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Where in the World are the Limited Releases

April 18th, 2008

There are plenty of limited releases this week, but none are earning amazing reviews. In fact, most are earning below 50% positive. Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden should be the biggest hit of the weekend, at least in terms of raw dollars, but I not even prepared to guess which one could be the big hit on the per theater chart.

Anamorph - Reviews
A movie that mixes serial killings and art lectures in a way that is supposed to heighten interest. However, most critics complain that it is a pale imitation of David Fincher's Se7en. Limited releases generally need higher scores with critics to thrive than wide releases, and 31% just won't cut it. Anamorph opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Constantine's Sword - Reviews
A documentary about the intermingling of religion and violence, specifically in Christianity. The United States is arguably the most Christian nation on the planet, which will not help this documentary connect with the masses. It will probably struggle in limited release. Constantine's Sword opens tonight in two theaters, Lincoln Plaza and Quad Cinema, both in New York City.

First Sunday in May - Reviews
A documentary about the Kentucky Derby. Reviews so far have been good, but not great, and below the level needed to escape limited release. It could still attract those already familiar with the sport, but it is unlikely to draw in the general population. First Sunday in May opens tonight in 20 theaters, mostly outside the usual locations.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts - Reviews
A documentary about composer Philip Glass. Reviews are mostly positive, but not overwhelmingly positive. It seems a few critics are complaining that the movie is more hero worship than it is biography and this makes it less interesting than it should be. Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Kiss the Bride - Reviews
Matt is shocked to find out his former lover is marrying... a woman. He returns to his hometown to stop the wedding and win back his man, but the bride-to-be turns out to be a formidable opponent on the battlefield of love. So far the reviews for this film can be describe as nearly non-existent and rather negative. TV Movie of the week is how it is being described. It is also a niche market film. Kiss the Bride opens tonight in 5 theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Life Before Her Eyes - Reviews
Director Vadim Perelman's follow-up to House of Sand and Fog, but this film is a big step backward. A mess is the best way to describe it. In fact, simply calling it a mess is a little kind compared to some critics. There are great performances by Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri, but they can't save the movie. They can't even come close. Life Before Her Eyes opens tonight in 8 theaters split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Madama Butterfly - No Reviews
The latest Opera performance by San Francisco Opera. The film opens in 120 theaters tomorrow (Saturday) but this is likely the last time we will hear about it.

Numb - No Reviews
Matthew Perry stars in this Canadian movie as Hudson, a depressed screenwriter looking to find a cure for his condition after he meets the woman of his dreams. However, he quickly figures out the people in charge of helping him are crazier than their patients. The film earned praise during its Film Festival run, but never found a distributor stateside (it is coming out on DVD next month). As for its release this week, it is opening up north in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.

Pathology - Reviews
This movie struggled to find a release date and was pushed back from a wide release in October, which would have been a great release date, to a limited release in mid-April, which is one of the worst release dates it could have. There is little chance for any limited release coming out at this time of the year to survive and grow, and the genre is a complete killer. Add in a release that is too wide for a targeted ad campaign and too limited for a national one and there's little chance it will do well at the box office. Pathology opens tonight in 50 theaters in select cities.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden - Reviews
Morgan Spurlock's follow-up to Super Size Me, which was a far superior movie. Self-indulgent, never serious, lacking focus and depth are all ways the movie has been described while Spurlock has been described as completely out of his depth. It has also been described as witty, humorous, and a good introduction to the Middle East region and a way to start a dialogue on the subject. Those looking for a academic dissertation on the subject of East / West relations should look elsewhere, but one look at the poster should have told you that. On the other hand, if you are looking for a fun, entry level introduction into the subject, this film does the job. Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden opens tonight in more than 100 theaters, which is really high for the genre. It might be too high, but we won't know that until the box office numbers start rolling in.

Zombie Strippers - Reviews
In this film, some zombies infect some strippers. Mayhem ensues. It's a movie that promises just two things: Blood and Boobs. This is not the type of movie that usually wins over critics so I was pleasantly surprised to see its Tomatometer score at 41%. Granted, it is not a great score, but it is better than I was expecting for a horror comedy. Zombie Strippers opens in more than a dozen theaters, but due to its genre, it likely won't find an audience until the home market.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, Life Before Her Eyes, Constantine's Sword, The First Saturday in May, Pathology, Kiss the Bride, Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, Anamorph, Madama Butterfly, Zombie Strippers