Mother and Multiple Limited Releases

We only have four films on this week's list. On the plus side, three of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. On the negative side, the only film earning negative reviews is also the film earning the widest release. It is distressing when that happens, but it happens surprisingly often.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money - Reviews
A political documentary about the Jack Abramoff scandal. Normally, political documentaries are very divisive. But political corruption is a subject that transcends left and right. Unbelievably positive reviews should help it at the box office, but I'm not sure how being an election year will affect the film. Then again, it's practically always an election year, so that immaterial. Casino Jack and the United States of Money opens tonight in nine theaters in New York City, Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles area, and other places. I suspect it will do well for a documentary, but expanding wide is very likely out of reach.

Mother and Child - Reviews
A film about three women (Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, and Naomi Watts) who have been affected by adoption, either because they gave up a child, were given up as a child, or are looking to adopt a child. The film is earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, plus the three lead actresses have all has at least some measure of box office success in their careers. For that reason, the film likely has the best shot at significant expansion. Mother and Child opens tonight in six theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Multiple Sarcasms - Reviews
This film stars two Oscar winners: Mira Sorvino and Timothy Hutton. However, so far the film has only earned one positive review out of ten on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is by first-time writer / director Brooks Branch, but it is being described as a vanity project or Woody Allen-lite. Perhaps the cast will be enough to keep the film going over the weekend, but it is opening in probably too many theaters to truly thrive. Multiple Sarcasms opens tonight in 15 theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

OSS 117: Lost in Rio - Reviews
The latest installment in the French spy spoof. This time around, Jean Dujardin travels to Rio to stop a former Nazi that is blackmailing the French government. Reviews are better than the two wide releases, but not that great for a limited release. And for a foreign language film, which brings additional impediments to box office success... I'm not saying it won't be able to expand, but it does have a tough hill to climb. OSS 117: Lost in Rio opens tonight in three theaters, one in New York City and the other two in the Los Angeles area.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2010-05-07