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Will Limited Releases get Under Your Skin?

October 14th, 2011

There are quite a few limited releases coming out this week that have earned advance buzz, or have casts with strong name recognition, or are earning strong reviews. There are a few that have two, but only one film has all three. The Skin I Live In is the lone film to earn the trifecta, but this film has a difficult premise to overcome if it wants to earn any real measure of mainstream success. Perhaps some of the other films will mange to translate buzz into ticket sales, but that rarely lasts long.

Chalet Girl - Reviews
Felicity Jones stars as a former skateboarder who is working in a fast food restaurant to support herself and her dad when she gets a chance to work in a ski chalet during the ski season. It's there she discovers snowboarding and a chance to rise above and become a champion. This is not exactly a unique plot, but the film's reviews are surprisingly strong. Granted, a lot of critics that are giving the film a positive review are also saying its predictable, but so are most romantic comedies. On the down side, most romantic comedies don't thrive in limited release, so this film has a tough road ahead. Chalet Girl opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City, but it is also playing on Video on Demand.

Fireflies in the Garden - Reviews
This film has an amazing cast and that could help it at the box office. On the other hand, it was filmed in 2007 and it is only getting a limited release four years later. Finally, its reviews are terrible. Fireflies in the Garden opens tonight in five cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, and Chicago.

Labios Rojos - No Reviews
A married couple as to deal with the effects of the husbands erectile dysfunction. The film is aimed at Hispanic moviegoers and with no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is likely it won't have much in the way of crossover appeal.

My Friend Pinto - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood film is opening in just seven theaters, which is low for this type of release. It also has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is normal for this type of release, but it does make it hard to predict its box office chances.

The Skin I Live In - Reviews
The latest from Pedro Almodovar, who has developed a loyal following over the years. This film might have a harder time reaching past the art house circuit due to the bizarre nature of the plot, which is too complicated to get into here. The reviews are good, and Antonio Banderas does have strong name recognition here. It could top the per theater chart, but then struggle to expand. The Skin I Live In opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in New York City, but also in a couple in the Los Angeles area.

Texas Killing Fields - Reviews
Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan star as cops trying to track down a serial killer who dumps his victims in a swamp near town. The case becomes more urgent when a young girl, played by Chloe Moretz, becomes the next target. The film also stars Jessica Chastain, which is not surprising, as she's been in every single movie released this year. That's not quite true, but she has been in five films released in the part twelve months, plus this one and two or three others scheduled to be released by the end of the year. The film is directed by Ami Canaan Mann, the daughter of Michael Mann and has been earning a lot of buzz. However, its reviews are weak for a wide release, potentially fatal for a limited release. Texas Killing Fields opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Trespass - Reviews
Joel Schumacher directs and Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman star. All three have had box office success at times in their careers, so why is this film being dumped in limited release before coming out on Blu-ray / DVD in a few weeks? The reviews offer a big clue. Its Tomatometer Score is just 16%, which is terrible for a low expectations popcorn flick. There's almost no chance it will thrive in limited release. Trespass opens tonight in ten theaters is select cities, but that might be as far as it goes.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Fireflies in the Garden, Chalet Girl, Trespass, La piel que habito, Texas Killing Fields, My Friend Pinto, Labios Rojos