Welcome to June’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 May predictions!
1. Pokemon Detective Pikachu – Meh
Critic Score: 66%
Audience Score: 82%
Production Budget: $150 million
Worldwide: $362 million
Juliana: VERY close to being a BOOM! This was an absolute hit with long-time fans, however for people who weren’t familiar with the franchise, unfortunately, there was little to see here.
2. Aladdin – Meh
Critic Score: 56%
Audience Score: 94%
Production Budget: $183 million
Worldwide: $281 million
Juliana: The general public loved it, but all the critics could see were the flaws inherent within live action adaptations.
3. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – BOOM!
Critic Score: 89%
Audience Score: 88%
Budget: $75 million
Worldwide: $189 million
Juliana: Third film to a solid franchise. While it lacks the emotionality of the first movie, it certainly contains some of the most compelling action sequences committed to camera.
4. Brightburn – Meh
Critic Score: 57%
Audience Score: 68%
Budget: $6 million
Worldwide: $19 million
Juliana: While it’s amazing what can be pulled off these days on such a low budget, it seems it wasn’t enough to impress audiences.
5. Tolkien – Bust
Critic Score: 50%
Audience Score: 81%
Budget: $20 million
Worldwide: $7 million
Juliana: The stats are everywhere for this one: loved by the public, mediocre reviews from critics, while the box office is abysmal. It is still yet to release to a number of other countries, but it seems clear it won’t remake its budget. With a low critical score, I’m declaring it a bust, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a guilty pleasure for many.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (67-45), and Tyler Hummel is at (49-34).
Release Date: June 7, 2019
Synopsis: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. (IMDB).
Director: Simon Kinberg
Starring: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender
Juliana Purnell (67-45): Meh – The Phoenix story arc is one of my favorites from the X-Men franchise and one that I’ve been waiting a while to see on the big screen. I want this to be successful. I grew up with these films, and in some way, I feel more connected with this property more so than cinema’s MCU.
While this could be the last time we see this fantastic cast due to changes in ownership rights, I don’t feel that this film has generated the same ‘finale’ feel that Endgame produced. Has this version of the franchise run its course? Have the audience’s interests waned towards superhero films in general? Sophie Turner’s take on Jean Grey wasn’t exactly popular in X-Men: Apocalypse, so she’s not drawing in the crowds, even though I feel she’s grown as an actress since then and will pull off the role. So altogether I’m predicting a meh.
Tyler Hummel (49-34): Bust – Good gracious this is still a thing that exists… after multiple reshoots the X-Men movie with the worst prospects for quality control is finally being released. Post-Disney-Fox merger I imagine this will be the final appearance of the classic X-Men timeline from 1999’s X-Men movie but maybe that’s for the best…
Toy Story 4
Release Date: June 21, 2019
Synopsis: When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. (IMDB).
Director: Josh Cooley
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale
Juliana Purnell (67-45): BOOM! – Pixar has always said that they will only create a sequel if they believe they have a story worth telling. They better be right in this case. A fourth film in this franchise means undermining the beautiful ending of Toy Story 3. It was a fantastic trilogy. I really hope this is not another unnecessary fourth film, following the footsteps of Die Hard or Indiana Jones. They need to stick the landing or it’ll get a whipping from both critics and past fans. But if they do pull it off, watch out, it’ll be a sensation! By predicting a boom, I’m putting my faith in them.
Tyler Hummel (49-34): BOOM! – I have such mixed opinions on this… Pixar was once my true love and outside of my 2015 favorite film Inside Out I haven’t adored almost any of their output since Toy Story 3 (Coco was pretty good tho). So this seems like both highly fraught and potentially emotionally scarring.
Release Date: June 7, 2019
Synopsis: Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day. (IMDB).
Directors: Chris Renaud & Jonathan del Val
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford
Juliana Purnell (67-45): Meh – Okay, the first film was insanely popular. Children loved it. But honestly, I was surprised. As far as kid’s movies go, it just wasn’t that great or unique compared to others in the genre. I recall there were also a few questionable elements regarding character motivations. So I’m predicting the same result here; kids will love it, but hey, they’re not exactly film critics. It’ll make a lot of money at the box office, but while I think the critical reviews will be decent, they’ll end up scoring worse than the original.
Tyler Hummel (49-34): Meh – I never saw the first one. Other than The Peanuts Movie I’m mostly allergic to Illumination films. I’ve heard that first one is alright so maybe this will be amusing?
Men In Black: International
Release Date: June 14, 2019
Synopsis: The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization. (IMDB).
Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Liam Neeson
Juliana Purnell (67-45): Bust – While Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson have successfully worked together in the MCU, they seem to be a poor match here. The trailer flags a few potential issues. Firstly, the film seems to be a rehash of the first Men In Black movie, where a new recruit joins the team, except Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones pulled it off better. Both of these new characters seem to be playing the straight man–remove the music from the trailer and a lot of their banter with each other seems to fall flat. To make up for it, there appears to be a heavy reliance on a wacky little alien character. To top it all off, the main plot feels rather cliché.
The Men In Black franchise was popular back in its heyday, but I’m not convinced they’ve succeeded in drawing in new fans over the decades. Unfortunately, the film will need to rely on that demographic as the plot seems too juvenile to appeal to those who are more familiar with the first three films. So I’m predicting a bust here, where it’ll struggle to earn its keep while getting blasted by critics and audiences alike.
Tyler Hummel (49-34): Meh – I kind of love the pitch for a new Men In Black movie. I also love the pairing of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as the leads. That said, this franchise has too many blunders for me to think they’ll ever manage to recapture the first movie’s magic. Like the Ghostbusters remake, they seem to be making the mistake of thinking you can reinvent classic comedies as superhero-action movies and I’m afraid this will miss some of the core of the first movie.
Release Date: June 21, 2019
Synopsis: A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature. (IMDB).
Director: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Gabriel Bateman, Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill
Juliana Purnell (67-45): Meh – This is one of the few horror franchises that I never got around to watching. I’m unfamiliar with the lore surrounding Chucky, so this film doesn’t particularly interest me. Judging from the trailer, I get the sense that the movie aims to bring the killer doll into the twenty-first century, complete with new gadgets, new threats, and a bunch of themes relevant to today’s technologically friendly society. While I think this movie will bring something original to the franchise, I get the sense that it will be heavy with its delivery. Horror films have a habit of doing well at the box office, though critics and some audiences don’t like a movie’s message to be delivered in preachy sermons. It’s a meh from me.
Tyler Hummel (49-34): Meh – No opinion. I actually haven’t seen the other movies.
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!”