Follow us on

Limited Releases on the Rise

February 21st, 2014

Kaze Tachinu poster

It's a busy week on the limited release front, not only in terms of the number of films, but also in terms of the theater counts for some of them. There are several movies opening in more than a dozen theaters. This includes The Wind Rises, which is the highest profile film of the week and its reviews are living up to its buzz. However, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and Child's Pose are earning even better reviews and could find an audience in limited release.

Aaha Kalyanam - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about a pair of wedding planners who fall in love. Like most Bollywood movies, there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, while it is opening in more theaters than most non-Bollywood films would be able to handle.

Angels in Stardust - Reviews
A film aimed at the churchgoing set starring A.J. Michalka. Hopefully it will do better than Grace Unplugged, which she also starred in. She is earning some praise, even from critics giving the film negative reviews. Unfortunately, most of the reviews are negative. Angels in Stardust opens tonight nearly a dozen theaters, as well as video on demand.

Barefoot - Reviews
A remake of a German film called Barfuß. Scott Speedman plays the "black sheep" son of a rich family. After landing in jail, he gets out and gets a job at a mental facility where he meets a girl, Evan Rachel Wood, who is kind but sheltered. He takes her to his brother's wedding, to prove to the family that he's finally growing up. There are some cast members in this movie that I love (J.K. Simmons) but the reviews are terrible. (They were 8% positive when I wrote that. Now it's up to 14% positive. That hardly makes a real difference.) Barefoot opens tonight in 18 theaters, as well as video on demand.

Black Out - Reviews
An ex-con, Jos, wakes up the day before his wedding next to a dead man and can't remember what happened the night before. He learns a local gang is missing 20 kilos of cocaine and they think he stole it. Now he has 24 hours to figure out who the real thief is, or his fiancée will pay the price. The film's reviews are weak and thrillers rarely do well in limited release. Black Out opens tonight in nine theaters in select cities nationwide, as well as on Video on Demand.

Child's Pose - Reviews
After her son accidentally kills someone in a car crash, Cornelia, tries to convince the cops and the victim's family that he wasn't speeding, using her standing in the community to pressure witnesses. The film's reviews are stellar and this is the kind of film that could thrive in art house cinemas. Child's Pose opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City and expands to the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles tonight.

Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me - Reviews
A documentary about Elaine Stritch, who is 87 years old and still going strong. The film is earning the best reviews on this week's list and could lead the way on the per theater chart, but as a documentary, it's chances of expanding truly wide are limited. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me opens tonight in two theaters, the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City.

Fly Colt Fly - Reviews
A Canadian documentary about Colton Harris-Moore, who became famous when he stole a Cessna and crashed it into a field before escaping into the woods. That was just one of dozens of crimes he committed, all while a teenager. Fly Colt Fly opens tonight at the Royal in Toronto, Canada.

Highway - Reviews
A woman is kidnapped just before her wedding, but the gang learns her father is too powerful to mess with, so ransoming her is out of the question. The leader refuses to just let her go, so they head on a road trip to somewhere. Along the way, the pair begins to bond. There are only three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but that's better than most similar films. Plus, two of them are positive. It isn't a Bollywood film; however, so I'm not sure how well it will do with that target demographic. Highway opens tonight in nearly 100 theaters, which is typical for this type of release.

Holy Ghost People - Reviews
Emma-Greenwell plays a lady looking for her missing sister and who goes undercover in a snake-handling cult to find out what happened. The film is the wrong genre for limited release, plus there are only three reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests a lack of buzz. Holy Ghost People opens tonight in theaters, but has been playing on Video on Demand since Tuesday. It will likely do better on the latter than the former.

In Secret - Reviews
Elizabeth Olsen plays a woman forced into a loveless marriage, but who begins an affair with her husband's best friend. It's a period piece and many critics praise the performances and the look of the film, but the overall reviews are weak. The reviews are weak enough that if it were a wide release I would be worried about its box office chances. As a limited release, it could be D.O.A. In Secret opens tonight in 266 theaters, which is way too many for a limited release.

Omar - Reviews
One of the best-reviewed films of the weekend. Adam Bakri stars as Omar, a Palestinian who routinely climbs the wall to be with his fiancée. He also routinely fights with his friends against Israeli occupation as either a freedom fighter or a terrorist, depending on your point of view. When he is arrested, he is forced to turn against his friends as an informant. This is a subject that has a lot of stories to tell and the film's reviews are excellent, so it could find an audience in limited release. Omar opens tonight in dozens of theaters nationwide. Check out the official site for more details.

Southern Baptist Sissies - No Reviews
A film about a group of gay men growing up in a Southern Baptist community, which is hostile to gay rights. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is unlikely to find an audience in theaters. Southern Baptist Sissies opens tonight at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.

The Wind Rises - Reviews
The final film from Hayao Miyazaki... maybe. He has retired in the past and he didn't stick the last time, or the time before that. ... or the as many as seven times before that. The film is earning amazing reviews and it up for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, but it is not the favorite to win, It could earn the best per theater average this weekend, despite opening quite wide for a limited release. The Wind Rises opens tonight in just over 20 theaters nationwide.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Highway, Holy Ghost People, Kaze Tachinu, Pozitia copiului, In Secret, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Barefoot, Angels in Stardust, Omar, Highway, Black Out, Southern Baptist Sissies, Aaha Kalyanam, Hayao Miyazaki, J.K. Simmons, Scott Speedman, Elaine Stritch, Evan Rachel Wood, Elizabeth Olsen, Raymond Thiry, A.J. Michalka, Luminita Gheorghiu, Emma Greenwell, Adam Bakri