Limited Releases are Looking Grand

The Grand Budapest Hotel poster

This week the list of limited releases includes The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is earning amazing buzz and arguably better reviews. It will likely dominate the per theater chart so much so that the rest of the films might suffer as as result. This would be too bad, because there are several other films that deserve to find an audience. Grand Piano and In Fear are both earning great reviews, but as horror films playing on Video on Demand, their box office numbers will be nothing more than an afterthought. There are also a couple of comedies I'm interested in seeing, Journey To The West and No Clue, although the latter is only playing in Canada.

Awful Nice - Reviews
Two brothers reunite when their father dies. The pair also learn they've inherited the family's vacation home, but before they can sell it, they have to repair it. The film is earning really weak reviews and since it is already on Video on Demand, I don't expect it to find an audience in theaters. Awful Nice opens tonight in a dozen theaters in select cities nationwide.

Bethlehem - Reviews
A movie about an Israeli Secret Service agent and his Palestinian informant. There are a lot of movies that deal with the conflict in the Middle East and this one is not earning amazing reviews, so it might get lost in the crowd. Bethlehem opened today in five theaters, two in New York City and three in the Los Angeles area.

The Face of Love - Reviews
Annette Bening stars as a widow who meets and falls in love with a man who looks identical to her former husband. A lot of critics are praising the performances, especially Annette Bening, but the actors are let down by the script. The Face of Love opens tonight in two theaters, but was previously playing on Video on Demand.

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Reviews
The latest film from Wes Anderson. Like most of his films, this one is earning amazing reviews; however, there are some critics who have called the movie too Wes Anderson. The filmmaker clearly has a style to his work and if you don't like that style, you should avoid this movie. There are excellent performances from a number of cast members, including many who have been in previous Anderson movies. The Grand Budapest Hotel opens tonight in four theaters and should easily be the biggest film on the per theater chart this weekend. Hell, it should have the best per theater average for the year so far.

Grand Piano - Reviews
Elijah Wood stars as Tom Selznick, a concert pianist who gave up performing after developing crippling stage fright. He has his big comeback, but just as he is about to begin, he sees a note on his piano: "Play one wrong note and you die." This film is the wrong genre for limited releases, as horror rarely does well in the art house circuit. Additionally, it is playing on Video on Demand, which will further hamper the film's box office numbers. Then again, for a lot of limited releases, the Video on Demand numbers are more important that the box office numbers. Grand Piano opens tonight in two theaters. The official site has the details.

Haunt - Reviews
A family movies into a new house, but their house is cursed. The middle child, Evan, becomes friends with their new neighbor, Sam, and the two try to find out what happened. The reviews are very weak and the film is playing in Video on Demand, so there's little hope for its box office numbers.

In Fear - Reviews
I'm not 100% sure this film is coming out. There appears to be no official site linked anywhere and with a generic name like that, Google is of no help. On the other hand, it is coming out on Video on Demand, and given the reviews, it deserves to find an audience.

Journey To The West - Reviews
The first of two Chinese films on this week's list. This one is co-written and co-directed by Stephen Chow, who is best known here for Kung-Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer. Like those films, this one mixes martial arts and comedy. And like those films, this one is earning excellent reviews. Journey To The West opens tonight in seven theaters in select cities nationwide (check the official site for details) while it is also playing on Video on Demand.

No Clue - Reviews
A Canadian film starring Brent Butt as a pen salesman who is mistaken for a private eye and decides to go along with it. Brent Butt created and starred in one of the most popular Canadian TV shows of all time, Corner Gas, so I hope this film does well in theaters. Unfortunately, Canadian films tend to have trouble finding audiences in theaters. No Clue opens tonight in theaters across Canada.

Special ID - Reviews
A Chinese film about a cop (played by Donnie Yen) going undercover in organized crime. However, when a crime lord starts killing off other undercover agents, Yen knows he doesn't have much time to finish the job and save himself. The film made $25 million internationally, but its reviews here are mixed, so it likely won't find an audience. Special ID opens tonight in theaters, but has been playing on Video on Demand for about a month, so its box office potential is even lower than its reviews would indicate.

Total Siyapaa - No Reviews
Set in London, the film is about a man who goes to his girlfriend's parents to ask her hand in marriage. However, there's a problem. She's Indian and he's Pakistani. Like many similar films, there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is hard to predict how well it will do. Total Siyapaa opens tonight in the usual Bollywood hotspots.

- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-03-07