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Limited and VOD Releases: Vote for the Best Limited Release

October 23rd, 2015


There's quite a few strong limited releases on this week's list, including Suffragette, which is earning by far the loudest buzz. Its reviews are good, but not great. On the other hand, Difret's reviews are great, but it has far less mainstream appeal. Bone Tomahawk has the potential to become a cult favorite, but it is playing on Video on Demand, so it likely won't make an impact at the box office.

Bone Tomahawk - Reviews
Video on Demand
This is a western about a group of four men, led by Kurt Russell, who go after a group of cave-dwelling cannibals after said cannibals kidnap some settlers in a small village. This sounds like a B-movie, but the reviews are amazing and many critics say it could become a cult hit. If it does become a hit of any description, it will do it on the home market and not in theaters.

Difret - Reviews
Based on real life events, this film is about a 14-year old girl, Tizita Hagere, who falls victim to the custom of bride kidnapping. She fights back and kills her attacker. However, bride kidnapping is a part of her culture and the law says she's guilty of capital murder for killing her attacker. This is one of the best releases on this week's list and it has a chance to do well in limited release. However, the subject matter will likely preclude it from expanding wide enough to reach mainstream audiences. Difret opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City with more showings over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

Extraordinary Tales - Reviews
Video on Demand
I mentioned this horror anthology film on Tuesday. The reviews are good, but not great, while horror films rarely do well in limited release. Furthermore, anthologies are much better on the home market, where you can skip a segment if it doesn't work. It's perfect for VOD.

Heart of a Dog - Reviews
A documentary by Laurie Anderson dealing with death, including that of her husband, her dog, and 9/11. Heart of a Dog opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City with planned expansions over the coming weeks / months. Check out the official site for more details.

I Smile Back - Reviews
Sarah Silverman stars as a wife and mother who seems to have a great life. However, she's an addict. She's addicted to alcohol, narcotics, sex, etc. and trying to keep this part of her life away from her family can't last forever. While the stand-up comic turned actress is getting a lot of praise for her dramatic performance in this film, the script isn't as good. It is worth checking out, but wait till it hits the home market.

Nasty Baby - Reviews
Video on Demand
A gay couple, Sebastian Silva and Tunde Adebimpe, are trying to have a baby with their best friend, Kristen Wiig. However, they also have to deal with a nasty neighbor, Reg E. Cathey. This film's reviews are good, but not good enough for a limited release. On the other hand, it seems like a great VOD rental for the weekend.

Shaandaar - No Reviews
A Bollywood film with no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. However, its review on Now Running is weak and the readers of Rotten Tomatoes have been giving it overwhelmingly negative reviews. That's not a good sign. On the other hand, niche market films tend to be much harder to predict, even when you have reviews to judge them by.

Suffragette - Reviews
This film is Oscar bait. That is not an insult, but merely a description. It is based on real life events, set long enough ago to qualify as a period piece, and is about people overcoming obstacles. Unfortunately, the reviews are not living up to the buzz. That's not to say it is a bad movie. In fact, its reviews suggest it will have a good shot at thriving in limited release. However, it will need Award Season buzz to expand significantly enough to challenge wide releases at the box office. Suffragette opens tonight in four theaters and I am very confident it will expand. It has Meryl Streep in it. It will earn at least a few major Awards Season nominations.

Tokyo Tribe - Reviews
A Japanese film about a near-future where gangs in Tokyo fight after their peace is disrupted. It is also a musical. The reviews are mixed with most critics complaining that the film's shift in tones too much and too abruptly. This is a common complaint with hybrid movies like this. If you like the genre, I would wait till it hits the home market and rent it.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Tokyo Tribe, Bone Tomahawk, I Smile Back, Nasty Baby, Suffragette, Extraordinary Tales, Heart of a Dog, Difret, Shaandaar, Meryl Streep, Tunde Adebimpe, Reg E. Cathey, Kurt Russell, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Silva, Laurie Anderson, Tizita Hagere