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Limited and VOD Releases: Will Paint It be in the Black?

May 19th, 2017

Paint it Black

There are not a lot of limited releases this week, but most of them are earning great reviews. Sadly, none look like they will be breakout hits. Wakefield has the biggest cast, but it is hitting VOD next week, so most moviegoers will just wait. Perhaps Paint it Black will be a surprise hit.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail - Reviews
A documentary about the Abacus Federal Savings bank, the only bank that was prosecuted in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. Clearly there was illegal activity that led to this economic crisis, but did Abacus Federal Savings bank contribute to this? Or were they just targeted, because they were too small to have any political power to fight back? It’s a fascinating question and the reviews are strong enough to suggest it could do well at the box office, for a documentary.

Afterimage - Reviews
A biography about the final years of Polish avant-garde artist, Wladyslaw Strzeminski. The film is earning good reviews, but I’m not sure its reviews are good enough to thrive in limited release. On the other hand, it was directed by legendary Polish director, Andrzej Wajda, and was his last film before his death last year, so art house fans will have extra reason to check it out.

The Commune - Reviews
A Danish film set in the 1970s. It is about a couple who inherit a large house from the husband’s side of the family. At first, he wants to sell it, because it is too large to maintain, but she convinces him to use it for a commune, which was all the rage in the 1970s. It is co-written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg, but it doesn’t live up to his The Hunt. He does have some star power here, at least on the art house circuit, so it could do well during its early weeks. It won’t be able to expand significantly, on the other hand.

Elián - Reviews
A documentary about Elián González, a Cuban boy who escaped Cuba with his mother, only to have her die at sea. He then become embroiled in a custody dispute that turned into a media circus. So far, all nine reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are positive, which is an impressive feat. However, I’m not sure the culture is similar enough for the story to resonate with people like it did back in 1999.

Paint it Black - Reviews
This film is the directorial debut for Amber Tamblyn. In it, Alia Shawkat stars as a woman whose boyfriend dies suddenly and she connects with his mother Janet McTeer, but their new relationship isn’t smooth. The reviews are over 90% positive and the cast has a lot more star power than most limited releases have. Paint it Black opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles, and they include a number of Q&A sessions. Check out the official site for more details.

The Survivalist - Reviews
This is one of the best-reviewed films on this week’s list. It is about a post-apocalyptic world and a survivalist who takes in two women, a mother and her daughter, although none of them are particularly trust-worthy. While the film is earning excellent reviews, it struggled in limited release in its native U.K. and there’s little reason to suspect it will perform better here.

Wakefield - Reviews
Bryan Cranston plays the titular Wakefield, a man who seemingly has a great life, until he “runs away” and hides in his attic spying on his family and neighbors. The film's reviews are good enough to thrive in limited release, while it has enough star power to have a chance of earning some mainstream success. On the other hand, it hits VOD next Friday, so it has a very short theatrical window.

The Woman Who Left - Reviews
This movie is set in the 1990s in the Philippines and is about a woman who was sent to prison for 30 years, only to learn her former lover framed her. The film’s reviews are excellent, but it is a foreign-language film, so its chances of earning some measure of mainstream success are very low.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Danger Close - Reviews - Video on Demand
The only secondary VOD release is a documentary about a war correspondent. The reviews are weak, weak enough that it will hurt its chances on VOD. Its chances at the box office are next to zero.

Filed under: Limited Releases, The Survivalist, Danger Close, Kollektivet, Powidoki, Wakefield, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Elián, Ang Babaeng Humayo, Paint it Black, Bryan Cranston, Janet McTeer, Alia Shawkat, Amber Tamblyn, Thomas Vinterberg, Andrzej Wajda