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Limited Releases: No Doubt About This Week's Limited Releases

March 6th, 2015

Merchants of Doubt poster

This week, the limited release report is practically the Video on Demand report, as nearly all limited releases are also playing on Video on Demand. The rest are all documentaries, which rarely earn any measure of mainstream success. Worse still, most of the non-documentaries are earning bad reviews, so their box office chances are even worse. Faults is probably the film with the best chance at finding an audience in theaters, but that's not saying much. These Final Hours is also earning great reviews, but it doesn't have the star power that Faults has. Of the documentaries, both An Honest Liar and Merchants of Doubt are worth checking out.

Buzzard - Reviews
A black comedy about a small-time scam artist forced onto the streets when his last con goes wrong. The reviews are excellent, but black comedies tend to struggle to find an audience. Also, like practically every film on this week's list, it is playing on Video on Demand. Buzzard opened on Wednesday in Brooklyn and expands tonight to more than a dozen theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Faults - Reviews
Leland Orser stars as a world-renowned deprogrammer and Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as his most recent and perhaps most difficult client. The film's reviews are among the best of the week, but it is playing on Video on Demand, so it likely won't find an audience in theaters. Faults opens tonight in twelve theaters. Check out the official site for more details.

Grey Gardens - Reviews
This is a re-release of the 1975 documentary about a pair of relatives of Jackie Onasis, Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie. The film's reviews are excellent, but I'm not sure if there is still an audience for the movie this many years after it first came out. Additionally, if you are interested in seeing it, there are other ways to see it. The re-release for Grey Gardens begins tonight at the Film Forum in New York City.

An Honest Liar - Reviews
A documentary about James Randi, a.k.a. The Amazing Randi. This is one of four documentaries on this week's list that are earning great reviews, which is a lot of competition for one genre. An Honest Liar opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles with planned expansions over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken - Reviews
This film is based on the real-life kidnapping of Mr. Heineken, the heir to the Heineken empire. It was previously the subject of a 2011 film starring Rutger Hauer as the titular Heineken. That film is the superior film, but it never found an audience here. This film is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office numbers will be inconsequential.

The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest - Reviews
A documentary about Mark DeFriest, a man who was arrested and jailed for mostly minor offenses, but became infamous for trying to break out of prison more than a dozen times and succeeding more often than not. The reviews are great, but it is a documentary, so its chances of expanding beyond art house theaters is limited.

Merchants of Doubt - Reviews
A documentary about the political operatives used by conservative groups to cloud issues, mostly environmental issues. This is a timely movie, as it was recently revealed that the poster-child for Global Warming denialism was taking a lot of money from right-wing groups. The film is also earning excellent reviews and is one of the few films on this week's list not also playing on Video on Demand. On the other hand, it is a documentary and those rarely expand significantly at the box office. Merchants of Doubt opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, with planned expansions over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

October Gale - Reviews
Patricia Clarkson stars as a woman getting over the death of her husband. She goes to their cabin on a lake for peace, but while there, a man with a gun shot wound comes to her cabin and she has to treat his injury. Good cast, bad reviews, opening on Video on Demand. There are a lot of films like that on this week's list.

Road Hard - Reviews
Adam Carolla plays a stand-up comic who has to go on the road to pay for an expensive divorce. The reviews are bad and the film is also playing on Video on Demand, so I seriously doubt the box office numbers will matter.

These Final Hours - Reviews
A movie about the end of the world and how one man is trying to get back to his girlfriend after the pair had a fight. Along the way, he rescues a girl from a possible rape and tries to reunite her with her father. The reviews are very good, perhaps good enough to thrive in limited release. However, it is also playing on Video on Demand, so that's unlikely.

Two Men in Town - Reviews
A remake of a 1973 French film. It has a great cast, but the reviews are below 50% positive, which is usually fatal for a limited release. Worse still, it is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office numbers are nearly irrelevant.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Grey Gardens, Merchants of Doubt, Two Men in Town, Faults, October Gale, These Final Hours, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest, An Honest Liar, Road Hard, Buzzard, Adam Carolla, Patricia Clarkson, Rutger Hauer, Leland Orser, Nathan Phillips, Scott Speedman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Angourie Rice, Jessica de Gouw, James Randi, Mark DeFriest