Poor Kim Cattrall. Her “Monica Velour” feature, which opened two weeks ago, is being shelved by Anchor Bay Films. The film has made $15,000 total in four theaters. And it’s not like Cattrall didn’t get great reviews in it–she did.
Cattrall, I’m told, is furious that Anchor Bay didn’t do more for it. Today, “Monica Velour” gets yanked from theaters in four cities. It won’t be playing anywhere. But shazaam!–not long after I called Anchor Bay, they announced that “Monica” would return to New York for one week beginning April 29th at the Beekman Theater uptown. Kim– a hard worker when it comes to promotion– will do Q&A’s all weekend from April 29th through May 1st.
Even so, “Monica” will probably not play again after that in a movie theater.
Kim joins a club that also includes Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon and a lot of other fine actors. Anchor Bay “released” “Solitary Man” last year and blew it big time–they just didn’t get it. Douglas could have had an Oscar nomination and a lot of attention.
Recently Anchor Bay released “HappyMoreThankYouPlease” directed by “How I Met Your Mother” star Josh Radnor. It’s taken in about $200,000 and is gone. Soon to be dumped in a similar way is a very poignant and disturbing film called “Beautiful Boy” starring Michael Sheen and Maria Bello as parents of a high school student who shoots up his school and kills himself. They’re releasing it a week before Memorial Day, because people love that kind of stuff on a holiday. Not.
I don’t know why anyone sells a picture to Anchor Bay, if only to infuriate themselves later. The company’s had one success: “City Island,” which breaks even with about $7 million at the box office. That film had an easier hook, and at least a real place — City Island, New York City– that people could relate to. But Anchor Bay is like a lot of small distributors (even though they’re owned by Liberty Media and the Starz Channel). They’re searching for DVD library material. The films they pick up aren’t first on anyone’s list, and they know it. So there’s a two or four week theatrical run, and off to DVD and ancillary sales.
It’s not like they’re totally wrong, either. Many of these films are very well done but don’t have enough drawing power to linger in theaters. But a little more marketing push would have been nice for “Monica.” It should have played on VOD, for example. Anyway, Cattrall is in good company; that’s some consolation.