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Limited Releases: For a Good Time, Go to a Limited Release

August 31st, 2012

It is a slow week for limited releases. There are six on this week's list, but none of them are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. In fact, only half are earning overall positive reviews, and that might change for the worse as more reviews come in. (As I'm writing this, two of them are at exactly 60% positive. Last minute update: both of them fell below 60% positive reviews.) The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is earning the best reviews and it was a massive hit in its native China, but it will likely struggle here. There are plans to expand For a Good Time, Call... on the 7th and the 14th of September, but while I want to see this film more than the rest of the new releases, I have my doubts it will expand significantly.

The Day - Reviews
This film is the latest from WWE films, which is pretty much all you need to know to judge its box office chances. That might be a little snarky, but accurate. Additionally, not only has the studio struggled to produce a box office hit, but this is the wrong genre for limited release and the reviews are terrible. On the other hand, the cast is earning some praise, Ashley Bell in particular, but that probably won't matter at the box office. The Day opened on Wednesday in twelve theaters and earned an average of just $123. It will almost assuredly miss the Mendoza Line over the weekend.

The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate - Reviews
The best-reviewed limited release of the week. This film is also the first wuxia film shot in 3D and was a massive hit in its native China. Will it be as big of a hit here? There's almost no chance that will happen, as it is the wrong genre for limited release. However, it could find a more receptive audience on the home market, especially thanks to the presence of Jet Li. The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate opens tonight in 14 theaters.

For a Good Time Call - Reviews
Ari Graynor and Lauren Anne Miller star as two women who become roommates when one of them can no longer afford her apartment. When Lauren learns Ari works as a phone sex operator, she's first disgusted, then intrigued by the money. The two then decide to go into the phone sex business together. The film's reviews are good, but not great, while this is the wrong genre for limited release. It was supposed to expand wide in September, but I'm not sure that will happen. Hopefully it will do well enough that it can break even on the home market. It only cost a little more than $1 million to make, so that is quite likely. For a Good Time Call opens tonight in nearly two dozen theaters, which might prove too many for this limited release.

The Good Doctor - Reviews
Orlando Bloom stars as a young doctor looking to earn the respect of his more experienced peers. When he saves the life of Riley Keough, an 18-year old patient, he becomes obsessed with her, going so far as to poison her to get her back into the hospital. The film's reviews are good, but not great, while the cast certainly has more star power than most limited releases have. On the other hand, that can be said of all the limited releases on this week's list. Even the ones earning bad reviews have several big names in them. Strange coincidence. The Good Doctor opened on Thursday at the Sundance Cinema in Los Angeles before expanding to the Cinema Village in New York City tonight.

Little Birds - Reviews
Juno Temple and Kay Panabaker play two 15-year old girls who decide to runaway from their dead end town to Los Angeles. This of course turns out to be a bad idea. Juno Temple is earning a lot of praise for her performance, but the overall reviews are decidedly mixed. Little Birds opened on Wednesday at the Angelika Film Center.

The Tall Man - Reviews
Jessica Biel stars as a single mother who lives in a small town in rural Washington state. The town has been plagued by a series of child abductions by a supposedly supernatural being called The Tall Man. Jessica's character refuses to believe in the Tall Man, until her son is taken. Now she tries to get him back and gets some advice from one of the few people who have seen him and lived, Jordelle Ferland. Jessica Biel has earned some praise for her performance in the film, but the overall reviews are weak. Too many twists, not enough thrills. The Tall Man opens tonight in three theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, and Dallas.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Tall Man, The Good Doctor, Little Birds, For a Good Time, Call, Long men fei jia, The Day