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Limited Releases give Moviegoers Nightmares

October 20th, 2006

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D gets the jump on the holiday by opening in 168 theatres tonight. While that's the widest limited release for the week, it isn't the only one that shows some promise for mainstream success.

51 Birch Street - Reviews
A documentary about the filmmaker's parents and their 54-year marriage. Poignant and powerful, but perhaps a little too personal for widespread appeal. 51 Birch Street opened on Wednesday at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Conventioneers - Reviews
A romance between two people at the polar opposite ends of the political spectrum. As political allegory, it is too heavy-handed to be effective and the romance between these two is too unrealistic to be work on its own. Conventioneers opens tonight at the Village East in New York City.

Jaan-E-Maan - Reviews
A Bollywood film shot in New York City. This means, among other things, it has a lot more pre-release publicity going for it. Most such films come out with no reviews, no ads, etc. aimed at the mainstream audience. This could help the film, but it is still such a tight niche market that I can't see it expanding significantly beyond the 65 theatres it is opening in this weekend.

Justice - Reviews
A look at the criminal justice system in the poor slums of Rio de Janeiro. The courts there are clogged with petty criminals and drug dealers. There are certainly compelling stories to tell here, but the movie moves too slowly at times and that might cause a few moviegoers to lose interest. Justice opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Requiem - Reviews
Based on the same events that 'inspired' The Exorcism of Emily Rose. This film is far superior, mainly because it sticks with the real facts far more closely. Of course, this will actually hurt the film's box office chances because moviegoers want to see a film about demonic possession rather than one about people who ignored a pre-existing diagnosis and killed someone by starving them to death. Personally I find the second scenario a lot more fascinating and a hell of a lot more scary. Requiem opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Running With Scissors - Reviews
This is one of few films on this week's list that I felt had real mainstream appeal. At least I thought that way until I saw the reviews. The film is actually being compared to Tideland as it is too dark to be enjoyed. The main difference is this film tries to inject broad humor into a subject that is too depressing to accept it. Also like Tideland, this film will be loved by a select group of people, but most moviegoers in general will hate it. Running With Scissors opens tonight in 8 theatres in New York City and the Los Angeles area.

Sleeping Dogs Lie - Reviews
The latest effort by writer / director Bobcat Goldthwait, best known as ... hmmm ... well, he's probably best known for his Stand-Up work, but he has done a ton of TV guest shots as well as massive amounts of voice work. Given the subject of the film, which we don't need to get into here, the final project is surprisingly sweet. The low budget and the subject matter will prevent it from earning mainstream success theatrically, but it should do well on the home market. Sleeping Dogs Lie opens tonight in 6 theatres, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D - Reviews
This film is my favorite musical of all time and for me this film is to Halloween what It's a Wonderful Life is to Christmas. Now, it is being released in a new 3-D format, which might be super cool, or it could be a lame gimmick. This is the widest limited release of the week at 168 theatres, but unlike most Select Cities releases, this one has a good shot at working. I don't think it will make the top ten or anything insane like that. But a million dollar weekend should be obtainable.


Filed under: Limited Releases, , Running With Scissors, Jaan-E-Maan, 51 Birch Street, Sleeping Dogs Lie, Requiem, Conventioneers, Justice