about the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese. At the time, it was reported that 37 or 38 people witnessed the attacks and did nothing. This isn't true and the documentary goes into the mythology and the facts and the critics nearly all agree it does a great job doing so.

Secondary Video-on-Demand titles:
Andron—The Black Labyrinth - reviews - Video on Demand
Urge - Reviews - Video on Demand
A sci-fi movie about ex-slaves fighting their way to freedom or a movie about a designer drug that reduces inhabitations with violent results. The latter has no reviews, the former has no positive reviews.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Andron—The Black Labyrinth, Urge, The President, Time to Choose, The Final Master, Goksung, The Witness, The Fits, Approaching the Unknown, Mark Strong, Anna Rose Holmer, Royalty Hightower