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Limited and VOD Releases: Theaters Are Stuffed with Wide Releases

November 25th, 2016

Always Shine

While Thanksgiving weekend is a boon for wide releases, the number of potential monster hits in theaters scares away a lot of the limited releases. There are some great releases, like Always Shine and Baden Baden, as well as some bigger releases, like Lion and Miss Sloane. Hopefully they will find audiences in limited release.

Always Shine - Reviews
Two women, Anna and Beth, used to be best friends, but the competition for acting jobs drove them apart. Now they are taking a vacation together to reconnect. The film’s reviews are nearly 100% positive, but this psychological drama only has a week before it hits VOD, so it likely won’t find an audience in theaters.

Au Hasard Balthazar - Reviews
A film about a farm girl, Marie, and her donkey. The pair are separated as they grow up, but live parallel and very difficult lives.

Baden Baden - Reviews
Ana returns home after a few years abroad and, despite being in the town she grew up in, she feels out of place. This is one of the best-reviewed films on this week’s list and French films do have a built-in audience in the art house scene. It won’t expand significantly, but it could do well for a limited release.

Behind the Cove - Reviews
A rebuttal to The Cove. I’m guessing this one isn’t going to do as well at the box office.

The C Word - Reviews
A documentary about Cancer narrated by Morgan Freeman. This film is obviously about how we need to cure cancer, but Morgan Freeman has such an amazing voice that he could probably narrate a pro-Cancer film and people would be swayed.

Dear Zindagi - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about an aspiring cinematographer who meets and dates a variety of men, none of whom make her life easier. There are no reviews, but the film reportedly did very well during its Wednesday opening and could hit close to $1 million over its five-day opening.

Evolution - Reviews
Video on Demand
Nicolas is a young boy living on a small island. The only residents there are boys his age and adult women. He begins to suspect something isn’t right with this situation. The reviews are excellent, but the film is playing on VOD, so its chances at the box office are very limited.

Kill Command - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Sci-fi action film about a military training session gone awry when the AI training drones begin to use lethal force. The reviews are good, but not great, while it is also playing on VOD. Worth a rental, but not a trip to the theaters.

Lion - Reviews
Dev Patel stars as Saroo, who has a five-year old boy, was separated from his family while on a train and traveled halfway across India. Without his family, he had to learn to live on his own and was eventually adopted by an Australian family. Now as an adult, he tries to find his family again. This film is based on a real-life story and feels a lot like Oscar-bait and that’s hurting its reviews. That said, the reviews are still among the best of the week, so it has a chance at some box office success.

Mifune: The Last Samurai - Reviews
A documentary about Toshiro Mifune, an actor who was in nearly 200 films. However, it was his collaboration with Akira Kurosawa that this movie focuses on. The reviews are good, but not great. It might do well among cinefiles, but it has no chance of expanding significantly.

Miss Sloane - Reviews
There was talk that this would be an Oscar contender. After all, Jessica Chastain has already picked up a couple of Oscar nods, so any film like this coming out this time of year has to earn at least some Oscar buzz. Unfortunately, the reviews here are only 72% positive. That’s not enough to suggest it will thrive in limited release, never mind become an Awards Season player.

Tank 432 - Reviews
Video on Demand
A group of mercenaries and their two prisoners hide in an abandoned tank, only to realize the real enemy was already among them. The reviews are bad and the film is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are close to zero.

The Unmarried Wife - No Reviews
Anne seemingly has the perfect life with a great career and a fantastic marriage. However, her marriage is a sham and when her husband cheats on her one too many times, she begins divorce proceedings. She then meets another man, who is in a similar situation and they begin a romance. There are no reviews at the moment, but it’s a short week.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Au Hasard Balthazar, Lion, Always Shine, Evolution, Kill Command, Miss Sloane, Baden Baden, Mifune: The Last Samurai, Dear Zindagi, Behind The Cove, The Unmarried Wife, The C Word, Belly of the Bulldog, Morgan Freeman, Jessica Chastain, Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Dev Patel, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Mackenzie Davis, Anne Wiazemsky, Salomé Richard, Max Brebant, Angelica Panganiban, Dingdong Dantes, Paulo Avelino