Limited Release

For an avid movie goer (who doesn’t reside in NYC or LA) nothing is more frustrating than watching trailers of a movie that actually looks pretty good but is only showing in a limited release. It’s like false advertising. Why do theaters advertise movies that they won’t be showing? It’s a crime really.

This week has no less than six new releases for the weekend and only two are showing nation wide. While I’m thankful for the opportunity to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I’m fairly certain, given the previous track record of the series, that it’s going to be a let down. I’ll pass on Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist which might be a career mistake you’d expect from Jolie but not Depp. The movies I really want to see this weekend are packed full of talent: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams in The Fighter, along with Helen Mirren in the Shakespearean adaptation entitled The Tempest, and a new odd Swedish film that could be rather humorously bad in Rare Exports. I’ll pass on The Garden of Eden.

In my frustration I found a few reasons excuses why some of the films you want to see won’t be available on the big screen.

1. NYC and LA are the two largest cities in the US and both have a population of 9 million each (which is more than Utah, Missouri, and Wyoming combined). That means the theaters will have a higher yield per showing.
2. The film has to open in NYC and LA to be eligible for an Oscar.
3. Independent and Art house films with modest budgets tend to have a lower distribution and appeal to the smaller communities of these two film going towns.
4. Theaters have to buy the roles of film (which cost upwards of thousands of dollars) and have a limited number of screens to rent out. Theater owners are going to want to fill their theaters with the average movie goer, which you’ve got to admit, probably doesn’t have a delicate pallet for good movies.
5. Good movies rely on audience approval to garnish box office numbers while bad movies rely on viewer ambiguity to make all their money on the opening week.

While all of these are fairly good reasons I’m putting my chips on the last two. This is why movies like Skyline get a wide release while I have to drive five hours to NYC to see 127 Hours.

Basically, there is no other excuse other than money. So, while I’ll be watching The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I’ll be wishing I was in NYC or LA watching The Fighter.

Good luck with your movie choices this weekend.

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1 Response to Limited Release

  1. Amber Monroe says:

    I’m totally with you on this one. The last 3 movies I’ve wanted to see were not playing anywhere near me. I ended up going to NYC to see the last one–The King’s Speech. Turns out it opened in PA two weeks later. Did not expect that. PA is lame.

    Have you seen The Fighter yet? I just saw it tonight.

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