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Experiencing Limited Releases

May 22nd, 2009

Another week that's not exactly busy when it comes to limited releases. There is a lot of variety, on the other hand, with a documentary, a costume drama, a foreign language flick, and a film starring a real-life porn star making her mainstream movie debut. Should be something for nearly everyone.

The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story - Reviews
A documentary about the Oscar winning Disney movie composers, Richard and Robert Sherman. Given the length of their career, and the massive amount of success they earned, this could be a great film and earn some measure of mainstream success. However, there haven't been enough reviews posted on Rotten Tomatoes to make that judgment call. The Boys opens tonight in five theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City.

Easy Virtue - Reviews
An adaptation of a Noel Coward play starring Jessica Biel as an American woman who marries an Englishman. But when they travel home, her mother-in-law tries to sabotage her marriage. On the one hand, as a period piece, the film could appeal to art house crowds. On the other hand, it is just too lightweight to survive in limited release. It is my educated guess that the latter factor will win out, but it will find a more receptive audience on the home market. Easy Virtue opens tonight in ten theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York city.

The Girlfriend Experience - Reviews
The film has already been released as part of the Amazon on Demand service, which will likely kill any chance it has at box office success. I think the evidence is clear that for most people, if given the choice between going to the theaters to watch a movie and staying home and getting it on PPV, will choose the latter. This might be especially true of a movie about a high class prostitute played by a real-life porn star. One of Steven Soderbergh's more successful experiments, it is still earning reviews that are below the 80% positive level usually associated with films that succeed in limited release. When it comes out on DVD, it might be better. The Girlfriend Experience opens tonight in 25 theaters in select cities nationwide.

O'Horten - Reviews
A Norwegian film about a train engineer on the evening of his retirement. It's by Bent Hamer, who previously directed Factotum, among other films. So far reviews have been strong. In fact, it was nominated for seven Amanda Awards, and won two of them. (The Amanda Awards the Norwegian equivalent to the Oscars or Golden Globes.) That said, it was not a box office hit, selling only 35,000 tickets. It might be able to sell more than that here. O'Horten opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Easy Virtue, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story