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Limited and VOD Releases: Before You Go to the Movies

September 4th, 2015

Before We Go

As bad as the overall box office looks, the list of limited releases is arguably worse. The biggest limited release in terms of buzz is Before We Go, a film that was earning zero positive reviews when I checked late last night. (A couple of positive reviews have since trickled in.) That's not to say there are no films earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Elle L'Adore are both being praised by critics. However, as a documentary and a foreign-language film respectively, their box office chances are not strong.

Absolutely Anything - Reviews
Out of all of the films on this week's list, this is the one I was most looking forward to seeing. The amount of comedic talent involved in the creation of this movie is incredible. However, one look at the reviews and it is clear that this talent was wasted. So disappointing.

Before We Go - Reviews
Video on Demand
The directorial debut for Chris Evans. It didn't go well. To be fair to him, the vast majority of complaints are leveled at the script, not the directing or acting. Additionally, while the film only has 16% positive reviews, the average review is mixed, not aggressively negative. Call it a rental.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution - Reviews
One of only two movies earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. With such weak competition, it could do well for a documentary during its opening weekend. On the other hand, documentaries very rarely find breakout success in theaters and it will need to rely on the home market to break even. The Black Panthers opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Bloodsucking Bastards - Reviews
Video on Demand
A man working in a soul-sucking corporate job begins to suspect his co-workers are bloodsucking vampires. There is such a strong sense of déjà vu surrounding this film that I swear this movie already came out. It is certainly not a unique premise.

Break Point - Reviews
Video on Demand
A failing pro-tennis player turns to his old doubles partner and a child prodigy to help him regain his winning form. The reviews are better than most other films on this week's list, but not good enough to become a hit in theaters. Renting it on VOD, on the other hand, is probably worth it.

Chloe and Theo - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film is earning 0% positive reviews and it is playing on VOD. There's really nothing more than needs to be said.

Contracted: Phase II - Reviews
Video on Demand
A follow-up to Contracted. The original earned mixed reviews and failed to find an audience in theaters. This film is also earning mixed reviews and will very likely suffer the same fate. On the other hand, if you like body horror, this isn't a bad film to rent on VOD.

Dragon Blade - Reviews
Video on Demand
This is one of the most expensive Chinese films ever made, costing $65 million to produce. It did make close to $120 million in China, so at least it was a hit there. However, its reviews are weak and it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances here are very bad. China is producing a lot of home grown hits, but they've yet to have a breakout hit here. When that happens, the worldwide movie industry will be shaken up.

Elle L'Adore - Reviews
Sandrine Kiberlain plays a woman obsessed with a singer played by Laurent Lafitte. Her obsession is so strong that when he accidentally kills his girlfriend, she agrees to help him dispose of the body. The film's reviews are 100% positive at the moment, so it could do well on the art house circuit. On the other hand, it is a foreign-language film, so its odds of expanding significantly are very limited.

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine - Reviews
This is a documentary about Steve Jobs. There are already too many movies about this man that have been released recently or are in the works. This has diluted the box office demand. While its reviews are good, but not great, so its box office chances are even weaker.

Un gallo con muchos huevos - Reviews
An animated kids movie opening in limited release. Its box office chances are nearly zero.

Welcome Back - No Reviews
A Bollywood film opening with no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes; however, there is a review on Now Running. It is a sequel to Welcome, so there should be a built in audience here, but these films can be unpredictable.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Break Point, Before We Go, Chloe and Theo, Tian jiang xiong shi, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Bloodsucking Bastards, Contracted 2, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Un gallo con muchos huevos, Absolutely Anything, Welcome Back, Elle l'adore, Chris Evans, Sandrine Kiberlain, Laurent Lafitte