Tyranny Gets The Boot

I thought I’d write you regarding Tyrannosaur since you’re such a supporter of the film,” a publicist friend just wrote. “I’ve learned that this Thursday is the last day it’ll play in NY and LA. In NY it moved over from the Angelika to Village East after the first week where it is now playing only one screening a day, at 11am. And it has two daily matinee showtimes at the Sunset 5 thru Thursday. I’m told that the film won’t be playing at all in NY/LA after Thursday.

“I found this surprising/disappointing and wanted to share the news in case you want to encourage folks to try to catch the final two days in NY/LA.”

When people don’t wanna see something, you can’t stop them. I’ll be remembering this film and those astonishing performances by Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan for the rest of my life, but the amount of coin Tyrannosaur has made since it opened on 11.18 has been almost laughable. Nobody wants to see it. People can smell a tough one a mile away. No juice, no sex, no mad humor, no violent payoff, no wow moments, no thrills.

Director Paddy Considine didn’t have the slightest interest in reaching Joe Popcorn when he wrote and directed Tyrannosaur. His attitude was “Joe, I can help you expand your filmgoing vistas and maybe open you up a bit as a person if you’re willing to sit through my film, which is a bit hard at times but rewarding.” Joe Popcorn has spoken.

  • JR

    Very disappointing. It is one of the best films of 2011, and it is virtually impossible to “sell” it to anyone in a review. Reminds me of “Precious” in that way, but that one had the backing of folks like Oprah, and as a “black” film it built a base of do-gooder libs who showed up out of peer pressure. Even with the 10 film max possibility, I don’t see Tyrannosaur making the Oscar cut for Best Picture, but what a wonderful thing that would be.

    Colman is probably out of luck, too, for any awards season recognition.

  • Gabriel

    This film (and its lead performances) really are terrific. I would never have expected it to be anything but a box office failure, but that doesn’t make it any less disheartening.

    The Sunset 5 actually closes tonight, for the record – not Thursday. They have a last weekend to remember though, with Tyrannosaur, Melancholia, Rampart and Another Happy Day. In a fair world, every cinephile in LA would be packing the house tonight to say goodbye; of course, in a truly fair world, such a goodbye would be unnecessary.

  • Luke Y. Thompson

    “no sex, no mad humor, no violent payoff, no wow moments”

    I trust you’re being ironic. Technically it had all of those.

  • actionman

    I will see this film when it hits On Demand as it never opened in CT. I wish everything would just open via HD On Demand at this point.

  • Princess of Peace

    I wanted to see this film at the Angelika over Thanksgiving weekend but it had already left. It only played there for five days. The screening times at the Village East were ridiculous. So I couldn’t see it on the big screen. It comes out on DVD in April but I wish I could see it sooner than that. I called Strand Releasing tonight and they said there was a possibility that the film could come out again but I wouldn’t bank on it. What a pity.

  • MikeSchaeferSF

    As I mentioned in another thread, I saw it Thanksgiving night in the only empty auditorium in an otherwise packed SF multiplex (the Sundance) where it played for all of one week. I don’t think it was even screened for critics here. It’s not just that it was “a tough sell” — the seller was Strand. Maybe if Fox Searchlight or Harvey W had picked it up…

  • kingofnails

    A really terrific movie that comes from some place unafraid. Saw it at LA Film Fest earlier this year mostly because of Jeff’s Sundance rave. What is it they say about how a great ending feels both unexpected and inevitable? TYRANNOSAUR has that in spades.

  • a1

    Yeah, it stinks to high heaven that this amazing movie, one I still consider the best of the year even after “The Descendants”, “Hugo”, and “The Artist”, is not going to get the attention it deserves. I feel the same way about “Four Lions” last year, a movie I seriously would put up there with “Dr. Strangelove” in terms of brilliant, unflinching satire of a dangerous subject matter.

    And sometimes it’s just not the right time for a movie to take hold of an audience (can you imagine how much more regard “Warrior” and Tom Hardy would have received just by having the movie arrive after “The Dark Knight Rises”?)

    But regardless of how “Tyrannosaur” does, Considine, Mullan, and Colman are going to be all right, and you should hold your head up high, since there have few better efforts by anyone to herald a film, not because of a financial stake, but simply because the movie deserves recognition and attention. And if it didn’t work, at least you went all out in taking it to the cinema world, “Wild Bunch” Holden style.

    Why not?

  • MrTribeca

    Whatever happened to Jeff’s interview with Olivia Colman? He teased it with the photos of his lunch with her, promised it would appear in a day or so and then…nothing.

  • Danny King

    I saw the film the first day it opened at Angelika, and admired it greatly for much of the same reasons that you mentioned. So, thanks for that — who knows if I would’ve seen it within a mere two-week window had it not been for your consistent endorsements of the film.

  • slashmc

    I guess that means those of us in the moviegoing 99%, i.e. outside NY/LA, will never get to see it.

  • dixiedugan66

    Well that’s a shame, I knew it was a near impossibility it would show anywhere near me but I still had some hope.

    It’s a long wait til April – I’m sure it’ll show up in some VOD outlet like Actionman mentioned. If Melancholia can, why not this?

  • streeter

    I saw it the Sunday afternoon of opening weekend at the Angelika. With all of Wells’ pants-peeing over it in the past few months, I ordered tickets online thinking it might be sold out. There were just 4 or 5 other people.

    Outstanding film though, with amazing work from Colman and Mullan. I hope it finds its audience on VOD or DVD.

  • stanley

    I don’t remember that film being a viewing option in my area or seeing any advertisements to intice me to go. Sounds like it was doomed for DVD from the beginning. I’m baffled. Any one who comments on this site loves it. Not seeing the movie, I’m going to say that the title certainly was not a help. Whenever I see something resembling a dinosaur it reminds me of the jurassic park. That vision alone does not instill enough curosity to look into the film while there are so many other “must see” availabale this time of year. Such a shame. I feel Rabbit Hole got lost last year due to similar circumstances but at least that was a play 1st which, in after thought, might have been damaging to the movie goers. Just a “Joe Popcorn” observation.

  • CitizenKaned4Life

    Try not to consider this a war waged completely in futility, Wells.

    I’ll eventually be tracking this down — through whatever avenues available to me — based almost exclusively on your recommendations on this site.

    Sounds great.