Welcome to April’s Boom, Bust, or Meh ladies and gentlemen! This is where we focus on five films released during the month and have some fun predicting their success! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: A film you’ll remember for the rest of the year.
Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.
Meh: A film that entertains during the moment, but has no lasting impact.
Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our March predictions!
1. Captain Marvel – BOOM!
Critic Score: 78%
Audience Score: 60%
Production Budget: $152 million
Worldwide: $990 million
Juliana: Some may have found the MCU’s latest offering to be uninspired, though many enjoyed this film regardless. Taking into account the audience score was trolled and isn’t an actual reflection of the film, I think it’s safe to say this was a BOOM!
2. Dumbo – Meh
Critic Score: 49%
Audience Score: 60%
Production Budget: $170 million
Worldwide: $116 million
Juliana: It has only just released, and no doubt will gradually make back its budget. However, it did under-perform during its opening weekend. While critics (including myself) weren’t impressed, it still seemed to entertain general audiences.
3. Us – BOOM!
Critic Score: 94%
Audience Score: 70%
Budget: $20 million
Worldwide: $174 million
Juliana: Look at that critical score! A horror film that has left many people talking even after the credits have rolled, it’s clear Us is one of the best films of 2019 thus far.
4. Captive State – Bust
Critic Score: 46%
Audience Score: 41%
Budget: $25 million
Worldwide: $6 million
Juliana: A brilliant premise squandered by confusing storytelling and sloppy CGI.
5. Wonder Park – Bust
Critic Score: 31%
Audience Score: 37%
Budget: $100 million
Worldwide: $52 million
Juliana: A nice idea executed poorly. Such a shame as some scenes are absolutely gorgeous.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (61-40), and Tyler Hummel is at (43-30).
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Synopsis: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe. (IMDB).
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Starring: Every major A-list actor in Hollywood that hasn’t signed with the DCEU or the short-lived Dark Universe.
Juliana Purnell (61-40): BOOM! – Do I really need to explain why this will smash box office records? Many people are excited for this film, though it may not be for traditional reasons. Endgame marks an end point for the culmination of over a decade’s worth of movies. No more watching the current film whilst simultaneously anticipating the next, or paying top dollar to fight the crowds at the cinema in the first few days to avoid spoilers. Yes, Endgame is exciting because this movie finally offers the opportunity to hop off the Marvel train.
It has reached its climax! A Marvel film will finally have real stakes (and if it wimps out and no one really dies, then critics will give it the whipping it deserves). Can the filmmakers pull it off and stick the landing? It better provide some payoff for people who have dutifully followed almost twenty films, because if it doesn’t, then no one is sticking around for those movies set post-Thanos.
Tyler Hummel (43-30): BOOM! – I’m worried about this movie. I gave Infinity War a middling score of 7/10, which is somewhat low given its overwhelming positive reaction. This one seems to have time travel in it, which is among my lessor favorite options for these characters stopping Thanos… Still, I’m hedging my bets. Some of the cast say this script is better than the last one.
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside us…it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. (IMDB).
Director: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Zachary Levi, Michelle Borth, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel
Juliana Purnell (61-40): BOOM! – A perfectly timed release. I predict Shazam! will mark the point in cinematic history when DC movies start to gain popularity against Marvel. The massive shared universe, which has been the MCU’s claim to fame, is now starting to languish under its own weight. Even if one were to watch one Marvel film a night, that’s still three weeks worth of homework! That’s a hard slog for newcomers, while long time followers might be heading into another stage of life where their amount of free time is getting scarcer.
Enter DC. There’s barely any homework here. People can walk in off the street and enjoy the film, not worrying about the dozens of movies that took place before it. Shazam! is also a comedy, and they generally tend to be popular with the public. I predict superhero fans will flock to Shazam! as it will operate as a nice palette cleanser between Captain Marvel’s bland offering and Endgame’s bleak brooding. It’s a film that will tap into the MCU’s market, along with beckoning anyone else even remotely looking for a great time at the cinema.
Tyler Hummel (43-30): BOOM! – Ok, so I’m cheating slightly. DC let the review embargo lift on March 23rd and all the reviews I’ve seen are positive. Usually a studio that trusts letting people know about the films quality more than a week out from the film’s release is a good sign. It sounds like it’s DC’s best film since Wonder Woman.
P.S. Aquaman is a bad movie and James Wan’s weakest film since Death Sentence. No shame if you dug it, but I’m already sick of it.
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Synopsis: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. (IMDB).
Directors: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer
Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Juliana Purnell (61-40): BOOM! – Generally speaking, there are two types of horror fans: Ones that want to physically jump in their seat, and others who find the terror more in the story’s premise. I believe Pet Sematary will please both types, as the trailer suggests some traditional scares, while Stephen King’s tale will bring a certain pedigree to the film, appealing to those looking for something deeper. Adaptations of King’s works can be a hit or miss affair, but with a strong cast, I feel this film will fare better than most.
Tyler Hummel (43-30): BOOM! – I’m not familiar with the first one. Stephen King movies are all over the place in terms of quality control. That said, it’s a cult classic supposedly and this one has solid buzz and a creepy trailer.
Release Date: April 12, 2019
Synopsis: Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge. (IMDB).
Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich
Juliana Purnell (61-40): Meh – I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t care. I found the first two films to be reasonably well done, mainly because I’m biased towards Guillermo del Toro’s work, and I find Doug Jones to genuinely be an extraordinarily kind human being that deserves all the best in life. I wouldn’t have minded a third film… but I guess I don’t have the energy to not only reconcile my disappointment that a del Toro trilogy is no longer in the cards, but I’m also too tired to embrace another reboot altogether. I’m sure it’ll be a fine movie to watch, but I just don’t see how it will compete against the likes of Shazam!, Avengers: Endgame, and even Pet Sematary. The other films will beat it horribly at the box office.
Tyler Hummel (43-30): Meh – I don’t despise movies, but I’m coming close with the Hellboy remake. Del Toro tried to renegotiate his infamous third film in the franchise only for the studio to boot him right before he became an Oscar winning director in favorite of a third tier remake. I’m inclined to skip opening weekend to let my disdain reflect on opening numbers.
Release Date: April 17, 2019
Synopsis: When her 14-year-old son drowns in a lake, a faithful mother prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed. (IMDB).
Director: Roxann Dawson
Starring: Topher Grace, Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas
Juliana Purnell (61-40): Meh – I personally think this film will be a wild success, except critics and journalists from non-Christian backgrounds will tear it apart, giving it a score too low for me to genuinely declare it a BOOM! For everyone else, I think Breakthrough will go the same way as I Can Only Imagine; a solid effort that will really tap into a strong niche market that is not in competition with the other films showcased this month in terms of audience.
My only concern is the trailer has essentially revealed the entire story. Faith is notoriously difficult to portray on screen because it’s an internal journey, and prayer isn’t visually dramatic. So once the miracle happens, what is going to fill up the rest of the film’s runtime? Yet, it’s endearing to see this movie is distributed by Twentieth Century Fox and Disney – the script was strong enough to get major backing, so this gives me confidence Christian films really are getting better and finding their feet.
Tyler Hummel (43-30): Meh – Matt Walsh of The Dailywire recently had a good hottake on Christian movies. In reference to the non-religious show Breaking Bad, he said it “Has more moral depth and insight than anything the Christian genre has ever produced.” Harsh take, but I’m inclined to agree. I stopped watching “Christian” movies after Heaven is for Real. I’m not seeing much new with this that wasn’t in Miracles from Heaven or Heaven is for Real.
Thanks for reading this month’s edition! Let us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us next month for another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”