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Limited Releases Could have a Devil of a Time

October 30th, 2009

The list of limited releases is rather mixed this week with four films, half of which are earning great reviews, while the other half are... not. Two films are earning reviews that suggest it will have a solid shot at significant expansion, while the other half are earning reviews that are so bad that it suggests the films will not even please most genre fans. It will be interesting to see if the good reviews can help these two film thrive, or whether the bad reviews will be enough to sink the other two films.

The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day - Reviews
Troy Duffy was a bartender in the 1990s when he wrote the screenplay for The Boondock Saints and sold it for $300,000 while securing the job as director. As you can see in the movie Overnight, that didn't turn out so well. However, the film earned some cult status, enough so that this weekend a sequel is coming out. Will it do better at the box office? It almost certainly will, because the first film only made $30,000 theatrically. That said, this film's reviews are quite poor, albeit better than the first film, and it probably doesn't have what it takes to expand significantly wider than its starting theater count. The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day opens tonight in 68 theaters in major markets nationwide.

Gentlemen Broncos - Reviews
Written and directed by Jared Hess, who previously made Napoleon Dynamite, which was a major Indie darling. This film isn't earning the same praise. In fact, its reviews are disastrous. The film tells the story of a young writer who has it work plagiarized by a well respected author, who in turn sells the movie rights to a filmmaker that came from the same small town as our protagonist. Critics complain that there's not enough story to sustain the film, while most of the characters exist only to be laughed at. Critics are warning that even those that enjoyed Jared Hess' previous films will want to stay away from this one. Ouch. Gentlemen Broncos opens tonight in two theaters, the Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles and the Sunshine Cinema in New York City.

The House of the Devil - Reviews
The latest horror film to open in limited release. Normally this is a really, really bad plan, but lately we've had a few success stories, and this one could be the latest. Jocelin Donahue stars as Samantha, a college student who is lured into a Victorian home deep in the woods for what she thinks is a babysitting job. However, she quickly learns the people who hired her are a little... off. This is not a unique set-up, in fact, some are even calling it an homage to the plethora of similar films, but the execution is so well done that is rise head and shoulders above the average film in this sub-genre. On the other hand, it's box office chances are nearly zero. Not only is it the wrong genre, but it is already playing on Video-on-Demand, which tends to kill a film's theatrical run. It should do very well on the home market, on the other hand. The House of the Devil opens tonight in three theaters, one in New York City, one in Los Angeles, and one in Austin, Texas.

Skin - Reviews
Based on the real life story of a black woman born to two white South Africans during the time of the apartheid. Wow. That's a story that has movie written all over it. This is a story that screams to be told. Fortunately it appears it was told well by dedicated filmmakers, as the reviews are fantastic. There is even some Oscar buzz, especially for Sophie Okonedo. If this buzz grows, it could expand significantly from its opening this weekend. Skin opens tonight in four theaters in New York City and the Los Angeles area.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Gentlemen Broncos, Skin, The House of the Devil, The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day