"Joke's on you guys!," says director Martin McDonagh.
You might or might not pay attention to the little release schedule I have on the left sidebar. My hope is that it's referenced by Twin Cities moviegoers wondering what they should see, but if nothing else it reminds me what I have to look forward to over the next few months.
Although I've only had the calendar up there since April, there is one movie whose title may permanently be branded into the pixels on your screen: In Bruges.
After premiering at Sundance in mid-January, In Bruges opened at the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis on Friday, February 8. Getafilm guest columnist Matt (MNRaul) and I saw it that blustery night with a surprisingly small audience. We had differing thoughts on the movie - he liked it a little more than me; I ended up giving it a "B", and we thought that was the end of it. A little indie that most people wouldn't see in the theater.
The Uptown is a Landmark-owned single screen theater and it's rare that a film will play there more than two weeks in a row. Most are sent over to the Landmark-owned multi-screen Lagoon Theater across the street after their first week. I think I stopped counting when In Bruges marked its seventh week in a row at the Uptown.
Now, I know that it had to have been playing to empty houses most of the time, but I wasn't too bothered because new releases were still opening elsewhere, including the Lagoon, which is where In Bruges eventually landed. And there it remains, at this moment, in its 19th week in release.
Of course the irony in all of this is that the film's characters are, in fact, indefinitely stuck in Bruges. While I'm sure the Landmark decision-makers are a clever bunch, I doubt they're doing this as a practical joke. However, there just can't be more people seeing this than there were when I saw it on opening night five months ago, so who knows. How do you otherwise justify charging full price for a movie in a first-run theater for so long - especially one that's being released on DVD next week?
It was a pretty funny movie and I liked most of it, but I'll end with this: "Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, [In Bruges] might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't."
What do you think? What movies have played past their expiration date in your city/neighborhood (not just recently, but going back), and for what reasons? Is this a problem, and are we missing out on other movies that could be playing instead? I'd love to hear your perspectives/experiences...