Welcome to September’s 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 August predictions!
1. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – Meh
Critic Score: 67%
Audience Score: 88%
Production Budget: $200 million
Worldwide: $590 million
Juliana: If it were any other movie, then these figures would look more than okay. However considering Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious both cracked the billion at the box office, it becomes painfully obvious that this spin-off is less of a boom and will be remembered as more of a “meh.”
2. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – BOOM!
Critic Score: 83%
Audience Score: 88%
Production Budget: $49 million
Worldwide: $63 million
Juliana: While the box office leaves much to be desired, both critics and audiences are loving this film’s sense of self-awareness, fully embracing its adventurous absurdity.
3. The Angry Birds Movie 2 – BOOM!
Critic Score: 74%
Audience Score: 85%
Budget: $65 million
Worldwide: $77 million
Juliana: Released only two weeks ago, this sequel is still completing its international rollout, though its final box office numbers won’t end up being too impressive. But what is impressive–those unexpectedly above average review scores! People are just loving its light-hearted non-sensical brand of humor. Who wudda thought?
4. Angel Has Fallen – Meh
Critic Score: 39%
Audience Score: 94%
Budget: $40 million
Domestic: $27 million
Juliana: Still early days for the box office, not that it necessarily has any bearing on quality. But it seems that critics are already hating it… and general audiences don’t care what they have to say!
5. Blinded by the Light – BOOM!
Critic Score: 88%
Audience Score: 92%
Budget: $15 million
Domestic: $8 million
Juliana: Critics and general audiences are loving this film, and so far it seems its only crime was that it was released too close to Yesterday–another movie in a similar genre, which could explain the fatigued box office results.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (76-51), and Tyler Hummel is at (59-39).
Release Date: September 6, 2019
Synopsis: Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. (IMDB).
Director: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan
Juliana Purnell (76-51): BOOM! – I have no doubt this film will be a financial success, given the popularity of the first movie. The question is more about whether it will be a hit amongst audiences and critics. In the telemovie and book, the adult storyline is the weaker half, as Pennywise doesn’t feel as threatening, and most the action involves the characters just standing around and reminiscing in a library.
There’s also a lot of weird stuff about tongue biting rituals and an inter dimensional turtle… which would be interesting to see, though it’s one of those narratives that doesn’t translate well to screen. I have no doubt that director, Andy Muschietti, is aware of these issues, and judging from the seemingly new content in the trailers, he has taken the right steps to ensure that this story will work in a visual format.
Tyler Hummel (59-39): BOOM! – I’m a little worried about this. The best part of the first movie was the kids and the constant undercurrent or paranoia. The adult section of IT is all about eldritch abominations and space turtles. Pennywise in the original version got more comical and less serious half to my knowledge. The cast looks great but what’s gonna hold all this craziness together?
Release Date: September 20, 2019
Synopsis: Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe. (IMDB).
Director: James Gray
Starring: Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler, Tommy Lee Jones
Juliana Purnell (76-51): Meh – Tough to predict. James Gray’s previous film, The Lost City of Z, had a lovely sense of mystery to it, though its resolution left much to be desired with audiences. As a result, it wasn’t popular outside of critics. I’m getting the same sense with Ad Astra, as though it’s going to be viewed as a poor man’s Interstellar. Sci-fi tends to attract both action lovers and high concept thinkers, and I don’t think the plot will have enough excitement or intellectual stimulation to please either crowd. But I’m sure the critics will love this film regardless for its quieter, more reflective approach.
Tyler Hummel (59-39): BOOM! – Okay so I’ve never seen The Lost City of Z or this director’s other works but I’ve heard really solid things! Also the trailer for this is spectacular!
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Synopsis: A magical Yeti must return to his family. (IMDB).
Directors: Jill Culton & Todd Wilderman
Starring: Albert Tsai, Chloe Bennet, Sarah Paulson
Juliana Purnell (76-51): BOOM! – There’s no other children’s film in contention for this month, so it should do well at the box office. The animation looks beautiful and the trailer hints at a more emotionally layered plot, so I’m predicting this will be above average for the genre.
However, the cynic in me wonders if will be rated highly for its plot, script, and other technical elements, or whether its popularity will stem more from its Asian representation. There’s a lot of demand and support to see more Asian leads in American-lead productions, so despite any narrative flaws, expect to see a lot of praise regardless, which could overinflate its critical reception.
Tyler Hummel (59-39): Bust – I’ve long since started ignoring family animated movies but this one looks fairly lukewarm and unremarkable.
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Synopsis: A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (IMDB).
Director: John Crowley
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Poulson, Ansel Elgort
Juliana Purnell (76-51): Meh – Despite attracting a high profile cast, this film has been rather quiet in regards to its advertising. It’s based off the book of the same title, so this movie will naturally appeal to its fans, though that is still a rather niche market. I predict it’ll be a fine, satisfying drama, which will please critics, though it will be overlooked by mainstream audiences.
Tyler Hummel (59-39): Meh – I must applaud my co-writer’s ability to consistently track down art films that are completely off my radar, usually I’m the guy who has the year’s movie Calendar memorized (anybody else hyped for A Hidden Life?). Could be good. It’s being shot by Roger Deakins!
Release Date: September 20, 2019
Synopsis: The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century. (IMDB).
Director: Michael Engler
Starring: Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter
Juliana Purnell (76-51): BOOM! – I’ve never seen the show, but every second person I know has. Downton Abbey has been hugely popular where I live, and a lot of those fans consist of self-funded retirees. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again; never underestimate this demographic at the box office. When I used to work at a cinema, I always noticed that the elderly just love to make a day out of it. They’re not the type to stay and wait for Netflix. So expect them to come out in droves, with sold out sessions just awash with a sea of lovely silver hair. This film is going to be a treat for its many, many followers.
Tyler Hummel (59-39): Meh – I’m not the right audience for this. Like movies such as the Entourage movie, The Simpson’s Movie, Veronica Mars, or Serenity, the experience is tailored to suit the needs of the audience of the show which I’ve never seen.
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!”