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Limited and VOD Releases: Oh No, You have to Go to Limited Releases!

October 14th, 2016

Miss Hokusai

There are a ton of limited releases earning great reviews this week. Perhaps too many of them. Some, like Shin Godzilla, have more popular appeal, but many of them, like Tower, are aiming for Oscar Glory.

Aquarius - Reviews
A retired music teacher is the last resident in her apartment building after the rest of the people who used to live there were bought out by a land developer. She, on the other hand, plans to live there until she dies. This film is one of several to earn 90% positive reviews, or better. It is a foreign-language film, so its box office chances are weaker than most of the others.

Certain Women - Reviews
The story of three different women dealing with sexism and other issues. The film has earned some measure of awards buzz and its reviews suggest that could be more than talk. On the other hand, there’s a lot of competition this week. It starts in New York City and Los Angeles this week before expanding over the coming weeks. A strong start will do a lot to help the buzz grow.

Christine - Reviews
Video On Demand
Rebecca Hall plays the titular Christine, a real-life news reporter in the 1970s. She clashed with her boss over doing more substantive news stories, while he was only interested in sensationalism and whatever would get ratings. This battle, combined with mental illness, led to one of the most shocking events ever broadcast on TV. The reviews are excellent, but it is playing on VOD, so it likely won’t make an impact at the box office.

Coming Through the Rye - Reviews
James Steven Sadwith wrote and directed this film, which is based on his real-life quest to find J.D. Salinger. The reviews are 91% positive at the moment, which should be great news for the film. Unfortunately, there are several films earning even better reviews this week, so it got unlucky with the competition.

Desierto - Reviews
A group of Mexicans trying to enter the United States illegally are hunted by a vigilante. The film’s reviews are mixed, which would be fine if it was opening wide. However, as a limited release, the reviews will likely be fatal to its box office chances.

Little Sister - Reviews
Video on Demand
Addison Timlin stars as a young nun who returns home when her brother comes back from the Iraq War. However, the family reunion isn’t a smooth one. The film’s reviews are stunning, but it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are negligible.

Maya Angelou and Still I Rise - Reviews
A documentary about Maya Angelou, who is best known as a writer and a civil rights activist. The reviews are 100% positive, but it is not the only film on this week’s list that can make that claim.

Miss Hokusai - Reviews
An Anime title about the daughter who actually produces much of the art sold under her father’s name. Animated films rarely do well in limited release, even ones with 100% positive reviews like this one has. That said, GKIDS has a history of doing well with limited showings.

Shin Godzilla - Reviews
Toho returns to the Godzilla franchise to show Americans how it is done. The key is to make the human characters interesting and have Godzilla be the focus of the movie, not a supporting character. The film began its run on Tuesday in nearly 500 theaters and should be around $1 million before Friday began. It should do even more business when it hits the home market.

Tower - Reviews
A documentary about the 1966 Austin Clock Tower Shootings that uses rotoscoping to re-enact the events of that day. The film’s reviews are currently 100% positive and there are some who think it is the film to beat for this year’s Best Feature-Length Documentary Oscar.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Broken Vows - Reviews - Video on Demand
FML - Reviews - Video on Demand
Jack Goes Home - Reviews - Video on Demand
Ordinary World - Reviews - Video on Demand
The River Thief - Reviews - Video on Demand
Ordinary World is the only secondary release that is coming close to earning positive reviews. Almost all of the rest are not even worth renting.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Coming Through the Rye, Ordinary World, Desierto, Broken Vows, The River Thief, Certain Women, Christine, Tower, Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai, Shin Godjira, Jack Goes Home, Little Sister, Aquarius, FML, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Rebecca Hall, Addison Timlin, James Steven Sadwith, Maya Angelou