Boom, Bust, or Meh: December 2017

Welcome to the festive season, GUG fans! And welcome to the BBoM of December, where we focus on five films of the month and the predictions we have for them! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:

Boom: A film that’s like the perfect Christmas present; what you’ve been needing and longing for all year.

Bust: A film that is the equivalent of getting socks for Christmas… from the same person who gave you socks last year.

Meh: A film that’s a wonderful thought, but eventually forgettable.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of December vault!

The Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our November predictions!

1. Thor: Ragnarok – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 92%

Audience Score: 88%

Box Office

Production Budget: $180 million

Worldwide: $790+ million

Juliana: Some people disliked it, though they are few and far between. Many critics and fans now list Thor: Ragnarok as one of the best Marvel films out there.

Our Review!

2. Justice League – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 41%

Audience Score: 82%

Box Office

Worldwide: $485+ million

Juliana: Wasn’t great, but it wasn’t awful like most had feared either.

Our review!

3. Murder on the Orient Express – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 58%

Audience Score: 59%

Box Office

Production Budget: $55 million

Worldwide: $202 million

Juliana: An enjoyable film even if it did lack the oomph to be exceptional.

Our Review!

4. The Star – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 51%

Audience Score: 77%

Box Office

Production Budget: $20 million

Worldwide: $25 million

Juliana: The reviews are mixed, though the average scores indicate that this film isn’t as abysmal as we’d initially thought. That said, even though it has only just been released in the foreign market, I’m not expecting this film’s box office earnings to suddenly spike.

5. Coco – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 97%

Audience Score: 96%

Box Office

Worldwide: $160 million

Juliana: Seems like it’s another win for Pixar!

Our Review!

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current prediction record is (25-11), and Sarah Bennett’s (15-15).

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 15, 2017

Synopsis: Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn, and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past. (IMDB)

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (25-11): BOOM! – It’s a Star Wars film. It’s the most anticipated movie of the year. It’ll be a BOOM! ‘Nuff said.

Sarah Bennett (15-15): BOOM! – I think anyone would be a fool to think that the latest Star Wars installment will be anything less than huge. The saga has always been about the Skywalker family and this film will continue on that path, even though the fans already know it’ll be Carrie Fisher’s last one (unless you don’t count CGI which will surely come into play for the last episode). While lots of people are wondering if Rey will tiptoe into the dark side, I’m hoping Rian Johnson delves into the gray Jedi. And maybe, just maybe, we will find out who Rey’s parents are/were.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 20, 2017

Synopsis: Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting becoming the adult avatars they chose. (IMDB)

Director: Jake Kasdan

Starring:  Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black

The Predictions 

Juliana Purnell (25-11): BOOM! – As hard as it is to admit, the original Jumanji wasn’t great, but it did manage to capture the imaginations of audiences everywhere. So there’s enough nostalgia to fuel the buzz surrounding this upcoming spiritual sequel. Will it be a great film? No. But it’ll be fun, which will please tweens and teenagers, and will be some light and fluffy entertainment for returning adults. It won’t win any awards, but it’s a boom from me, as it’ll be a thoroughly enjoyable time at the cinema.

Sarah Bennett (15-15): BOOM! – Initially, I was offended when I heard this movie was being remade. Who can top the original with Robin Williams? But as the trailers came out, I am converted because this isn’t a remake, but a continuation—with Karen Gillian, The Rock, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black! While I think there will be more innuendos (that the original didn’t need or use), I’m looking forward to this reboot and think the box office will show a huge bottom line.


Rating: PG

Release Date: December 15, 2017

Synopsis: After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. (IMDB)

Director: Carlos Saldanha

Starring: Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, John Cena, David Tennant

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (25-11): Meh… – Honestly, this film doesn’t excite me. Watching the trailer, I get the distinct impression that it’s a simplistic plot where all of the best moments have already been revealed. Yet due to being based on a popular’s children’s book, a lot of people are eager to watch this film. Blue Sky Studios has released some gems in the past. There are also not too many options for the littlies this month, so Ferdinand will be a popular choice for young families, and one that’s not too obnoxious for the adults in tow. It’ll be a fun, serviceable film, but I don’t predict it’ll stay in the public consciousness too long. So it’s a meh from me.

Sarah Bennett (15-15): BOOM! – Who doesn’t love a bull named Ferdinand? Even though it’s made by 20th Century Fox (and missing the Pixar magic bullet), I’m hoping that the classic story shines through this retelling.

The Greatest Showman

Rating: PG

Release Date: December 20, 2017

Synopsis: Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. (IMDB)

Director: Michael Gracey

Starring: Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams. 

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (25-11): BOOM! – I’m not overly excited about this film, and that sentiment will be carried even further by anyone who hates the genre. But for those who love a good musical, they’ll be coming in droves to see this film. These days with superhero films, horrors, and comedies, it seems like the only genre rarer than a musical is a western, so you’ve got the make the most of them when they finally arrive in a cinema near you. I suspect the story may be questionable, but Hugh Jackman and the rest of the cast will have enough charm to pull it off. It’ll be this year’s Chicago. It’s a boom.

Sarah Bennett (15-15): BOOM! – Hugh Jackman + singing = box office success. Also, screenplay by Bill Condon, the director who brought us Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson. It’s about P.T. Barnum, so I can’t wait for the elephants, lights, and the “freaks” he welcomed into his show. It’s a story of finding love and a family. And we need more musicals!


Rating: Not yet rated

Release Date: December 22, 2017

Synopsis: A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself. (IMDB)

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (25-11): Meh… – I want this to be a boom, but alas, I have no control over these things. Downsizing is the newest film from the acclaimed screenwriter and director, Alexander Payne. His Oscar-winning piece, The Descendants, was lovely, whilst Election is a personal favorite of mine. One of the best writers in Hollywood, I have no doubt the script will be superb, rather it’s the execution that could be the issue. When Payne nails it, it’s brilliant, but sometimes his approach to storytelling feels incomplete.

Downsizing is shaping up to be his most creative and original film yet. Its weirdness will appeal to critics. Though while the general public may also be curious, whether they’ll take the risk over a ‘fluffier’ piece of entertainment is yet to be seen. There’s a lot of competition this month, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi set to hog the largest screens, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Downsizing loses momentum and underperforms at the box office.

Sarah Bennett (15-15): Meh… – Is this a drama or a comedy? Matt Damon shrunk down and left alone by his wife who wouldn’t follow through. Maybe this film will have a few funny parts, but I have a sinking feeling that there will be more subliminal political jabs and politically correct nods than comedy.

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!”

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in December?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

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