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Limited and VOD Releases: Neon Lights Shine Bright on Limited Releases

June 24th, 2016

The Neon Demon

Wow. This is a great week for limited releases. Not only are there a few releases earning a lot of buzz (The Neon Demon, Swiss Army Man, and Wiener Dog). There are also even more movies earning 100% positive reviews. Of those, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the one that I think will have the best chance of breakout success.

Breaking a Monster - Reviews
This is a documentary about a group of 12-year olds from New York City who started a metal band and now have a million dollar contract. ... I feel old and unaccomplished. The reviews are 100% positive, so hopefully this film will find an audience in limited release. Breaking a Monster opens tonight in New York City with further screenings planned over the coming weeks / months. Check out the official site for more details.

Les Cowboys - Reviews
A French western about a family whose daughter goes missing, so the father and son head out to find her. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but foreign-language films almost never escape the art house circuit.

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words - Reviews
A documentary about Frank Zappa, composed mostly of archival footage of the musician. Although calling Frank Zappa just a musician underestimates his impact on wider culture. At the moment, the film's reviews are 100% positive, but like most documentaries, its chance of expanding significantly are very limited.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople - Reviews
Ricky is a foster child who has bounced around from house to house, but who finally has a home. When a tragedy strikes, he might lose his new home, so his new Uncle takes him into the wilderness to get away. The film's reviews are 100% positive... I've been able to say that a lot this week. It feels nice. Perhaps this film will do well enough in limited release to grab some measure of mainstream success.

The Neon Demon - Reviews
This movie is arguably the most divisive new release I've seen in a long time. Its reviews are nearly exactly 50% positive. Not only that, but it is being called a classic of its genre, while there are numerous reports of people walking out on screenings. The film is opening in nearly 800 theaters and it has a chance to make the top ten on the overall chart with close to $3 million. Or it could bomb tremendously and not get halfway there when it is finished.

Nuts! - Reviews
A documentary about John Romulus Brinkley, a "doctor", who, in 1917, claimed to be able to cure male impotence by transplanting goat testicles -- this has to be a mockumentary. ... Nope, according to Wikipedia, this is real. I am intrigued, and a little worried for my species. Like several other films on this week's list, it is earning 100% positive reviews. It is also a documentary, so while it might do well in the art house circuit, it will have to wait till the home market to find an audience.

Raman Raghav 2.0 - Reviews
A Bollywood thriller about a modern-day serial killer who models himself after an infamous serial killer from the 1960s. There are only four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which wouldn't normally be enough to mention here. However, most Bollywood films don't have any reviews on Rotten Tomatoes when they open here. Furthermore, all four reviews are positive, which is great news.

Swiss Army Man - Reviews
Due to an error on my part, this was included in last week's list, but it is opening in theaters today. Here is what I wrote last time. Oh boy. ... This is a tough film to describe. Paul Dano plays a man marooned on a desert island. He has given up hope of ever seeing another person, but one day Daniel Radcliffe washes up on his island. Or to be more accurate, Daniel Radcliffe's corpse washes up on the beach. Even though he's dead, Paul Dano still thinks he's his new best friend and his way back to civilization. The reviews for this film are not great, but it is a black comedy of sorts, so 68% positive reviews is better than average for the genre. As for its box office chances, it is being released by A24 and their hit to miss ratio is really good. Swiss Army Man opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles and expands nationwide on the 1st of July. Check out the official site to play with Daniel Radcliffe's corpse.

T-Rex - Rreviews
Video On Demand
Another documentary that is earning 100% positive reviews. This one is about Claressa 'T-Rex' Shields, a woman trying to become the first Gold Medal Olympian Boxer. Any other week and this film could have a shot at doing well in limited release. However, there's too much direct competition and the film is playing on VOD, which will further hurt its box office chances.

Wiener Dog - Reviews
Directed by Todd Solondz and starring Greta Gerwig, so the film has a lot of Indie cred. However, the reviews are only good and not great. Furthermore, there are two other limited releases that are earning more buzz, so its box office chances are not good.

Secondary VOD Releases:
The Duel - Reviews - Video on Demand
The Call Up - Reviews
Video On Demand
River - Reviews
Video On Demand
River is actually earning good reviews, but not a lot of reviews. It could do well on VOD, but likely not in theaters.

Filed under: Limited Releases, River, The Neon Demon, Wiener-Dog, Swiss Army Man, Les Cowboys, The Duel, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words, T-Rex, The Call-Up, Raman Raghav 2.0, Breaking a Monster, Nuts!, Paul Dano, Greta Gerwig, Sam Neill, Daniel Radcliffe, Todd Solondz, Frank Zappa, Julian Dennison