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Limited and VOD Releases: Birdboy and the Forgotten Limited Releases

December 15th, 2017

I, Tonya

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters today and that’s scaring away all of the competition. There’s barely more than a dozen films we have release dates for, and none of them are earning serious buzz. If we limited ourselves to films with 10 or more reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, then this week’s list would be embarrassingly short. The best film on this week’s list is Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, but it is an foreign animated movie, so I’m not expecting much at the box office.

The Ballad of Lefty Brown - Reviews
Video on Demand
This film has a Tomatometer Score of 85% positive, but the average critic rating is just 6 out of 10, so while most critics liked it, very few loved it. You can rent it for $7 and that’s probably better than going out to the theaters to watch it. This is especially true if you are worried about crowds this weekend.

Beyond Skyline - Reviews
Video on Demand
The original Skyline was a bad movie, but it only cost $10 million and earned nearly $80 million worldwide. It likely broke even before it hit the home market. I’m not surprised the film got a sequel, but I am surprised it took seven years and it is opening as a VOD premiere. The reviews are better, so maybe it will be a hit on VOD. Its box office chances are negligible, on the other hand.

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children - Reviews
An animated film that takes place on an island that suffered a nuclear meltdown and environmental catastrophe. This film is earning the best reviews out of all of the films on this week’s list, but animated films almost never find success in limited release.

Killing For Love - Reviews
Video on Demand
A documentary about the murder of Derek and Nancy Haysom, and the trial of the people who killed them: their daughter and her boyfriend. However, the boyfriend might be innocent and just took the fall for the women he loved. There are only six reviews, but all of them are positive. On the other hand, the average score is just 6 out of 10 and it is playing on VOD. It is worth the VOD rental, but its box office chances are very limited.

Miss Kiet’s Children - Reviews
A documentary about a teacher in Holland, Miss Kiet, who teaches mostly refugees. She doesn’t just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also how to adapt to their new life and have the confidence to grow. The film is one of only a few that have 10 or more reviews on rotten tomatoes, furthermore, all of its reviews are positive. On the other hand, documentaries rarely do well at the box office.

Sundowners - Reviews
Video on Demand
A Canadian movie about two wedding photographers who get a dream job in Mexico, but they quickly realize they are over their heads. There are only six reviews, but they are all positive. That said, it is a Canadian movie and it is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are weak.

Youth - Reviews
This film was supposed to come out in its native China in September, but it was pulled at the last minute, because the Chinese government decided there were inappropriate scenes in the movie. It doesn’t praise Chinese life enough for the government. The reviews here are 100% positive, but there are only eight reviews and it is a foreign-language film, so its chances to reach a mainstream audience are very limited.

Secondary VOD Releases:
Apache Warrior - Reviews - Video On Demand
Desolation - Reviews - Video on Demand
Permanent - Reviews - Video on Demand
Permanent only has one review, but it is positive. If you want to avoid a crowded theater, but want to see a family movie, maybe give this film a rental.

Filed under: Limited Releases, Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi, Beyond Skyline, De kinderen van juf Kiet, Psiconautas, los niños olvidados, Permanent, The Ballad of Lefty Brown, Fang Hua, Apache Warrior, Das Versprechen, Desolation, Sundowners