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Limited and VOD Releases: Will Journey Travel a Long Distance?

February 3rd, 2017

Journey to the West 2

A few films on this week’s list could be called the biggest limited release of the week. The Comedian is the biggest in terms of star power. Journey to the West 2 is the biggest in terms of worldwide box office. I Am Not Your Negro is the biggest in terms of Awards Season success. Journey to the West 2 should have the biggest opening, but I’m not sure if it will earn mainstream success.

Ana-ta-han - Reviews
This is a re-release of a 1954 Japanese movie about a group of sailors who become stranded on an island near the end of World War II. The war ends, but they don’t know that and become involved in a war of their own. The reviews are 100% positive and hopefully this re-release will lead to a Blu-ray release.

The Comedian - Reviews
This is one of the biggest films on this week’s list, at least in terms of cast and the buzz. However, the buzz is loud, but really bad. The reviews are just 25% positive and that should prove fatal in limited release.

Dark Night - Reviews
This movie is based loosely on the Aurora, Colorado cinema massacre. The film’s reviews are good, but not great, and limited releases usually need great reviews to thrive.

A Good American - Reviews
A documentary about a cryptologist who worked for the NSA and developed a program that could have been used to prevent 9/11. There are not a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but nearly all of them are positive.

Good Ol' Boy - Reviews
A coming of age story about a 10-year old Indian boy who just immigrated to the United States. He falls in love with his next door neighbor and tries to become a real American to win her over. There are only four reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but all four are positive, so that’s a good sign.

I Am Not Your Negro - Reviews
This is an Oscar nominated documentary about the history of racism in the United States. The reviews are nearly unanimously positive and the Oscar nod should help it at the box office. However, it is still a documentary, so its chances of expanding significantly are limited.

Journey to the West 2 - Reviews
Journey to the West is an amazing movie and a massive hit worldwide. This film’s reviews are good, but not great, so it will likely have to wait till the home market to find an audience here. Worldwide, it could match its predecessor over the weekend.

The Lure - Reviews
Two sisters fall in love with the same man. Also, the sisters are mermaids. The film earned a lot of buzz when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year and the reviews are even better than the buzz was. That said, I think it will be relegated to the art house circuit. It just doesn’t have enough mainstream appeal to thrive.

Mr. Gaga - Reviews
A biography of Israeli choreographer, Ohad Naharin. The reviews are good enough to think it will do well in the art house circuit, but documentaries rarely do well enough to expand significantly.

The Trouble with Terkel - Reviews
This film has been released in theaters years in the past. The reviews are mixed, because almost all of the characters are just horrible people. None generate any real empathy, so it is hard to care what happens to them.

War on Everyone - Reviews
Video on Demand
Michael Peña and Alexander Skarsgård play two corrupt cops whose latest scheme backfires. The film’s reviews are good enough that if it were playing wide, I would say it had a shot at box office success. However, they are not good enough for limited release. That said, they are good enough for a rental on VOD.

Youth in Oregon - Reviews
Video on Demand
Frank Langella plays a man who wants to be euthanized for his 80th birthday and goes on a road trip to Oregon where it is legal. The reviews are mixed, so it likely won’t do well in theaters. However, they are no so bad that it’s not worth a rental on VOD.

Secondary VOD Releases:
American Violence - Reviews - Video On Demand
Don’t Knock Twice - Reviews - Video on Demand
Eloise - Reviews - Video on Demand
Wheeler - Reviews - Video on Demand
Wheeler is the only secondary VOD release this week that is earning 50% positive reviews. Two of the others are earning 0% positive reviews.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Terkel i knibe, Growing up Smith, Don't Knock Twice, Mr. Gaga, A Good American, The Comedian, War on Everyone, I Am Not Your Negro, Xi You Fu Yao Pian, Eloise, Dark Night, Wheeler, Youth in Oregon, Córki dancingu, American Violence, Anatahan, Frank Langella, Michael Peña, Alexander Skarsgård