Welcome to 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 January predictions!
1. The Grudge – Bust
Critic Score: 21%
Audience Score: 23%
Production Budget: $10 million
Worldwide: $42 million
Juliana: Everyone seemed to find this soft reboot to be as dull and tired as the ghosts themselves.
2. Bad Boys For Life – BOOM!
Critic Score: 77%
Audience Score: 96%
Production Budget: $90 million
Worldwide: $290 million
Juliana: One of the few times where people went in expecting to be disappointed but were pleasantly surprised by a competent sequel.
3. Dolittle – Meh
Critic Score: 16%
Audience Score: 76%
Budget: $175 million
Worldwide: $126 million
Juliana: Ok, given that critics were comparing this film to Cats, I was fully expecting this to be a bust. But to my surprise, that general audience score is actually fairly high. It seems there really is an audience for every film.
4. Weathering With You – BOOM!
Critic Score: 90%
Audience Score: 93%
Budget: $11 million
Worldwide: $186 million
Juliana: It’s not the best anime feature film in existence, but it still spins a wonderful tale.
5. The Gentlemen – Meh
Critic Score: 73%
Audience Score: 84%
Budget: $22 million
Worldwide: $46 million
Juliana: The good news is that Guy Ritchie has returned to form! The bad news is that it’s taking a while for people to notice. The box office is trickling in, whilst critics are a little mixed, lowering the score and negating this film from being declared a boom.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (86-66), and Tyler Hummel is at (69-52).
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Release Date: February 7, 2020
Synopsis: After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord. (IMDB).
Director: Cathy Yan
Starring: Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez
Juliana Purnell (86-66): BOOM! – It’s hard to carve out a spot in an already overcrowded genre, though a strong R-rating combined with a multitude of female characters may just do the trick when it comes to producing something unique. Harley Quinn is frequently lauded as being one of the best aspects of the otherwise bland Suicide Squad, so it stands to reason that audiences will be keen to see what this character gets up to next. Provided the script doesn’t step too far into woke politics—irritating viewers by self-referentially patting itself on the back for its representation—and instead just focuses on telling a good story, then this film is set up for success.
Tyler Hummel (69-52): Meh – I’ve wanted to see this movie ever since I heard Margot Robbie fell in love with her role so much so that she commissioned a script for a film just for her. That said, I’m not enthused by the trailers. Much potential here but I’m not sure where it’s going.
Release Date: February 14, 2020
Synopsis: A horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort. (IMDB).
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, Michael Rooker, Michael Peña
Juliana Purnell (86-66): Meh – It takes guts to adapt a well-known TV show and edge it into an entirely different genre. It’s a strong concept, one that is reminiscent of Hostel, along with a supernatural dash of the old adage of being careful what you wish for. The real question is whether it’ll be able to tie it altogether in the third act. The bar for horror films has been raised in the past couple of years, and while no one will expect this to be a highly symbolic piece alongside the likes of Ari Aster’s works, some might wish for it to be as wickedly fun as Ready or Not or Crawl. I personally think it will ultimately disappoint, becoming more like this year’s Escape Room—awesome concept and a few cool scenes that are spoiled by a convoluted ending that tries too hard to set up a new franchise.
Tyler Hummel (69-52): Bust – A Blumhouse horror film from the director of Truth or Dare? Pass…
Release Date: February 14, 2020
Synopsis: After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help it defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on it. (IMDB).
Director: Jeff Fowler
Starring: Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz (voice), James Marsden
Juliana Purnell (86-66): Meh – While it earns some brownie points for actually listening to the public’s response and fixing the design of its lead character, I feel the whole debacle has already tarnished this film’s reputation. While kids will still enjoy this movie regardless, the visuals, story and comedic tone seem as dated as Sonic itself. With a trailer that feels like it belongs back in the 90s, unless it can sustain itself purely on the youngest generation of fans, this movie seems to be relying on nostalgia alone.
Tyler Hummel (69-52): Bust – We all know this is going to stink right? I’ve heard some fans of the video game are legitimately excited for this. Shy of 1-2 cute elements, this has mid-2000s CGI animal movie written all over it. Do you actually remember Alvin and the Chipmunks or live action Garfield?
The Call of the Wild
Release Date: February 21, 2020
Synopsis: A sled dog struggles for survival in the wilds of the Yukon. (IMDB).
Director: Chris Sanders
Starring: Karen Gillan, Harrison Ford, Cara Gee, Dan Stevens
Juliana Purnell (86-66): Meh – Children will find this to be a thrilling ride, but will the story be strong enough for adult audiences to overlook the badly-rendered CGI of the main furry protagonist? Probably not. Those visuals will mar an otherwise family-friendly outing at the cinema.
Tyler Hummel (69-52): Meh – Never read the book. Cool that Harrison Ford is in this but I’m not keeping my hopes up.
Release Date: February 21, 2020
Synopsis: Based on the classic Jane Austen novel. (IMDB).
Director: Autumn de Wilde
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O’Connor, Bill Nighy, Tanya Reynolds, Callum Turner, Mia Goth
Juliana Purnell (86-66): BOOM! – The latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, this film is certainly appealing to a niche market. As Autumn de Wilde’s directorial debut, as long as she makes clean choices and adds a bit of flair, it should be enough to please both critics and the general public as the source material is already strong. Worst-case scenario is that this rendition falls flat, indistinguishable from all the other incarnations.
Tyler Hummel (69-52): BOOM! – Legitimately my most anticipated film this month! Last time we got a big budget Jane Austen adaptation we got Whit Stilman’s essential adaptation of Love and Friendship in 2016. Now we have a big cast adaptation of Emma from first time feature director Autumn de Wilde. There might be something unique brewing here!
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!”