Boom, Bust, or Meh: July 2016

Hello, GUG readers and all film fanatics! Welcome to this month’s edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” where we take a look at five upcoming films of the month and give our predictions on how they will perform! Each prediction receives one of the following scores:
Boom: A film that you’ll want to watch over and over again throughout the summer.
Bust: A film that makes you wish you hadn’t given your money box office bomb. 
Meh: A film that has you question if whether or not the ticket price was worth it. 
With that short introduction, let us crank open the movie vault for what is to be expected for this mid-summer’s releases!

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The Results

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

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Bust.

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 38%
Audience Score: 54%
Box Office
Production Budget: $135 million
Worldwide: $79 million
Trey: Some childhood television shows are not meant to be on the big screen.

2. Independence Day: Resurgence – Bust.

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 31%
Audience Score: 37%
Box Office
Production Budget: $165 million
Worldwide: $76 million
Trey: I didn’t expect much to be honest. 

3. Warcraft – Bust.

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 30%
Audience Score: 79%
Box Office Production
Budget: $160 million
Worldwide: $45 million
Trey: While I certainly enjoyed it, a majority of people did not. The price of being a geek sometimes. 
Our Review!

4. Finding Dory – Boom!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score:95%
Audience Score: 89%
Box Office
Production Budget: $548 million
Worldwide: $380 million
Trey: While I still do not think a sequel was necessary, it certainly stuck the landing.  
Our Review!

5. Swiss Army Man – Boom!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 65%
Audience Score: 83%
Box Office Production
Budget: $3 million
Worldwide: $1.9 million
Trey: Not bad for an independent film. Something very different from what is normally presented in theaters. 

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (22-17). Chris is at (34-19). Colby is at (9-16).

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BFG 

Rating: PG
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Sophie is in for the adventure of a lifetime when she meets the Big Friendly Giant. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot behemoth is actually quite gentle and charming. As their friendship grows, Sophie’s presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Stephen Spielberg
Starring: Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Penelope Wilton

The Prediction

Trey Soto (22-17): Meh… – While this film does look interesting, I was not too impressed by it even with the Disney logo behind it. You can have a large company name and even someone like Stephen Spielberg behind the camera, but the film has to sell, and to be honest, this really doesn’t. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong but I doubt it. 
Chris Hecox (34-19): BOOM! – This one seems so magical, even though I’m unfamiliar with the history of Roald Dahl’s classic story of the same moniker. I’m also usually not excited for CGI heavy characters, but something about the trailers and reception for this film make me intrigued. Mark Rylance plays the BFG, and teaming up once more with Spielberg, I couldn’t be more convinced this will be a long-time hit.
Colby Bryant (8-12): Meh… – I love Spielberg. I’ve handled projects in college based solely on him and his filmography, so I’ve studied him from all angles. I can typically see a trailer and notice that “Spielberg Touch” on his films, even in the promotional stage. With this film, I’m not getting that. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a good movie, but I just don’t see it being a huge hit, even with the Disney marketing muscle behind it. Mark Rylance, fresh off his Oscar last year, may make this a cherished family film for all ages, but he doesn’t have the star power to draw in crowds. I hate to make that prediction, but I don’t think it will have audiences pouring in. I hope to be disappointed in that prediction with a strong quality film that brings a good audience as a result.

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 moviesThe Legend of Tarzan

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Synopsis: It’s been nearly a decade since Tarzan, also known as John Clayton III, left Africa to live in Victorian England with his wife Jane. Danger lurks on the horizon as Leon Rom, a treacherous envoy for King Leopold, devises a scheme that lures the couple to the Congo. Rom plans to capture Tarzan and deliver him to an old enemy in exchange for diamonds. When Jane becomes a pawn in his devious plot, Tarzan must return to the jungle to save the woman he loves (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: David Yates
Starring: Christoph Waltz, Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson

The Prediction

Trey Soto (22-17): Bust – Oh Warner Brothers, trying once again to make a film adaption that Disney did first in animation. While the cast looks great, the film does not. Again, hopefully I am wrong, but the story did not look convincing nor did the CGI considering the wide success of The Planet of the Apes reboot. Nothing to see here, just keep moving.  
Chris Hecox (34-19): Bust. – I’m not sure we need this movie. I mean, the Jungle Book is close enough to the subject matter, so I’m unsure this film is necessary at this point. David Yates is prominent for his Harry Potter work, but this is a little different. There isn’t enough target audience, and the cast won’t save the ship.
Colby Bryant (9-16): Meh… – I’m struck by a similar feeling with Tarzan. Even though it’s an age-old property that everyone knows at some level, I just don’t see it bringing in huge audiences. The CGI in the trailer’s isn’t the best, in my opinion, especially after the phenomenal Dawn of the Planet of the Apes a couple of years ago. I hope to be disappointed with the quality on Tarzan, as the live action attempts have always missed something in translating it all on the screen (unlike Disney’s animated take years ago).

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movies

Ghostbusters

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 15, 2016
Synopsis: Paranormal researcher Abby Yates and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions start to appear in Manhattan, they ask brilliant engineer Jillian Holtzmann to build special equipment. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Paul Feig
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hensworth

The Predictions

Trey Soto (22-17): Bust – Oh great, another unnecessary reboot of a classic 1980’s film. What. Joy. To be honest, I have nothing against the female cast. I honestly enjoy Melissa McCarthy along with the female leads in SNL, but this…why though? Is it even necessary? I’ll answer that. No, it isn’t. It’s just another quick buck from the studios to make on an old classic by giving it a new twist. I am not against all reboots and remakes, but I am picky. The fact that they did not even create a new name for the movie is annoying. Again, nothing to see here. Keep moving. 
Chris Hecox (34-19): Bust – The biggest issue with Ghostbusters will be revealed when this is the year’s biggest flop. Old-school fans are ticked because the gender switch doesn’t make any sense. Movie fans are ticked because deep down, no one really cares about the agendas the industry is trying to force on them. The biggest pity with this is another Ghostbusters movie would be welcomed, but the hopes are ruined with this incoming installment. Hopefully this sends a message to Hollywood.
Colby Bryant (9-16): Bust – Oh, Ghostbusters…we’ll always have the old ones. The promotional campaign has nothing to turn those initial bad impressions, and even though I find some of the leads hilarious (I’m, looking at you, Leslie Jones!), I am finding nothing within wanting to watch this movie. Nothing good will come of this, I feel.

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movies

Star Trek: Beyond

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Synopsis: Stranded on a hostile planet, Capt. Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew face an alien threat (Rotten Tomatoes). 
Director: Justine Lin
Starring: Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Idris Elba 

The Prediction

Trey Soto (22-17): Meh… – I grew up watching Star Trek with my babysitter and siblings and while I did not enjoy it as much as Star Wars, it still was pretty cool. The new films have been enjoyable but not really memorable. The first trailer for this film alone had me sitting there thinking to myself, “What the heck did I just watch?” Knowing it’s Star Trek, it may have potential to succeed during this year of unsuccessful summer blockbusters, but without J.J. Abrams directing, it may fall short.  
Chris Hecox (34-19): Meh… –  I’m a big fan of these Star Trek reboots. I love the more modern re-imagining of the series, and while I don’t have a particularly favorable connection or familiarity with the older parts of the franchise, I still love the direction. That said, I’m not sure there is enough buildup to this film as the past ones, so I’m unsure of its success. If I had to guess, I would imagine that it won’t fair amazingly, but it will be worth seeing. Please, Borg.
Colby Bryant (9-16): BOOM! – As I hope Roddenberry would be proud, I consider myself an optimist when it comes to Star Trek. I personally love the 2009 reboot, even with its issues. I had differences with the choices made in the last film, Into Darkness, but it didn’t ruin me on this new series. I hope that there will be a focus on characters in this film that the entire endeavor won’t be so beholden to living up to past material. May this be the beginning of new journeys with the old crew, as afforded by this new timeline. I hope for good things, especially from Idris Elba as the villain, but we’ll see.

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 moviesThe Purge: Election Year

Rating: R
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Synopsis: As a young girl, Sen. Charlie Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family members. As a presidential candidate, Roan is determined to end the yearly tradition of blood lust once and for all. When her opponents hatch a deadly scheme, the senator finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington, D.C., just as the latest Purge gets underway. Now, it’s up to Leo Barnes, her head of security, to keep her alive during the next 12 hours of mayhem (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: James DeMonaco
Starring: Elizabeth Michell, Frank Grillo, Mykelti Williamson

The Predictions

Trey Soto (22-17): Meh… – I did not enjoy the first one, but I did enjoy the second. It seems that each sequel’s premise gets better and better than simply being a second rate horror film as the first one was. While I don’t think it will be amazing knowing the limited audience that it attracted, it may have some potential. 
Chris Hecox (34-19): Bust – Eh, I think I’ve written about this before, but while I love the idea of what The Purge stands for, I’m not at all thrilled by the execution: clearly. At some point though, when your franchise needs to step it up a notch, why not look to election season and presidential themes? Sure, there might be some reality to the perverse thematics that tell the story of humanity and how hopelessly selfish, prideful, and greedy we are. But it’s all wrapped up in a gory, exploitative package, and that ultimately defeats the message in my opinion. The realism of the intended purpose is lost by the delivery, and that’s really a pity, because again, this was a strong idea.
Colby Bryant (9-16): Bust – The first movie was such a warped concept, but I got the appeal. It was counter-programming at the cinema, as these types of movies often are. I had no reason to see a second film, nor will I have a reason to see this one. But I understand those who like such things. I just don’t enjoy it. Even with the “election year” premise, I don’t see this being anything other than a modest hit at best.

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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 you predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in July?

Trey Soto

Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.

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