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Limited Releases are the Best

May 30th, 2014

Vi ar bast! poster

It's a mixed bag for limited releases with a number of movies earning weak reviews or that have almost no chance at the box office. There are also some that are good enough to thrive, like Elena - Reviews or Lucky Them - Reviews. But the best movie according to critics is We are the Best! - Reviews.

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas - Reviews
Mads Mikkelsen stars as a horse salesmen who has two horses confiscated by a nobleman, so he raises an army to get his horses back. The reviews are weak and since this is based on a part of history with little to no connection to audiences here, it likely will fail to entice moviegoers. Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas opens tonight in five theaters in select cities. Check out the official site for more details.

Before You Know It - Reviews
A documentary about gay senior citizens. These people have lived from a time when really the only gay people were closeted gay people, to a time when even conservative Senator Orin Hatch admits gay marriage is inevitable. (He predicted next year the Supreme Court will rule on the matter.) There are not of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but most of them are positive and it could find an audience within its niche market. Before You Know It opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

The Big Ask - Reviews
Andrew's mother passed away and his friends come to help him get over the loss. There is one thing he thinks will help, an orgy. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and two of the three that are on there are negative. It is also a dark comedy and even with excellent reviews, these films rarely find audience in theaters. The Big Ask is playing on Video on Demand, but makes its theatrical debut at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.

Delivery: The Beast Within - Reviews
A horror film about a pregnancy that goes wrong, demonically wrong, all while being filmed for a Reality TV show. There is only one review on Rotten Tomatoes and it is negative. Add in the wrong genre for limited release and a Video on Demand premiere and there's little hope it will find an audience in theaters. Delivery: The Beast Within opens tonight in select cities.

Elena - Reviews
A documentary by Petra Costa, whose older sister, Elena, left Brazil in 1990 to go to New York to become a model / actress but soon stopped calling and sending letters back home. 20 years later, Petra retraces her steps to find out what happened. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the weekend, but it is still a documentary, so its chances of expanding significantly are limited. Elena opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Emoticon - Reviews
Livia De Paolis plays a graduate student struggling to come up with an idea for her thesis when she meets her boy-friend's teenage children and decides to look at modern communication in the internet age. The film's reviews are weak and the competition is strong, so its chances at the box office are slim. Emoticon opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Filth - Reviews
James McAvoy stars as a corrupt cop who is in line for a promotion and will do anything to get it, including sabotaging his colleagues. The reviews are good, but not great, while it is also playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are even weaker. Filth opens tonight in seven theaters, including four in Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

The Grand Seduction - Reviews
This Canadian movie is a remake of La Grande Seduction, which is also a Canadian movie. In both movies, economically depressed small towns need to attract a full time doctor in order to land an important development. The film's reviews are good, but not great. Additionally, The Grand Seduction is opening in 100 theaters in select cities, which is a lot for a limited release. It is likely too many.

Korengal - Reviews
A sequel to Restrepo. The film's reviews are not quite as strong, while I'm not sure if moviegoers are still interested in examining the War in Afghanistan. Korengal opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City.

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne - Reviews
A documentary about Doris Payne, an unassuming woman who became one of the most notorious jewel thieves of all time. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and limited releases usually need great reviews to survive. The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne opens tonight at the Film Forum in New York City.

Lucky Them - Reviews
Toni Collette stars as a middle-aged music journalist who spends more time partying with the people she's supposed to be covering than actually doing her work. She gets one last chance to prove she's cut out for this job by tracking down a reclusive musician, who is also her ex-boyfriend. The film's reviews are great and the star power is just as strong, so hopefully it will be a hit on the home market. Lucky Them opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Night Moves - Reviews
Three members of a radical environment activists plan a devastating act of terrorism for their cause, blowing up an hydroelectric dam. ... Wouldn't blow up a dam cause more environmental damage than the dam itself? The film's reviews are excellent, but a hair below the 80% positive level usually associated with success in limited release. The film does have better star power than most limited releases could hope for, so that might help it find an audience. Night Moves opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, while it expands significantly over the next couple of weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Under the Electric Sky - Reviews
A documentary about Electronica, specifically the Electric Daisy Carnival in Los Angeles. There are only two reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests a lack of buzz. Additionally, the one positive review says it is only for fans of the music genre and all others should stay away. Under the Electric Sky opened on Thursday in numerous theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

We are the Best! - Reviews
A coming of age story about a trio of girls, outcasts, who decide to form a punk rock band, despite two of them not having any musical training. The film's reviews are the best of the weekend and the buzz is also very strong. Hopefully this can translate into strong ticket sales, but it is a foreign-language film, so its chances to expand wide is very limited. We are the Best! opened last Saturday in one theater in Montreal, Quebec, but opens tonight in six more theaters, including three in Canada. Check the official site for more details.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Elena, Vi ar bast!, Filth, Lucky Them, Korengal, The Grand Seduction, Under the Electric Sky, Night Moves, Emoticon, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, Delivery: The Beast Within, Michael Kohlhaas, The Big Ask, Elena, Before You Know It, Toni Collette, David Krumholtz, James McAvoy, Mads Mikkelsen, Livia De Paolis, Petra Costa, Elena Andrade