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Looking for a Pair of Big Limited Releases

June 1st, 2012

There are not one, not two, but three limited releases opening in more than 100 theaters, plus another opening in dozens of theaters. Is it going to be a big week for limited releases as a result? Probably not. Of those four major limited releases, none of them are earning Tomatometer Scores above 25% positive. Ouch. There are a few releases earning overwhelmingly positive reviews, The Loved Ones, Pink Ribbons, Inc., and others, but they are smaller releases and I don't think any of them will truly thrive.

Battlefield America - Reviews
After a businessman is convicted and sentenced to community service, he becomes the dance instructor for a group of little kids. There are only six reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and only one of those is positive. That's a terrible sign. It is also opening in nearly 200 theaters, which is far too many for a limited release. I have very low expectations for this film's chances.

A Cat in Paris - Reviews
This film is about a pet cat that lives two lives. During the day, he's the house pet to a respectable family, but at night he travels with a cat burglar. The film earned an Oscar nomination, but its reviews are not quite at the 80% positive level I like to see in limited release. Hopefully it will be a surprise hit at the box office. A Cat in Paris opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

For Greater Glory - Reviews
A faith based film aimed at Mexican-Americans and tells the story of the 1920s Cristero War. Unfortunately, if the critics are correct, it tells the story very poorly. A Tomatometer Score of 17% positive would be terrible for a wide release, and it should be fatal for a limited release. Additionally, the film is opening in 750 theaters, which is way more than most limited releases can handle. Finally, it is aimed at a niche market. Missing the Mendoza line is a real possibility. On the other hand, it could surprise and reach the top ten. The low end is probably more likely, but films like this are unpredictable.

High School - Reviews
The high school valedictorian, Henry (Matt Bush), is about to graduate and he decides to loosen up just once before heading to college, so he does some pot. Then he learns the school will be drug-testing everyone. When he fails, he will be expelled and lose his scholarship. There's only one way out of this. Make sure everyone fails by spiking the brownies at the school bake sale. There have been quite a few really good stoner comedies made over the years, but this is not one of them. The premise isn't bad, but the execution is seriously flawed. High School opens tonight in more than 100 theaters, but that's likely as far as it goes.

The Loved Ones - Reviews
Robin McLeavy stars as Lola, your typical high school student who just wants a dream date to the prom. When she asks her dream date, Brent, he turns her down. So she kidnaps him and holds her own private prom. This film is earning near perfect reviews, but it is still torture porn, so its chances to expand significantly are very slim. On the other hand, its chances of finding a more receptive audience on the home market are very strong. The Loved Ones opens tonight in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, and Houston.

Pink Ribbons, Inc. - Reviews
A documentary about the pink ribbons that have become synonymous with breast cancer charity. While most people associate the pink ribbons with the charity, the film shows that the company behind has done more to enrich themselves than fight cancer. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but even the positive reviews admit it isn't a very cinematic documentary. It still worth checking out, but it likely won't expand significantly. Pink Ribbons, Inc. opens tonight in three theaters, including the IFC Center in New York City and two in the Laemmles chain in Los Angeles.

Piranha 3DD - Reviews
The first Piranha 3D was goofy fun. It certainly wasn't a great movie, but the filmmakers knew they were making a Boobs and Blood kind of B-movie and they aimed for entertainment above all else. It didn't make a huge amount of money at the box office, but it was a big hit on the home market, so making a sequel made sense. However, most critics are complaining that this film lacks the fun of the first film and it is not skillfully made either. Piranha 3DD opens tonight in 75 theaters, but it is practically a direct-to-DVD release. I seriously doubt it will top the Mendoza Line on the per theater chart.


Filed under: Limited Releases, High School, Piranha 3DD, Pink Ribbons, Inc., Une vie de chat, The Loved Ones, For Greater Glory