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Turning Limited Releases Inside Out

September 9th, 2011

There is a lot of excitement when it comes to specialty films and potential Awards Season players, because it's time for the Toronto International Film Festival. Unfortunately for those not in Toronto, your choices are a lot more limited. Fortunately for those not in Toronto, you are not in Toronto. (I'm Canadian, so I'm constitutionally obligated to make fun of Toronto.) There are a few new limited releases earning good reviews, but far more that critics are a lot less kind to, and none seem destined for significant box office success.

The Black Power Mix Tape: 1967-1975 - Reviews
A documentary look at the Black Power Movement that was filmed by Swedish journalists 40 years ago. Because it was shot by so many people and not edited together until recently, the film is a bit scattershot at times, but still intriguing. The Black Power Mix Tape: 1967-1975 opens tonight at the IFC Center and the Lincoln Plaza Cinema, both in New York City.

Burke and Hare - Reviews
Out of all of the films on this week's list, this is the one I'm most disappointed in. It stars Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and Isla Fisher, among others. Plus, it was directed by John Landis. Also, it's a rather unique film set in the 1800s and deals with two grave-robbers who sold corpses to medical students so they could practice. When there are not enough fresh corpses to steal, the decide to make their own. Sadly, while I was looking forward to this film, its reviews are really bad for a limited release. They would be weak for a wide release. Burke and Hare opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Inside Out - Reviews
Yet another action film starring a professional wrestler. The film's reviews are bad that it will likely miss the Mendoza Line before trying its luck on the home market.

Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain - Reviews
A stand-up concert film starring Kevin Hart. It's opening in close to 100 theaters, which is too much for a limited release. Also, Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic was the last comedy performance film to crack $1 million, and that was six years ago. Martin Lawrence Live: RunTelDat earned nearly $20 million in 2002, but it opened in over 700 theaters and had a lot more publicity.

Main Street - Reviews
Colin Firth leads the cast in this movie, which is about a small town trying to revitalize itself. So far it is earning zero positive reviews out of the six that are on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was shot in 2009 and had its own financial problems during post-production and a few critics complain that it feels unfinished. The only positive you can take away from this is the reviews are not aggressively negative. The film already debuted on Video on Demand, but opens in theaters tonight.

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan - Reviews
The latest Bollywood release. Like most Bollywood films, this one is opening without reviews and in a comparatively huge number of theaters. It is also incredibly difficult to predict its box office chances. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan opens tonight in 75 theaters in the usually Bollywood hotspots.

Shaolin - Reviews
This film has an impressive cast with a number of major players in the martial arts genre, including Jackie Chan and Andy Lau. It is also earning very good reviews. After the success of Detective Dee last week, I'm a little more bullish on this film's chances, even though the reviews are not quite as good. However, it is opening in more theaters and on Video on Demand, which will hurt its per theater average. Shaolin opens tonight in ten theaters in cities across the country from Honolulu to New York City.

Tanner Hall - Reviews
Friendships are tested when a new girl arrives at a remote boarding school and upsets the social balance. The movie has some young actors that almost certainly have big careers ahead of them. (For instance, Rooney Mara is in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.) Unfortunately, this film is earning some of the worst reviews of the weekend. To be fair, while most critics are giving it a negative review, they are calling it uneven and generic rather than terrible, so it's probably better than its Tomatometer Score would indicate. Tanner Hall opens tonight in five theaters: three in New York City and two in Los Angeles.

The Whale - Reviews
Ryan Reynolds narrates this documentary, which is about a killer whale that got separated from the rest of its pod. There are almost no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but the one review that is there is positive. The Whale opens tonight in two theaters in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. It is set to open in New York City on the 23rd and Los Angeles on the 30th.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Burke & Hare, Main Street, Inside Out, The Whale, Di Renjie, The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975, Shaolin, Tanner Hall, Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan