Follow us on

Limited and VOD Releases: King of Limited Release

March 4th, 2016

Knight of Cups

There's no limited release on this week's list that looks like a sure hit. Knight of Cups has the pedigree, but not the reviews. On the other hand, Emelie has excellent reviews, but it is playing on Video on Demand. Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a low key release, but maybe it will find a receptive audience in theaters.

Ava's Possessions - Reviews
Video on Demand
A woman is recovering from demonic possession, but fears the demon is trying to return. It's an allegory for addiction. Critics mostly like the movie, but not enough to suggest it will do well in theaters. On the other hand, the reviews are good enough for VOD.

The Boy and the Beast - Reviews
An Anime release. Animated films rarely do well in limited release and even with great reviews, I don't think this film will be able to earn any measure of mainstream success.

Cemetery of Splendor - Reviews
A Thai film about a woman helping out at a clinic that takes care of soldiers with a strange sleeping sickness. This is one of the best reviewed new releases of the week, but its appeal is very likely limited to the art house scene.

Emelie - Reviews
Video on Demand
Sarah Bolger plays the titular Emelie, a babysitter who turns out to be disturbed. The reviews are excellent with a lot of the praise going to Sarah Bolger, but it is the wrong genre for limited release and it is playing on VOD. I don't expect it to do much business in theaters, but the rise of VOD means it doesn't have to do well in theaters to break even.

Knight of Cups - Reviews
This is the biggest limited release of the week, at least as far as pedigree is concerned. The film is the latest from Terrence Malick, who tends to make visually impressive films, but films that don't have strong narratives. The critics are saying that even his fans might grow tired of this film's narrative weaknesses. That's a bad sign for its box office chances. Knight of Cups opens tonight in four theaters, while it will expand over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

The Other Side of the Door - Reviews
A horror film earning mixed reviews and opening in several hundred theaters. There's almost no chance it will do well in theaters, but it could do well on Video on Demand later on.

Songs My Brothers Taught Me - Reviews
A movie set on an Indian Reservation focusing on a teenage boy and his younger sister. The film's reviews are excellent and it even picked up a couple of Independent Spirit Awards Nominations. Native Americans are not the focus of a lot of movies, so if you are interested in seeing a different perspective in movies, then this is a great film to see. Songs My Brothers Taught Me opened on Wednesday in New York City and has planned showings over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

They Will Have to Kill Us First - Reviews
A documentary about Mali, where Islamic extremists have outlawed music. But while the musicians face torture or death at the hands of these extremists, they have decided to fight back with music. They Will Have to Kill Us First opens tonight in two theaters with further showings planned for the coming weeks / months. Check out the official site for more details.

Trapped - Reviews
A documentary about the abortion debate in the United States and the number of laws used to restrict access to legal abortion. This is a very timely release, because the Supreme Court is dealing with this exact issue. The reviews are perfect, but it is really hard for a documentary to expand significantly at the box office. If you do like documentaries in general, and agit prop political ones in particular, then this is worth checking out. Trapped opens tonight in three theaters with planned expansions over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

The Wave - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Norwegian film about an avalanche at a big tourist destination. The man whose job it is to determine if the big one is about to hit has taken a new job and about to move away. However, on his last day on the job he sees evidence that disaster is about to hit, but he has trouble getting people to believe him. ... Wow. That's a long list of clichés. That said, the reviews are very good and the critics commend the film for using the genre clichés in an interesting way. The Wave opens tonight in over 30 theaters, while it is also playing on iTunes. Check out the official site for more details.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Knight of Cups, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Bølgen, The Other Side of the Door, Emelie, They Will Have to Kill Us First, Bakemono no ko, Ava’s Possessions, Rak ti Khon Kaen, Trapped, Sarah Bolger, Louisa Krause, Terrence Malick, John Reddy, Jashaun St. John