The Best Exotic Limited Releases

It's a good week for limited releases, mostly because it is the week The Best-Exotic Marigold Hotel comes out. Given its international run, its chances at success on the domestic front are very strong. There are a couple other new releases that I'm cautiously optimistic about: Death of a Superhero and First Position. Perhaps summer will get off to a strong start on the limited release front as well as the wide release front.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Reviews
This film has one of the best ensemble cast I've seen in a long time. There actors in the cast who not only won Oscars, but who were knighted for their craft. The film's reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but slightly below the 80% positive level I would like to see in a limited release. However, if you look at these negative reviews, a lot of them praise a lot of elements in the movie, but say it is too safe and too predictable. I don't think that's going to hurt it too much with mainstream audiences. It is opening in a lot of theaters, but if it can do well this weekend, then it should expand over the coming weeks / months. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opens tonight in 27 theaters and I hope to be talking about its box office success for much of the summer.

Death of a Superhero - Reviews
Thomas Sangster stars as Donald Clarke, a high school student who has trouble fitting in and retreats into his art. When he is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he retreats even further into his art and super hero fantasies. So far this film is not earning a lot of buzz; it is certainly being drowned out by the buzz enjoyed by The Best-Exotic Marigold Hotel. However, the film is currently earning 100% positive reviews and there is some hope it will do well on the per theater chart, perhaps enough to expand significantly over the coming weeks / months. Death of a Superhero opens tonight at the SIFF Cinema at the Uptown in Seattle, Washington.

First Position - Reviews
A documentary about a dancing competition that is one of the most prestigious in the world. Thousands of kids enter the Youth America Grand Prix, a ballet competition. The film's reviews are excellent and it could find an audience outside of fans of ballet. First Position opens tonight in five theaters, including the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City.

A Little Bit of Heaven - Reviews
A romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson as a woman who learns she has cancer and falls in love with her doctor. There are quite a few excellent actors in this movie, including Peter Dinklage, who looks like a refugee from a 1970s porno with that mustache. But while the cast is good, the reviews are nothing short of awful. Even the two positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are mixed. A Little Bit of Heaven opens tonight in 11 theaters, but given the reviews, that's likely as far as it will go.

Mother's Day - Reviews
This film isn't going to find a significant audience in limited release for a few reasons. Firstly, it's the wrong genre. Horror films rarely do well in limited release. Secondly, its reviews are only mixed and well below the level needed to thrive in limited release. And finally, it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, so its target audience will likely just wait. Mother's Day opens tonight in three theaters, including the City Cinemas Village East in New York City and the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Perfect Family - Reviews
Kathleen Turner stars as a matriarch of a family that is comically dysfunctional. She's kept their collective craziness hidden from the outside world. However, now that she's up for Catholic Woman of the Year at her local parish, the final test is showing off her family. Oh boy. I heard a lot of buzz about this film, much more so than most limited releases, but the reviews are just under 50% positive. Disappointing. I still want to see it, because Kathleen Turner is a great actress, but like many, I think I'll wait till the home market. The Perfect Family opens tonight in five theaters, as well as video on demand. It then comes out on DVD at the end of June.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2012-05-04