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Boom, Bust, or Meh: December 2014

Hey, guys! Welcome to the monthly “Boom, Bust, or Meh.” Here we will be taking a look at five different movies coming out in December, and predict how each of these movies will fare over the month. Every movie will receive a score of either “Boom” (Good), “Bust” (Bad), or “Meh” (Average).

Each month, I will be joined by co-writers: Matthew Lamar, Wesley Wood, Rob Butler, and the guest writer of the month. This month we’ve got the always-amazing Michael Morejon!

Enjoy! And let us know how you think each movie will fare in the comments below.

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This is a new section for “Boom, Bust, or Meh.” Here we show the results of the previous month’s films.

Let’s take a look at November’s movies.

1. Interstellar – BOOM!

Worldwide Box Office – $542 million (3.28x budget)

Average Rating – 8.3

Interstellar lived up to its hype and delivered box office numbers to prove it.

2. Big Hero 6 – BOOM!                                                                                                                                                    

Worldwide Box Office – $224 million (1.35x budget)

Average Rating – 7.9

This gem of an animated film has been well-received by critics and audiences alike. Its box office numbers (when compared to its budget) are not remarkable, but they have stayed consistent enough to earn the film a rating of BOOM.

3. Foxcatcher  Meh…                                                                

Worldwide Box Office – $2 million (limited release)

Average Rating – 7.4

This film has been receiving very good ratings, but its limited release is preventing it from making much money (though it will certainly see an increase in theaters in the coming weeks).

4. Dumb and Dumber To – Meh…

Worldwide Box Office – $92 million (2.62x budget)

Average Rating – 5.6

The sequel’s release played out as expected. It did well in the box office, but was torn apart by the film’s many critics.

5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – BOOM!

Worldwide Box Office – $480 million (3.84x budget)

Average Rating – 6.8

Although the ratings were lower than expected, the film demolished the box office making a BOOM rating undeniable.

Well, that was how each movie fared in the month of November. Now included in each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will be each writers’ current prediction record beside their name. (And just in case you were wondering, I’m 7-3.)

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Comet – December 5

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Comet looks like a fantastic romance movie with a twist. It appears to add the element of alternate realities to the romance genre, which usually resonates well with me. I’ve always been a huge fan of Justin Long and Emmy Rossum, but do they have a history of successful movies?

Justin Long is pretty well-known for his work in Dodgeball and the classic Mac commercials. But, unfortunately, his movies have received poor ratings throughout most of his career. His success comes in with box office numbers. While a good amount of his movies haven’t done very well, he makes a habit of pairing with big names like Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Bruce Willis, and Jonah Hill. And their movies do very well.

Emmy Rossum’s films are only a little more highly rated than Long’s. Most of her films have received very mediocre scores (other than the dreadful Dragonball: Evolution). In the box office, however, her movies are much less appealing than Long’s. Most of them have barely made their investments back. The only light in the dark? Her hit movie, The Day After Tomorrow. This movie broke the box office with a cool $544 million in its worldwide total.

The Prediction:

Meh – Although I will be seeing this movie, I highly doubt a lot of other people have even heard of it. It should receive good ratings, but a poor box office total.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar  – Meh

Unfortunately, romantic comedy/dramas aren’t usually box office hits. However, it’s got a really interesting premise, and it probably will get solid reviews.

Wesley Wood (7-3) – Meh

I am surprised to see Justin Long again. Not that he was a bad actor, but he doesn’t look like he has aged since the Mac commercials from the mid-2000s. This film looks uniquely shot and seems to promise a different take on the typical love story. I can imagine this being pretty well-received by critics, but since it’s coming out in the wrong month (seems like a Valentine’s Day movie), I’m not sure audiences will see it.

Rob Butler (4-6) – Meh

Justin Long, Emmy Rossum… I’m sold! Indie films have a special place in my heart, especially IFC Films productions, so I expect Comet to be a great cinematic work. The trailer reminds me of The Nines with Ryan Reynolds, which happens to be one of my greatest cinematic influences. I can see this film not doing well in theaters, unless word of mouth amongst viewers sky rockets. But I can see the Netflix community having a great time watching this film in a few months. As with most spectacular films of this nature, I have to reluctantly give it a Meh. Since the film has had little-to-no advertising beforehand, there’s definitely no buzz, and we are only a few days from its release.

Michael Morejon (4-1) – BUST

Meh. Comet looks like another romance movie, and it doesn’t have anything to make it stick out from the rest. Parallel universes are a neat idea, but with unrecognizable actors and a small budget it will have a tough time competing with bigger films this Christmas. It will be passed by.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings – December 12

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Exodus: Gods and Kings is a highly anticipated retelling of the story of Moses. The film boasts Christian Bale in the lead role of Moses, and has Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as Joshua. While this film won’t be a 100% true retelling of Moses’ story, it seems to look much truer than that of Noah. Now, let’s look at the defining factors of this movie’s upcoming success.

Christian Bale. You hear that name and your throat starts to ache just thinking about attempting his Batman voice. (Be honest, we’ve all done it.) This man doesn’t make a bad movie. Some have mixed reviews (Terminator: Salvation), but most have received very high scores. Even better, his movies have broken records in the box office. And with franchises like The Dark Knight Trilogy, it’s easy to see why.

This film is also directed by Ridley Scott (Alien), which means it is going to be well-received by audience members and critics alike. With his recent movies like Prometheus raking in over $400 million, Exodus will surely be a box office hit.

The Prediction:

BOOM – A fantastic cast and skilled director sets this film up for a sure success.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar  – BOOM

This film has all of the elements of a smash hit—a cast of A-list actors and actresses, a timeless Biblical story at its core, and a famous director. Noah, a similar story, did well enough worldwide and received positive reviews. I expect Exodus to do the same.

Wesley Wood (7-3) – BOOM

Critics will either hate it or love it. Audiences will flock to see it like they did with Noah (despite how much of an atrocity that was). I am going to see it, but I’m a bit timid. While I’m glad Hollywood is embracing Christian films, I’d like to see them stick to what the Bible says. If they pull it off, I am on board.

Rob Butler (4-6) – BOOM

I really hope I’m wrong about this movie. Every fiber of my being tells me that having Christian Bale play Moses is a mistake. Unfortunately, it’s that very casting that will drive audiences to see this film. I hope Bale proves me wrong, as far as acting goes. The mere fact that Bale is starring in this film pushes it to a BOOM.

Michael Morejon (4-1) – BOOM

Even though it won’t be 100% biblically accurate, I expect Christians to fill seats. They’ll be curious to see how close to the source material the film ends up being. With a big budget, Christian Bale as Moses, and legendary director Ridley Scott, this will not be one you want to miss. I see it bringing in top ratings at the box office opening weekend, or at least placing second.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – December 17

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With this epic film, I want to take a look at the previous films of this trilogy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Worldwide Total – $1.01 billion (5.49x budget)                                             Average Rating – 7.5

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Worldwide Total – $958 million (3.54x budget)                                             Average Rating – 7.9

Both of the previous movies have raked in an astounding amount of money at the box office, and have been immensely critically rated. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the third and final film of this highly regarded trilogy. This, of course, means a big probability that The Battle of Five Armies will bring in the most money in this trilogy.

The Prediction:

BOOM – As history has shown, The Hobbit is a hot series in the eyes of the crowd.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar  – BOOM

Despite the first two being critically mediocre films (they hold a 58 and 68 score on Metacritic, respectively), the series continues to rake in the money. There’s no reason to think this film won’t make Peter Jackson and company a huge mountains of cash. If they mirror The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the third film will certainly be the best.

Wesley Wood (7-3) – BOOM

I think by now we all know that critics and audiences love these films. No question about it; The Battle of Five Armies will do well and will be well-received.

Rob Butler (4-6) – BOOM

Do I really need to justify this?

Michael Morejon (4-1) – BOOM

This will be the top-grossing movie when it hits in December. The Battle of Five Armies will make millions, and it will definitely break box office records. It’s the end of the series; with so many amazing actors, dramatic plots, and beautiful scenery, we finish a series that will go down in history as one of the greatest trilogies ever made.

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Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – December 19

2-posters-for-night-at-the-museum-secret-of-the-tomb1Ben Stiller and company reunite in this family film for what looks like the last time. Secret of the Tomb retains the awesome cast that its predecessors boasted, and even adds to the mix with some new faces.

The first movie, Night at the Museum, was uninspiring in the ratings, but was monetarily a success: $574 million earned to date. Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian, the second film, did only slightly worse with $413 million; it was also lower in ratings.

With the popularity of the series for family moviegoers, I am almost certain that this movie will be a box office success. With Robin Williams’ recent passing, many will flock to this movie to see one of his final performances. And, c’mon! Who doesn’t like seeing Robin Williams play Teddy Roosevelt? It’s hilarious!

The only potential hiccup: this film will be released on the same day as The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And that’s a battle it will surely lose.

The Prediction:

Meh – This movie will blow up the box office, but ratings will prevent it from becoming a BOOM.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar  – Meh

On one hand, Robin Williams’ presence in the film is a huge boon. On the other hand, it’s been five years since the second movie came out. On top of that, Battle at the Smithsonian didn’t do as well as the original Night at the Museum. Have people forgotten about this series? I did.

Wesley Wood (7-3) – Meh

Both of the previous films have received 44% on Rotten Tomatoes. Though, audiences flocked to both films regardless. The trailer does nothing to show that the third film in this (unnecessary) trilogy is any better than its predecessors.

Rob Butler (4-6) – Meh

Unfortunately, despite the success of the first Night at the Museum, the second film in the series couldn’t keep up. It only seems logical that the third film will follow a similar trajectory. But since this is one of the final four films Robin Williams completed before his untimely death, it’s bound to attract a wide audience hoping to pay their respects.

Michael Morejon (4-1) – BOOM

Robin Williams’ final movie will definitely be seen by many, and will bring in a lot of money for the Night at the Museum franchise. This is supposed to be the final chapter in the series, and that will certainly draw crowds. With lots of characters and comedy, it will be a great time at the movies.

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The Gambler – December 19

gamblerLet me just start off by saying I love movies like The Gambler. The character walks up to the table. His hand reluctantly pushes his chips toward the dealer. Sweat beads down his cheek as everything he has left comes down to the last few cards on the table. He’s all in. Who doesn’t love that?

Mark Wahlberg is a well-known name, starring in huge titles like The Departed and Ted. Although there were a few disappointments (The Happening, Max Payne), his films are usually well-received. The box office has been incredibly kind to “Marky Mark;” his biggest film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, grossed over a billion dollars to date. If only his character had that kind of money…

The film is directed by The Escapist‘s Rupert Wyatt. While he’s only directed a few movies, each rate successfully. Wyatt’s sole blockbuster film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes—about an 800 pound gorilla—hauled in nearly $500 million on release day.

The film’s biggest issue is its odd release date: the same day as box office titan, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and family-centric juggernaut Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. This film will definitely see a reduced numbers because of those two well-known films, but The Gambler should be able to snag third place (as long as Exodus: Gods and Kings doesn’t stick around for a second helping).

The Prediction:

Meh – The Gambler should be a fantastic film, but this appealing movie was dealt a terrible release date.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar  – BUST

It’s a remake of a movie that’s forty years old, and remakes aren’t usually the best thing (Total Recall, I’m looking at you). Mark Wahlberg stars, so it has potential to succeed. Though, I’m guessing not.

Wesley Wood (7-3) – BUST

This film looks like so many other films. It does nothing to stand out. WOW, MONEY! Yeah, we get it. Can we do something different please? Remember that Dracula movie from October? I only bring it up to make my point here; The Gambler falls into immediately forgettable.

Rob Butler (4-6) – Meh

I can’t praise the casting of this film enough.  Think 21 from the professor’s side and everything is not peachy. Thats what this movie is going to be. Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Brie Larson. The only thing bringing this film down from a Boom: it opens the same week as The Hobbit.

Michael Morejon (4-1) – Meh

While this is Mark Wahlberg’s first serious role and it looks interesting, it’s not enough to be a blockbuster. With a simple plot, small budget, and not enough interesting characters, I can’t see this doing much. Fans of Mark will show up for support, but it just can’t compete with the other big budget movies.

Well that’s it for our predictions for the month of December! How do you think each movie will fare? Let us know your predictions in the comments section below!

4 replies on “Boom, Bust, or Meh: December 2014”

Hey Amanda! I really thought about adding Into the Woods, but I just felt that the movies above were better for the list. That being said, I think Into the Woods will be a fantastic movie! The casting looks excellent! It will likely get high ratings, and should see a solid set of box office numbers on the upcoming holiday weekend. I think Into the Woods will be a BOOM! Hope this helps! 🙂

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