Welcome to Boom, Bust, or Meh, where GUG’s movie writers try to predict how upcoming films will fair, both with critics and the box office. Before I get into it, I’d like to thank Trey Soto for all the work he has done. God has called him towards other things, which has opened up fantastic new possibilities for him, but sadly it also means he won’t be authoring or partaking in these articles anymore. I can only hope that I can live up to his legacy (and impressive Boom, Bust, or Meh score)!
If you’re like me and are new to these articles, each month we focus on five upcoming films and try to predict their success (or downfall). As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: Do not Pass Go. Do not collect $200. As you need to get to the cinema right now and see this film!
Bust: Save that $200 and just don’t go out. Unless you like hurting your wallet, seeing this film in cinemas will only cause pain.
Meh: Passed the time. No complaints, but not praise-worthy either.
So without further delay, let’s crank open the month of November vault!
Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our October predictions!
1. Blade Runner 2049 – BOOM!
Critic Score: 88%
Audience Score: 81%
Production Budget: $150 million.
Worldwide: $224 million.
Juliana: No matter how I declare this film, it’ll ruffle some feathers. It’s officially considered a box office bomb, but sometimes it’s not just about the money, with critics and audiences alike calling it one of the best films of the year. After all, The Shawshank Redemption didn’t do well with its finances either. If you’re into sci-fi and have the patience for a slower-paced film, then Blade Runner 2049 is an absolute must-see!
2. Geostorm – Bust
Critic Score: 15%
Audience Score: 44%
Production Budget: $120 million.
Worldwide: $138 million.
Juliana: This would make for a great comedy if it weren’t for the fact that they were trying to be serious. Even for disaster flick fans looking for another guilty pleasure, this is one that should still be avoided.
3. Thank You For Your Service – Meh
Critic Score: 78%
Audience Score: 77%
Production Budget: $20 million.
Domestic: $4.5 million.
Juliana: It’s early days yet, but it’s already underperforming at the box office. The reviews are positive, though many comment that this is a story we’ve seen before. Worth a look, but nothing new here.
4. Marshall – BOOM!
Critic Score: 83%
Audience Score: 88%
Production Budget: $12 million.
Domestic: $7 million.
Juliana: It lives on the border of Meh and BOOM! Many critics have praised Chadwick Boseman’s performance, though their scores for the film still only average around the 6 to 7 out of 10 mark. Yet it’s still a great example of the courtroom subgenre, with many citing that it’s a must-see for its subject matter and importance. Definitely worth a look.
5. The Mountain Between Us – Meh
Critic Score: 42%
Audience Score: 52%
Production Budget: $35 million.
Worldwide: $45 million.
Juliana: Some liked the romance, while others didn’t care for it. It’s a film that’s merely there. It exists. Not a great film, but there are far worse *cough*Geostorm*cough*.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current prediction record is (23-8), Sarah Bennett’s is (14-11), Trey Soto’s is (72-39), and Ian Hancock’s is (7-3).
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Synopsis: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization. (IMDB)
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Jaimie Alexander, Tessa Thompson
Juliana Purnell (23-8): BOOM! – I feel like I’m cheating because thanks to my Australian superpowers I’ve already seen this film. But even so, I think this one is very obvious. It’s a highly anticipated, massively advertised, Marvel extravaganza. Of course, it’s a BOOM!
Sarah Bennett (14-11): BOOM! – Marvel will use its secret power to plow through the box office. There cannot be predictability with comics-turned-movies, prequels and sequels can turn previous films on end with a crazy, yet plausible explanation that viewers gobble up. The villain(s) will be evil. The heroes will prevail. And Stan Lee’s cameo will make us smile.
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. (IMDB)
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Godot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Willem Dafoe, J.K. Simmons
Juliana Purnell (23-8): Bust. – Apparently, this film is still listed as being in post-production. That may explain its lack of advertising, at least compared to Thor: Ragnarok and even Murder on the Orient Express. I have friends who are avid superhero fans who have completely forgotten that this movie is releasing this month! On top of this, DC has announced that they’re moving away from Marvel’s approach in using an expansive universe. No longer will DC create films that interlink with each other, rather they wish to focus just on one character at a time, much like what was seen with Wonder Woman.
All this doesn’t bode well for Justice League, particularly when talks of a sequel are already dead before it has even hit cinemas. DC hasn’t pulled off a multi-protagonist film as of yet, and worse still, the movie is up against one of Marvel’s finest releases to date, making the film’s flaws all the more noticeable. If the studio doesn’t appear to be placing much faith in it, then why should audiences? It’ll do reasonably well at the box office, but poor with critics. Personally, I’m betting that the only comical lines of dialogue are seen in the trailer. I’m going for a strong, bold guess here, and predicting a bust.
Sarah Bennett (14-11): BOOM! – Three words: Wonder Woman and Aquaman (that’s four, sorry). The buzz is about Jason Momoa’s new character and another installment for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. DC is grasping to attain Marvel’s status. It’ll never happen, but this will help.
Release Date: November 10, 2017
Synopsis: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers and one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judy Dench, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe
Juliana Purnell (23-8): BOOM! – The advertising campaign for this film has been impressive, to say the least. Every time I go to the cinemas, there’s a trailer for this film. Along with an amazing cast of fine actors, and the fact that the ‘murder mystery’ subgenre feels fresh in a cinematic era filled with superheroes, spooks, and unintelligent comedies, Murder on the Orient Express may have the grunt to pull off a boom. It’ll appeal to the older generation (which one should never underestimate their power at the box office), and may intrigue young adults as well, particularly since Justice League feels forgettable, whilst Marvel’s offerings are becoming so entrenched in their own universe that it’s becoming too daunting for newcomers. As long as the critics don’t slam it, audiences will be happy to part money for this breath of fresh air.
Sarah Bennett (14-11): BOOM! – Agatha Christie and Kenneth Branagh? Sign me up! I grew up reading the epic mystery novels. Other than And Then There Were None, this is my favorite. Throw in a drool-worthy cast and I think this train will blow out of the station.
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Synopsis: A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. (IMDB)
Director: Timothy Reckart
Starring (Voice): Steven Yeun, Kelly Clarkson, Gabriel Iglesias, Oprah Winfrey
Juliana Purnell (23-8): Bust. – Brace yourself! For the next decade, every Christmas, DVDs of this movie will be trotted out for crèche sessions across the churches of America. People in kid’s ministry will see this film an insane amount of times. Too bad it doesn’t look any good, with average CGI and a flat sense of humor. This film was probably made because producers have realized that Christians are a huge part of the market, though the really successful Biblical stories have all been aimed at adults.
If it’s edgy enough or has the right director or cast, even non-believers will take a chance on a religious film. Yet with kid’s movies, you have to convince the parents first, and people don’t tend to take the indoctrination of their child too lightly. Therefore, The Star is only going to be popular amongst Christian families, and Christians only (provided it doesn’t also scare them away with an overuse of simple-minded potty humor). DVD sales will be strong, but the initial box office won’t take too kindly to this Biblical tale aimed for younger crowds. It’s a bust.
Sarah Bennett (14-11): Bust – It’ll fall far, far behind in the box office to the giants releasing this month. I want to see it prove me wrong, but don’t put much faith in Sony Pictures to put Christ into this Christmas story.
Release Date: November 22, 2017.
Synopsis: Aspiring musician Miguel teams up with charming trickster Hector on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead. (IMDB)
Directors: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina
Starring (Voice): Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Gael García Bernal, Jaime Camil
Juliana Purnell (23-8): BOOM! – Not a great amount of the story is actually shown in the trailer, which means that Pixar has no doubt created yet another movie that cannot be adequately expressed in just half a minute. Judging from the company’s previous works, it’ll be a moving film, that’s culturally respectful and filled with multiple, complex themes. And there’s a dog (a Xoloitzcuintli nonetheless)! Sorry; dog nut here! Pixar hasn’t really had a lemon thus far, and I don’t think Coco will be their first. Kid’s films generally do okay at the box office, while Pixar has a habit of appealing to adult audiences as well. Therefore I predict a boom!
Sarah Bennett (14-11): Meh – I think the storyline will have merit, along with the animation. But even with Disney’s stamp of approval, I think it’ll be either overlooked or passed over by parents because of its association with the dead (think Nightmare Before Christmas, the popularity is with adults). While I wish it wasn’t the case, I don’t think this movie, with its predictable plot and worked in cuteness, will stand up at the box office.
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!”