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These Limited Releases are No Hoax

April 6th, 2007

As always, limited releases bring wide variety of films from a Canadian film about a first crush, to a Dutch film about surviving World War II. However, unlike most weeks, this week also has a big release that is almost guaranteed to hit seven figures during its debut. That film, The Hoax, it also opening in more than 200 theaters, which makes it a risky move for the studio.

Black Book - Reviews
Director Paul Verhoeven looked to become one of the biggest money makers of the 90s after coming out with Total Recall and Basic Instinct back-to-back. Then came Showgirls. He hasn't really been able to recover since then with either the critics or with moviegoers. Black Book should help, at least with the critics, as it is earning the best reviews he's seen in nearly 20 years while its story of a woman in World War II who will do anything to survive should draw in the art house fans. I don't know if it will be enough for the film to earn any mainstream success, but perhaps his next project will be more along those lines. Black Book opened on Wednesday in three theaters before expanding to nine tonight.

The Dance - No Reviews
The latest movie aimed at Mormons opening exclusively in Utah. Like most of these films, this one has not advanced buzz, no reviews, no publicity, and no shot at box office success outside of its narrow target audience. Even that might not happen. The Dance opens tonight in nine theaters across Utah.

Fighting Words - No Reviews
This is a movie about the underground world of Slam Poetry. Think of it as Fight Club, but with an iambic pentameter instead of pink soap. I'm not sure who thought this film was a good idea. There are few things less cinematic that watching people recite poetry and the concept of a big poetry competition with rivalries and grudges just sounds silly. The film was made in 2003 but didn't get a release till now, which is a terrible sign, almost as bad as the no reviews and total lack of buzz. Fighting Words opens tonight at the Mann's Theaters in Los Angeles.

The Hoax - Reviews
The best-reviewed release of the week, this film will still struggle to find box office success. Much of this has to do with its release schedule as it is opening tonight in 235 theaters before expanding wide next week. I really don't like the select cities release schedule, but this film looks like it has a shot at pulling it off. Tracking has the film coming in with $1 to $2 million during its opening weekend. $1 million won't be enough to justify a wide expansion, but $2 million and a per theater average of over $8000 certainly will. The Hoax opens tonight nationwide, check your local listings for more details.

Whole New Thing - Reviews
This low budget, ($750,000 Canadian, or about $650,000 American), Canadian film stars newcomer Aaron Webber as a home schooled kid going to public school for the first time and who develops a crush on his English teacher. On the one hand, the cast is great and there's a lot to enjoy with this movie. On the other hand, it tends to wander into the territory of the melodrama too often for an enthusiastic recommendation. Whole New Thing opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

The TV Set - Reviews
Set in the world of the TV Industry, this film stars David Duchovny as a writer who sold his script and is seeing his work made into a pilot. However, he quickly learns selling the script is nothing compared to getting it made the way he wants. I really like David Duchovny and I think we stories about the mediocrization of mass entertainment are important, especially now. That said, this film isn't earning strong enough reviews to escape its limited release. The more involved you are with the industry, the more you will appreciate the inside jokes but even then it's hard to give it an enthusiastic recommendation. The TV Set opens tonight in eight theaters in New York City and the Los Angeles area.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Hoax, Zwartboek, The TV Set, Fighting Words, Whole New Thing, The Dance