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Limited Releases, Inc.

June 12th, 2009

There are nine limited releases on this week's list, but only a couple that are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Of those two film, Food, Inc. and Moon, none of sure things for box office success. Summer is still rather slow for independent films.

Blast - Reviews
A documentary about astrophysisist Mark Devlin PhD, made by his brother, Paul Devlin. Paul Devlin won several awards with Power Trip, but this movie isn't pulling in the same level of reviews. Blast opened yesterday at the IFC Center in New York City, but switches to the Cinema Village tonight.

Brighton Rock - Reviews
A re-release of the 1947 film starring Sir Richard Attenborough as a small time hood running a production scam at the Brighton race course. The film has excellent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but I think it is mostly forgotten by now. That could change next year, when the remake comes out.

Call of the Wild 3D - Reviews
One of the wider limited releases of the week, it is earning some of the weakest reviews as well. Based on the novel by Jack London, the story gets a modern adaptation and a gender twist; however, critics are calling it 'old fashioned' and not in a good way. Call of the Wild 3D opens tonight in more than a dozen theaters in places like Bismark, North Dakota; Sioux City, Iowa; and Billings, Montana, which are not cities normally associated with limited release premieres.

Dead Snow - Reviews
A movie about Nazi zombies, which is a sub-sub-sub-genre of horror that has a cult following, but not a large enough following to thrive in limited release. Add in a foreign language aspect (it's Norwegian) and its soft reviews, and I don't know if it will even find a significant audience on the home market. It could become a cult hit, on the other hand. Dead Snow opened tonight in one theater, maybe. About half the sources have it opening next Friday instead. It is also coming out on VOD, which will further limit its box office potential.

Death of a Ghost Hunter - Reviews
A horror film about a haunted house that is opening with zero reviews. Not a good sign. Add in a trailer that doesn't sell the film very well, as it seems to take clichés from other, better horror films and mixes them together, and there's little hope for this film's box office chances. Death of a Ghost Hunter opens tonight in Chandler Cinemas in Chandler, Arizona, which is near where it was filmed.

Food, Inc. - Reviews
A documentary about the food industry, which has become a lot more about industry than it is about food. The film is earning excellent reviews, and there's room at the box office for a multi-million dollar documentary, but I'm not sure this is that film. It has a real chance, but I think it will have to wait till the home market to really find an audience Food, Inc. opens tonight in three theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Kal Kissne Dekha - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood release, and you know what that means. It's opening with no reviews, no advanced buzz, and no crossover potential. It could do well on the per theater chart, or come Monday we might not even see box office numbers released.

Moon - Reviews
An impressive cast and excellent reviews could help this film thrive in limited release. Then again, it has been a while since a summertime limited release has earned breakout success. Here Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an astronaut at the end of his three-year contract where he is in total isolation on the Moon collecting H3, which is Earth's main source of energy. However, not only is he alone on the Moon, but with a malfuncting satellite, the mission is taking a heavy toll on his physical and mental well being. Moon opens tonight in eight theaters, both in New York City and the Los Angeles area, while it expands to San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston next weekend.

Street Dreams - Reviews
Co-written by professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, of Rob & Big fame, and directed by newcomer Chris Zamoscianyk. Not the kind of pedigree that suggests a lot of box office potential in limited release. Additionally, it only has one review on Rotten Tomatoes, which suggests not a lot of advanced buzz. That review is positive and that could mean it will perform better on the home market, on the other hand. Street Dreams opens tonight in more than 20 theaters, but that is likely as wide as it will go.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Moon, Street Dreams