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Labor Day Delivers Big Limited Releases

September 2nd, 2011

The selection of limited releases is not great with only one, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. On the other hand, there are three films opening in more than 100 theaters, none of which are likely to become hits. It could be a really soft weekend on the per theater chart. Fortunately, Awards Season is not too far away.

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame - Reviews
Andy Lau stars in a period piece as a steampunk detective. The film's pedigree is impressive, and so are its reviews. Hopefully it will find an audience theatrically, but if not, it should perform better on the home market. Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles. It expands to San Francisco on the 16th, and in major cities across the United States and in Canada on the 23rd.

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life - Reviews
Joann Sfar wrote a graphic novel about the life of Serge Gainsbourg and has now adapted it into a movie. Eric Elmosino plays the titular role and the film is earning very good reviews, but like all limited releases at this time of year, its chances of finding box office success are limited. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy - Reviews
A group of friends hold themed parties at a cabin owned by one of their fathers. However, when he decides to sell it, they decide to throw one last bash. But this time the theme is... Orgy. It's yet another R-rated comedy and while there have been a number of success stories in this genre, I don't think this will be one of them. Firstly, the market has been saturated. Secondly, it's opening in limited release, and this is not the type of film that does well in limited release. Thirdly, it is opening in way too many theaters for a limited release (more than 100 spread throughout the nation). And finally, its reviews are bad. At the moment, its reviews are worse than any of the wide releases.

Love Crime - Reviews
Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier star as Christine, a ruthless executive, and Isabelle, her new and naïve assistant. When Christine steals an idea from Isabelle, Christine learns she as underestimated her assistant. The film has a good cast and Alain Corneau, who has made some great films in the past. However, this film is only earning mixed reviews. Also, it debuted on Video on Demand last week, so it's box office chances are further diminished. Love Crime opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in New York City and Los Angeles.

Saving Private Perez - Reviews
The brother of a Mexican crime boss is captured while fighting in Iraq, so their mother forces the crime boss to go on a rescue mission. This film is aimed at a niche market and its chances of crossover appeal are limited. On the other hand, it's made by the same studio as From Prada to Nada and that film did quite well in theaters, despite its bad reviews. Perhaps this film will also find an audience with its niche demographic. Saving Private Perez opens tonight in more than 150 theaters.

Seven Days In Utopia - Reviews
The widest limited release of the week, but it's also earning the worst reviews. Lucas Black plays a golfer whose first pro outing is a disaster. The film has a lot of big names, including Robert Duvall and Melissa Leo, both of whom have won Oscars. Seven Days In Utopia opens tonight in close to 600 theaters, which is just too many.

That Girl in the Yellow Boots - Reviews
Kalki Koechlin plays Ruth, a 20-year old woman looking for the father she's never known. The film is an Indian film, but it's not your typical Bollywood musical, which might spark interest in a wider audience. There are not enough reviews to judge the film, but that in itself is a bad sign. That Girl in the Yellow Boots opens tonight opens tonight in many theaters nationwide.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Serge Gainsbourg vie heroique, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, Di Renjie, Crime d'amour , Salvando al Soldado Perez, Seven Days In Utopia, That Girl in the Yellow Boots