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Limited and VOD Releases: Two Shakes of a Lamb's Tail

January 8th, 2016


It is a terrible time of year to release a film in limited release. It is just too late for Awards Season and there are so many Oscar contenders in theaters that the target audience is busy trying to catch up. That said, there are a couple of films here that I hope do well: Lamb and The Treasure.

The Abandoned - Reviews
Video on Demand
A horror film about a security guard working the night shift at an abandoned apartment complex. It's the wrong genre for limited release, the reviews are weak, and it is playing on VOD. That's three strikes for its box office chances.

Anesthesia - Reviews
Video on Demand
This ensemble is written, directed, and co-stars Tim Blake Nelson. It looks at a violent mugging and then jumps back a week to see the events that lead up to the mugging. The cast is great, but the reviews are mixed, so it will likely do nearly no business in limited release. On the other hand, the reviews are not so bad that it isn't worth renting on VOD.

Diablo - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Western starring Scott Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood. That's about the only interesting thing about this movie. Its reviews are so bad that even renting it on VOD is not worth it.

Lamb - Reviews
This film is written, directed, and stars Ross Partridge. It is about a man who cheated on his wife and was kicked out of his home and is now living in a motel parking lot. While in the motel parking lot, he meets a eleven-year old girl, Oona Laurence, and the two begin a weird relationship. The reviews are very good, but limited release is never an easy route to go and the film hits VOD on Tuesday.

The Masked Saints - Reviews
This is the widest release on this week's list with a theater count of nearly 500. Additionally, there's only one review on Rotten Tomatoes and it is negative. Those are two really bad signs. On the other hand, it is a faith-based film and those are entirely unpredictable. It could find a spot in the top ten, or it could open below the Mendoza Line.

The Treasure - Reviews
A Romanian film about a man, Costi, who is having money troubles. One day his neighbor tells him there's treasure buried in his grandparents' garden. He can't afford to find it, but if Costi pays for a metal detector, he will split the treasure with Costi 50/50. This is the best-reviewed film on this week's list and it even won an award at Cannes Film Festival. On the other hand, it is a foreign-language film, so its chances of expanding significantly are very limited.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Anesthesia, The Abandoned, The Masked Saint, Comoara, Diablo, Lamb, Clint Eastwood, Tim Blake Nelson, Ross Partridge, Scott Eastwood, Oona Laurence, Cuzin Toma