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Limited Releases are Biutiful

January 28th, 2011

This week's collection of limited releases includes a film that is already a worldwide hit, one that earned two Oscar nominations, one opening in more than 250 theaters, and others. It will be interesting to see if the critically acclaimed films can find audiences here, or if the wider releases can fill all of those theaters.

Biutiful - Reviews
This film earned two Oscar nominations, including one for the performance by Javier Bardem. However, the overall reviews suggest that it might struggle in limited release. Additionally, it is opening in 65 theaters nationwide, which is a lot. Since the Oscars were announced this week, I think the buzz will still be strong enough to overcome the other issues, but this could be the widest the film plays during its entire run.

Fathers & Sons - Review
Just a quick update from last week. The film's run has been extended and there are two more Q&A sessions scheduled for 7:30 p.m. showing tonight and tomorrow at the Cineplex Odeon International Village in Vancouver, Canada.

From Prada to Nada - No Reviews
At the beginning of the month, there was talk this Sense and Sensibility adaptation was going to open wide. Now it is opening in more than 250 theaters with absolutely no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Its box office chances are very, very low.

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grand Master - Reviews
This film is already a financial success, it is earning the best reviews of the week, and could be the biggest limited release hit of the week, once all things are said and done. (It might not open the fastest, but it could have the longest legs.) On the other hand, it could be opening in too many theaters and in markets not normally associated with limited release openings, which could hurt its per theater average enough to scare away other theater owners. Ip Man 2 opens tonight in 18 theaters nationwide including in places like Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kaboom - Reviews
Writer / Director Gregg Araki's previous credits include Mysterious Skin. On the other hand, he also made Smiley Face, which I was less impressed with. Fortunately, the reviews for Kaboom are closer to the former than the latter, and they might even be strong enough to thrive in limited release. Kaboom opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Lovers in a Dangerous Time - No Reviews
A Canadian film written, directed, and starring May Charters and Mark Hug, about two friends who reunite at their tenth high school reunion. While reminiscing about their childhood, they also worry about what being an adult has in store for them. The film took five years to make, because working without a budget means things take a whole lot longer, but the end result appears to have been worth it, as it won two People's Choice Awards at the Calgary International Film Festival and the Method Fest. Now it is opening theatrically in its native land in Calgary, Kelowna, Cranbrook and Creston. Additionally, tomorrow, there will be a Q&A session with the pair of filmmakers at the Globe Cinema in Calgary.

Scream of the Banshee - No Reviews
The latest After Dark film to hit theaters. Like most such films, it has little hope of box office success, but should find a more receptive audience on the home market.

Seconds Apart - No Reviews
The second After Dark film to hit theaters this week. Like the previous film, it has little hope of box office success, but should also find a more receptive audience on the home market.

When We Leave - Reviews
One of the major players at this year's German Film Awards; it was even put forth as Germany's official selection of the Best Foreign Language Oscar. Here its reviews are just a hair below the level usually associated with success in limited release. Additionally, it is a foreign language film, which is an added obstacle. Plus it deals with the subject of Honor Killings, and that might be too dark a subject for most people, even art house cinema fans. When We Leave opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in the Los Angeles area.


Filed under: Limited Releases, From Prada to Nada, Biutiful, Kaboom, Ip Man: Legend of the Grand Master, Seconds Apart, Scream of the Banshee