Boom, Bust, or Meh – July 2023

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 from each participating GUG film critic:

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.

At the end of each month, each of the films will be arbitrarily judged and the critic’s ongoing tally will be updated (the score is written beside their name: correct predictions – incorrect predictions).

Let’s see what July has to offer after we look at last month’s results!

The Results

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

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 96%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 95%

IMDB Score: 8.9

Box Office

Production Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $572 million

A worthy sequel that extends and builds upon the original film in every way. It’s fantastic. Go watch it!

Our review!

2. The Boogeyman – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 63%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 66%

IMDB Score: 6.1

Box Office

Production Budget: $35 million

Worldwide: $60 million

A lot of the scares were spoiled by the trailers, but decent performances from the cast saved this horror film from being generic.

3. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 54%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 91%

IMDB Score: 6.5

Box Office

Production Budget: $195-200 million

Worldwide: $347 million

Better than others in the franchise, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts still missed the mark when it came to originality.

4. The Flash – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 64%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%

IMDB Score: 7.2

Box Office

Production Budget: $200 million

Worldwide: $217 million

Ezra Miller’s presence still mars the film, but many found The Flash to be one of the best DC movies in recent years. Yet it was too little too late.

Our review!

5. Elemental – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 76%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 92%

IMDB Score: 7.1

Box Office

Budget: $200 million

Worldwide: $133 million

It’s not the best Pixar film by any means, but Elemental still tells a sweet romantic story that warms the heart.

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (134-112).

Warning: This is a trailer for a horror movie and contains scary images of supernatural creatures.

Insidious: The Red Door

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 7, 2023

Synopsis: The Lamberts 10 years after the last installment, as Dalton begins college. (IMDB)

Director: Patrick Wilson

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (134-112): BOOM! – Admittedly I haven’t been following this franchise as it came out back when I was taking a much-needed mental health break from the genre. Yet it has always held a good reputation from fans. It declined in quality when the story strayed away from the original cast, but Insidious: The Red Door marks a return of the main characters, which has created quite a buzz online. It’s Patrick Wilson’s directorial debut, with Leigh Whannell as one half of the scriptwriting team (Scott Teems’ filmography sadly isn’t as promising). It’s an intriguing cast and crew mix which could spell a hit. Fans will flock to this, but the critics might be harder to win over, although I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and predict a BOOM over a meh. I can’t see this being dismally horrible.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 12, 2023

Synopsis: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands. (IMDB)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Atwell

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (134-112): BOOM! – The Mission: Impossible films seem to only keep getting better or otherwise maintain their high quality. They are the best of both the action and spy genres (sorry Bond fans), always pushing the boundaries with cutting-edge stunts. Sometimes the story is weak and convoluted, but they’ve found a formula that works, people know what to expect, and for the most part, they’re hard to criticise; they do well with what they wish to achieve. This production would need to make several major missteps to fail at this stage. This film has everything going for it.

Theater Camp

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 14, 2023

Synopsis: The eccentric staff of a rundown theater camp in upstate New York must band together with the beloved founder’s bro-y son to keep the camp afloat. (IMDB)

Directors: Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman

Starring: Ben Platt, Molly Gordon, Noah Galvin

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (134-112): BOOM! – Only recently coming onto my radar, I fell in love with this movie as soon as I watched the trailer. As a person that studied theatre at university and have been hanging out with these sorts of creatives throughout my life, Theater Camp looks like a heart-warming riot! It gives off Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and This is Spinal Tap vibes (or Mr G fantastically inspired them from Summer Heights High, if you get that reference). All the people in the industry that I know understand it’s a weird profession, and are willing to have a laugh at how outlandish it sometimes becomes, and Theater Camp not only is willing to facilitate that opportunity to hilariously reflect upon those absurdities, but it may also offer up audiences that feeling of being deeply understood. It’s a niche mockumentary that won’t appeal to everyone, but it will be a hit for viewers that wish to seek it out.


Rating: R

Release Date: July 21, 2023

Synopsis: The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb. (IMDB)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (134-112): Meh – I’m not feeling this one. It’s a Christopher Nolan film, and he’s already established himself to be one of the most creative and original directors currently working Hollywood. He is one of the few that are famous enough to receive funding for unfranchised projects such as Oppenheimer. I think it will be a tense, thrilling piece of historical drama done with Nolan’s engaging sense of flair, that will no doubt delight its history buff audience. Yet at the box office it’s going to sink amongst Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning and get embarrassingly smashed by Barbie. Oppenheimer won’t be a bad film by any means, and it very well may receive high praise and a few Oscar nods, but I don’t see the excitement for it unlike the others in this list, and a poor financial return may spell the beginning of the end of Nolan’s dream run of creative liberties. Especially if no one has reigned his nonchalant attitude towards sound mixing.


Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 21, 2023

Synopsis: To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken. (IMDB)

Director: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Kingsley Ben-Adir

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (134-112): BOOM! – I wasn’t into playing with Barbies when I was growing up, but even I want to see this movie. The dialogue in Greta Gerwig’s screenplays are electric in their interpersonal dynamics. Margot Robbie frequently gives her all, and while I initially doubted Ryan Gosling’s casting due to his age, after watching the trailer, having a man in his 40s that’s way too old for the character actually seems perfect for the role of Ken. Barbie is The LEGO Movie for women—I know so many people who are keen for this film. It’s primed to tap into that nostalgia in a fun way, and will even attract viewers that aren’t traditionally associated with the product. I predict it will be an unexpected smash hit.

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 July?

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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