Ricky Gervais’s ‘Cemetery Junction’ Goes Straight to DVD

Say it ain’t so! The latest film by comedy legends Rickey Gervais and Stephen Merchant—co-creators of The Office—is going straight to DVD when it comes out in the US on August 17th. The film, which is titled Cemetery Junction, is Gervais’s first foray into drama. With a fine cast that includes some of England’s standout talent, like Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode, and Emily Watson, Cemetery Junction is the story of three young men seeking to break out of the stifling confines of small town England in the coal-mining 1970s. Gervais described it as his Saturday Night Fever.

Cemetery Junction already opened in England. Although the reviews haven’t been stellar (it currently stands at 64% on Rotten Tomatoes), it’s hardly been an unmitigated disaster. Why no theatrical release? Well, to be fair, neither of Gervais’s previous films have lit up the US box office, with 2008’s Ghost Town earning a domestic take of $13 million and 2009’s The Invention of Lying soaking up about $18 million. Both saw a reasonably wide release in about 1,500-1,700 theaters.

Still, even though Gervais hasn’t been a consistent box office draw in the US, it’s surprising that Cemetery Junction isn’t even getting a limited release. Really, Columbia, you’re not even going to test the waters with this one? It’s a sad day when The Human Centipede sees a wide release and a Ricky Gervais film doesn’t. Here’s the trailer:

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