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Limited and VOD Releases: Take a Trip to the Theaters

August 11th, 2017

The Trip to Spain

There are a number of limited releases coming out this week that are earning good reviews and / or strong buzz. Of these, The Trip to Spain is the one I want to see the most. It also has a good chance to earn more than $2 million in theaters, as its two predecessors did the same.

After Love - Reviews
A couple with two kids are getting a divorce, but they are strapped for cash and neither wants to give up the apartment. This French drama is earning nearly 100% positive reviews and French films do have an audience on the art house circuit. I don’t think it will expand significantly, but it could remain in theaters for a long time.

The Farthest - Reviews
A documentary about the Voyager space probe, which is about to leave the solar system. If you are interested in space exploration, then this movie is a must see. As for its box office chances, most documentaries don’t do well in theaters and there are a lot of documentaries coming out this week, so the competition is extra fierce.

Good Time - Reviews
After a botched bank robbery, Robert Pattinson has to try to get his brother out of prison. The film’s reviews are more than 90% positive and A24 has more limited release hits than average, so look for this film to have one of the highest theater averages of the weekend.

In This Corner of the World - Reviews
I don’t have a lot of hard data to back up this opinion, but I believe anime is growing in popularity here. It is still really hard for an anime film to have success in theaters, because it is still a niche market. This film’s reviews are so amazing that if it does do well in theaters, it will be converting a lot of the audience into new fans of the genre.

Ingrid Goes West - Reviews
Aubrey Plaza plays a woman who is obsessed with social media and Elizabeth Olsen. The reviews are great and the film’s buzz is better than most limited releases could hope for. This means it has a good shot at earning some measure of mainstream success. It’s far from a sure thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it topped $1 million before its theatrical run is over.

Machines - Reviews
A documentary about a textile factory in India and the dehumanizing work conditions. The film’s reviews are great, but documentaries rarely have break out success at the box office.

The Only Living Boy in New York - Reviews
When the trailer for this film came out, it earned a lot of buzz—more than most limited releases ever get. However, this buzz was of the, “What the hell were they thinking?” variety and not anything positive. Its reviews are on par with its early negative buzz and the only way it becomes a hit in limited release is if people decide to see it as a joke.

Paris is Happening - Reviews
This film follows a group of anarchists as they prepare to pull off a terrorist attack. The reviews are right on the border between merely good and good enough to thrive in limited release. It is a foreign-language film, so that’s an added obstacle to overcome.

Pilgrimage - Reviews
Video On Demand
A group of monks from a monastery transporting a holy relic to Rome soon realize the relic is more powerful than they thought and therefore the journey will be a lot more dangerous. The reviews are good, but likely not good enough to thrive in limited release. However, they are good enough to justify spending $6 on a VOD rental.

Planetarium - Reviews
This film has a good cast, but terrible reviews. Limited releases normally need better reviews than wide releases to make an impact. This film’s Tomatometer Score is so bad it would hurt the box office chances of the most mindless of action films.

A Taxi Driver - Reviews
A German reporter asks a South Korean taxi driver to drive him to Gwangju. The South Korean town is undergoing a political protest and the reporter wants to cover it, but soon the Gwangju Uprising begins and the violent crackdown is more dangerous than they were expecting. There are only eight reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but all of them are positive and the film was a monster hit in its native South Korea last weekend, having more than tripled its $13 million budget so far. It won’t do the same here, but it could do well enough to find at least a measure of success in limited release.

The Trip to Spain - Reviews
This is the third film in The Trip franchise. In the movies, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves as they travel around eating fancy foods at gourmet restaurants all while doing Michael Caine impersonations and generally annoying each other. It’s a simple premise, but the films have earned amazing critical praise and both have cracked $2 million at the box office. I suspect the third one will do so as well. I just wish we would get the full TV show version and not the movie cut we are getting.

Whose Streets? - Reviews
A documentary about the death of Michael Brown and the political activism it started that continues to this day. The reviews are nearly 100% positive, but I think outrage fatigue is setting in with the target audience.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Bedeviled - Reviews - Video on Demand
Open Water 3: Cage Dive - No Reviews - Video on Demand
A Life in Waves - Reviews - Video on Demand
The Veil - Reviews - Video on Demand
The first Open Water earned just over $30 million in theaters. The third film in the franchise is being dumped on VOD without any reviews. That’s a huge fall.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Pilgrimage, Good Time, L'Économie du Couple, The Veil, Planetarium, Bedeviled, Open Water 3: Cage Dive, The Only Living Boy in New York, Whose Streets?, Kono sekai no katasumi ni, Nocturama, Ingrid Goes West, The Trip to Spain, A Life in Waves, Taeksi Woonjunsa, Machines, The Farthest, Open Water, The Trip, Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Robert Pattinson, Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen