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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dan's Discs- TRANCE

Did you see TRANCE?
Me neither. 
The latest effort, by brilliant director Danny Boyle, only pulled in $2.3 million at the U.S. box-office.
It's theater count went from 4, to 438, to 443, to 157, to 86, to 40, to 23 and finally to 11.
Boyle has never made a bad film.
So, how come TRANCE got no love?

Boyle's last films before TRANCE were 127 HOURS and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
127 HOURS was nominated for six Academy Awards and SLUMDOG was nominated for ten!
SLUMDOG went onto win eight Oscars, including Best Picture and a domestic haul of $141 mil.
Audiences should have been lining up for TRANCE, so why the flop?
TRANCE fell victim to the 2013 state of cinema: Go Big Or Go Home.

As I previously stated, I still have not seen the film, but here is a full review from Mike Scott. 
The official studio synopsis for the film reads: 

"A fine art auctioneer mixed up with a gang joins forces with a hypnotherapist to recover a lost painting. As boundaries between desire, reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur the stakes rise faster than anyone could have anticipated."

Okay, so we've go a cerebral thriller, with a great director and some very fine actors (James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson). It sounds like a fun time at the theater, but most never got the opportunity to go see it. When a film's wide release is 443 theaters, it's a safe bet that it missed a lot of the country. I am writing this from Vermont and we did not get the film. I don't mean it wasn't playing in my city, I mean that it did not play in the state of Vermont.

2012 was the highest-grossing year in cinema history. An estimated 1.3 billion people in the U.S. went to the movies last year, but for every big budget franchise film like THE AVENGERS, there are smaller productions, like TRANCE, doing less and less business. Movie theaters (especially the small ones) can't pass up tent-poles like AVENGERS and the audience is losing options in the process.

Packing theaters for weeks with a huge hit can make a theater's summer (or year) and keep them in business. So instead of your art house/small theater showing four screens of indies and one commercial flick, you are getting four screens of superheroes and (maybe) one or two screens of movies like TRANCE. I really wanted to see Noah Baumbach's new film, FRANCES HA, which has gotten some rave reviews, but again, it didn't play in the Green Mountain State. 

You can't blame theaters for trying to make money, it's a business after all. However, it's sad that you might not be able to see a film by one of the best working directors because the characters don't wear capes. If you want to see a smaller movie, head to theater if you can, instead of waiting for the DVD. Or else you might not have the option much longer.

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