25 July 2009

Summer Of The Limited Release

Last Year, there were only a few limited release films that I was unable to see because of my geography. Mongol, a 2007 film made the rounds last summer, and I eventually was able to view it in Cleveland while on vacation. Son Of Rambow was another that I was looking forward to, but it never came to a theater in my region.

This summer is even more of the same, with In The Loop, The Hurt Locker, and 500 Days of Summer, all as limited release pictures.

It begs the question: Why have all of the best reviewed films this summer not been given a wide release?

The answer of course, is economics. Film studios license certain films for a run specific geographic areas. They do this because in most cases, these films were made for less money and the studios don't want to spend a lot of money to distribute a film that may only have earning potential in major markets. In some cases, after a film has made enough to cover the cost of its production, it is then given a wide release. This is usually only done when studio executives believe that the film has garnered enough attention to earn a major profit. The best example of this, is probably last year's Slumdog Millionaire.

Luckily, 500 Days of Summer will be in Kansas City next week. The Hurt Locker just got here after nearly a month in an even smaller list of select cities. Hopefully, the rest of the great films this summer will be given a wider release at some point or make enough money to be given the full treatment in every theater in America.

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