Vinnie Jones in Midnight Meat Train

Well kids, San Diego’s Comic-Con was a blast.  It wasn’t all peaches and cream (there were pretzels) but I released all that rage through the power of drinking.  I mean yoga.  It was a fun time, but while there something came to my attention – Midnight Meat Train is getting a severely limited release.  The film, based on a Clive Barker short, will only be released in 100 theaters beginning on August 1st.  I’m assuming they’ll only run it for a week or two.  This is a damn shame.  Most of the early word on this is that its pretty good, one of the better Clive Barker adaptations on film.  So why shove it aside?  Why tuck it away?  This is bullshit.

Someone at Lions Gate just wants to get this thing on DVD as soon as possible, probably for Halloween.  So what?  You can do a decent theatrical release and still have an early DVD out.  No problem, you’re a pretty big Hollywood Studio, just do it.  Instead, a $15million movie starring Vinnie Jones is getting cornholed and getting only a short run in theaters to fulfill contractual obligations before the plug is pulled. Has horror not done well?  Oh wait – like more than 70% of horror films make their budgets back in theaters within 3 weeks.  That’s why they keep making them.  Why take a movie with a modest, easy to recoup budget, a recognizable cast, and one of the most honored names in horror and kick it around?  Doesn’t make sense to me.

The “limited release” has its purposes, I’m sure.  Certain contracts stipulate a film must play a certain number of times in a certain number of theaters.  Studios might not have the money to pay for a wide distribution, but still want to meet the requirements for Oscar consideration or some other such thing.  In cases like this, though, it almost feels like its some sort of snub.  I’m sure Midnight Meat Train isn’t the worst movie  to ever go into theaters (Meet Dave, any spoof movie in the last 3 years) and the Fall Horror Season isn’t that far away.  There is no way this film doesn’t make at least $10-12million, and that’s probably low.  Instead, you throw all the eggs into the DVD basket.

I’m just focused on this movie because its the one in the forefront and its supposed to be distributed by a fairly big studio that could easily market it.  What the hell is up with this?  There are fans out there that want these movies.  Something about it warranted it being made.  Is it that bad?  Has that ever stopped you before?  One hundred and forty-six IMDb users have rated it an average of 9.2 out of 10.  Maybe there’s something I don’t know about this, maybe I focused too much on one instance, but I’ll be damned if I’m not past my boiling point.

What films that you’ve been excited about have you missed due to a “limited release?”

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