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Limited and VOD Releases: Will La La Land Some Oscars?

December 9th, 2016

La La Land

I problably could have cut this list down to one film, La La Land, because it is the only film on this week’s list with a realistic chance at expanding significantly. In fact, given its reviews and its buzz, it has a realistic chance at earning Oscar glory.

Abattoir - Reviews
Video on Demand
A horror film that is earning bad reviews and is playing on VOD. That’s three strikes for its box office chances.

Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America - Reviews
A documentary about Daryl Davis, a musician, who met with countless members of the KKK, many of which gave up their robe and renounced their former life. There are not a lot of reviews, but all four of them on Rotten Tomatoes are positive.

All We Had - Reviews
Video On Demand
Katie Holmes makes her directorial debut with this movie. The reviews started out well, but have since collapse with more critics saying it is too formulaic to work.

Befikre - No Reviews
A Bollywood film about an Indian man who goes to Paris and falls in love. There are no reviews, but that’s common for Bollywood films. It is the widest limited release of the week, but that is also common for Bollywood films.

Beyond the Gates - Reviews
Video on Demand
A horror film about a VHS-based board game that sucks players in. The reviews are excellent, but horror films almost never find an audience in theaters. Horror films that are playing on VOD, like this one is, have an even worse time at the box office.

The Brand New Testament - Reviews
In this movie, God is an abusive husband and father who only created humans so he could have something to torment, which is what he uses his computer for. His daughter, Ea, locks him out of his computer and decides to write a new Testament. The film’s reviews are good, but perhaps not good enough to thrive in limited release. It is also a foreign-language film, so its potential to expand is drastically limited.

Burn Country - Reviews
Video on Demand
A war correspondent returns from Afghanistan and becomes a crime reporter for a small town newspaper. However, he uncovers serious corruption. The reviews are good, but not great, while it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are terrible. That said, it costs $7 to rent on VOD and that’s not a bad way to spend an evening.

Frank & Lola - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film has reviews that would be good enough for a wide release, but will likely spell its doom in limited release. Also, it is playing on VOD, so its box office chances are even worse. That said, if you like the two leads, it is certainly worth spending $6 on a rental.

La La Land - Reviews
There’s not much to say about this movie’s box office chances this week, as it expands wide next week and I’ll have more to say then. Its reviews are phenomenal and it is expected to be a major player during Awards Season. However, there’s already talk that it isn’t as good as its reviews and it is doing so well in part due to its setting. Awards Season voters tend to support any film that celebrates Hollywood like this one does.

Oddball - Reviews
Video on Demand
A farmer and his granddaughter train their dog to protect a penguin colony. The film’s reviews are 85% positive, which is above the level usually needed for success in limited release. However, it is a family film that is also playing on VOD, so its box office chances are close to zero.

Slash - Reviews
A film about a high school outcast whose secret work as a slash writer is exposed. What could have turned into the worst moment of his life turns around when one of the most popular girls in school reveals she is also a slash writer and encourages his craft. This is one of the best-reviewed films of the week. Unfortunately, it is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, so it won’t have a real chance at the box office.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Contract to Kill - Reviews - Video on Demand
Harry Benson: Shoot First - Reviews - Video on Demand
Sugar Mountain - Reviews - Video on Demand
Two of the three secondary VOD releases have overall positive reviews, which is rare. Sugar Mountain isn’t the best, but it could find an audience on the home market. Harry Benson: Shoot First is a documentary, so its chances are not as good.

Filed under: Limited Releases, All We Had, La La Land, Oddball, Le tout nouveau testament, Frank & Lola, Harry Benson: Shoot First, Contract to Kill, Sugar Mountain, Befikre, Abattoir, Burn Country, Beyond the Gates, Slash, Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America, Katie Holmes, Shane Jacobson, Imogen Poots, Michael Shannon, Benoît Poelvoorde, Hannah Marks, Pili Groyne, Michael Johnston, Coco Jack Gillies