Limited release  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Limited release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing in a select few theaters across the country (typically in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco).

A limited release is often used to gauge the appeal of specialty films – especially of documentaries, independent films and art films. A common practice by major film studios is to give highly anticipated and critically acclaimed films a limited release in December in New York and Los Angeles in order to qualify them for an Academy Award nomination, as set out by the rules outlined by the Academy. These films would often receive a wider release later in January or February.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which first premiered in 1975, is still shown at limited theaters making it now the longest-running theatrical release in film history.

Yet a new meaning may come to the term Limited Release as an upcoming DVD and Video On Demand experiment will see films released on the these platforms after only a month or so in theaters. This means that the term would refer to the month long theatrical release in Canada and the United States, as opposed to films just released in Los Angeles and New York.

Other uses

In the modern Japanese music industry, the term "limited release" is also used to denote a musical release that will be produced in limited quantities only. A limited release therefore differs from a limited edition, as the latter implies that there will be no alternative or second issuing.

See also


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Limited release" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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