Where are they? Two recent movies that were not distributed locally, or nationally, as far as I can tell: “Under The Skin,” and “Only Lovers Left Alive.” As you can see, I enjoy sci-fi and vampire films!
The first stars Scarlett Johansson and got good reviews and even some positive mention at various film festivals; Rotten Tomatoes gave it 87%, and even the NYT liked it! The film was in theaters in two Michigan cities, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. The film remains in limited release, took in just $2.5 million, and comes out on disk next week. Guess I expected, given the star power and genre, that “Under The Skin” would have had wide release, along with the attendant trailers and promotion on national television and major print media. Not so.
“Only Lovers Left Alive” also got good reviews, including 85% at Rotten Tomatoes and a nice mention in the Times’ Friday Arts section. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, like Johansson, have been known to sell a few movie tickets. It grossed only $1.8 million and will be on disk Aug. 19.
Wikipedia classifies both movies as “specialty box office.” By the way, both are still being shown in New York.
My question: why were two, generally well-reviewed films featuring major actors and very popular topics – aliens and vampires – just disappearing into the maw. . . . when really poor (and poorly reviewed) movies stay in my local theater for weeks and weeks? I’m sure it has to do with money, but in that light, I thought surely Ms. Johansson’s presence could sell anything.
Thank you, in advance, for any light you can shed on this matter. I’m sure it happens all the time – these just happened to be two films I was looking forward to seeing on the big screen.