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Limited Releases Need to Buck Up

June 17th, 2011

While looking over the list of limited releases coming out this week, one could be concerned about the lack of a top-tier release. There are a number of films that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews and could find audiences at the art house circuit; however, it is hard to pick out one that has a legitimate shot at mainstream success.

Battle for Brooklyn - Reviews
This documentary looks at the battle between the residents of Prospect Heights and land developers looking to create the new home stadium for New Jersey Nets. Since the stadium is currently being built, you know how this one will end, and this in turn could hurt the film's box office chances. Also, while the reviews are good, they are not great. Finally, it might have trouble finding an audience outside of the geographic location where it is set. Battle for Brooklyn opens tonight in two theaters in New York City.

Buck - Reviews
A Biography of Buck Brannaman, a real-life horse whisperer. This film is earning some of the best reviews on this week's list after previously winning the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Clearly it has a lot going for it. On the other hand, documentaries rarely manage to expand significantly, so it is likely this film will be relegated to the art house circuit. Buck opens tonight in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

JIG - Reviews
A documentary about the 40th Irish Dancing World Championships, which took place in Glasgow in 2010. Isn't Glasgow in Scotland? Strange. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and many critics are arguing that unless you are a fan of this style of dancing, the film might not hold your attention for the entire running time. JIG opens tonight in six theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Toronto.

Kidnapped - Reviews
The only film on this week's list that isn't at least earning overall positive reviews. I'm not surprised, as it as a revenge / Torture Porn film, which tend not to do too well with critics. On the other hand, there were plenty of critics that complimented certain aspects of the movie and the film could find success in the home market with its target audience.

Page One: Inside the New York Times - Reviews
A documentary look inside the New York Times, the most prestigious newspaper in the country. However, since the entire industry is facing extinction from mounting pressure from the internet, there's a lot of turmoil behind-the-scenes. The reviews are very good, but just a hair below the 80% level normally associated with success in limited release. Additionally, because it is the New York Times, it might not play as well outside of the city. Page One opens tonight at the Angelika Film Center in New York City.

R - Reviews
A Danish film starring Johan Philip Asbæk, as Rune, who is sentenced to Denmark's toughest prison and tries to fit in the with his new environment. The film's reviews are nearly all positive and it could find a receptive audience in art house theaters, but there's little chance it will expand significantly. R opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Buck, Page One: Inside the New York Times, Secuestrados, R, JIG, Battle for Brooklyn