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Limited and VOD Releases: Stone Cold Releases

August 26th, 2016

Southside with You

While there are a lot of films on this week’s list, none of them look like they will be box office hits. Southside with You is one of the best releases this week, but it is playing in over 800 theaters, which is likely too many. There are a number of other films that are worth seeing, like Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, but most of them are playing on Video on Demand, so their box office chances are nearly zero.

Complete Unknown - Reviews
Michael Shannon stars as Tom. Tom meets Alice, a woman he previously knew as Jenny. She has taken on many new names and lives since Tom last saw her. She convinces him of what he could have if he gave up his safe life. The cast is much better than most limited releases have, but the reviews are below 50% positive, which is usually fatal for a limited release.

Fatima - Reviews
A French film about a single mother, and immigrant, living in France. The mother has to deal with a teenage daughter who has become rebellious and an older daughter just starting medical school. The reviews are excellent and the film has a good chance of finding an audience in limited release. On the other hand, its chances of expanding significantly are limited.

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life - Reviews
Video on Demand
A documentary about Floyd Norman, who was the first African-American animator hired by Disney. He worked on many excellent movies, but in the year 2000 at the age of 65, he was forced to retire. He kept coming to work, even though he was no longer being paid. The reviews are 100% positive and fans of biographic documentaries and / or Disney animation will want to check it out. That said, VOD is likely the better option.

Hands of Stone - Reviews
At the beginning of the month, this film was expected to open wide. Now it isn’t the widest limited release of the week. (Southside with You beats it by one theater.) The reviews are mixed and it is playing in 810 theaters, which is way too many for a limited release. It might miss the Mendoza Line.

The Hollars - Reviews
John Krasinski leads the cast playing a man who returns home when his mother becomes ill, but who then has to deal with his old life. The reviews are mixed; in fact, they are currently exactly 50% positive, so it will likely not find an audience in limited release. It should do better on the home market, on the other hand.

Howards End - Reviews
This film earned nine Oscar nominations, picking up three awards. Now it is getting a re-release nearly 25 years after its original release. If you haven’t seen it, it is certainly worth checking out. However, I suspect a lot of fans already own it on DVD. If you don’t own it, it has been out of print for years. Hopefully that will change soon.

I Am Not a Serial Killer - Reviews
Video on Demand
A movie about a 16-year old boy who has all of the tendencies of a serial killer. Normally he tries hard to repress these urges, but when a real serial killer targets his small town, he uses them to protect his loved ones. The reviews are good, but this is the wrong genre for limited release and it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are nearly zero.

In Order of Disappearance - Reviews
Video on Demand
Stellan Skarsgård plays a man whose son dies of a heroin overdose; however, he then learns his son’s death was actually part of gang warfare between the local crime boss and Serbian rivals. He decides to take the law into his own hands. The film’s reviews are amazing, but foreign-language films rarely do well enough in theaters to expand significantly. Additionally, it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are even worse.

The Intervention - Reviews
Video on Demand
Four couples get together for a getaway; however, this isn’t a simple vacation, as three of the couples set it up an intervention for the fourth couple. Awkward. The reviews are good enough that it could find an audience in theaters, if it weren’t also playing on VOD.

Mia madre - Reviews
This is the third time this film has been on this list. Hopefully this is the actual release date and it wasn’t pushed back at the last minute again. I first talked about it here and have nothing more to add.

Sea of Trees - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film has a great cast, but it has terrible reviews. It is not even worth a rental on VOD.

Southside with You - Reviews
This film looks at the 1989 date between Barack and Michelle. ... It’s a movie about the courtship of the current president and first lady. That’s odd. The reviews are amazing, but the film is playing in 811 theaters, which is a lot for a limited release. It will likely be too many. It should do better on VOD, but it doesn’t hit the home market till November.

Time Raiders - Reviews
A Chinese film about a pair of treasure hunters looking for the secret of immortality. There’s only one review on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is negative, but the lack of reviews are not uncommon for Chinese films.

Tunnel - Reviews
A South Korean thriller about a man trapped in a collapsed tunnel. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but so far all of them are positive.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Ace the Case - Reviews
Video on Demand
Blood in the Water - Reviews
Video on Demand
The only two secondary VOD releases are a kids movie and an erotic thriller. The latter is the better choice.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Howards End, The Sea of Trees, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Southside with You, Hands of Stone, Mia madre, The Hollars, Complete Unknown, The Intervention, Fatima, Kraftidioten, Ace the Case, Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, Time Raiders, Blood in the Water, Tunnel, John Krasinski, Michael Shannon, Stellan Skarsgård, Rachel Weisz, Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Floyd Norman