Boom, Bust, or Meh: February 2015

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

Each month, I will be joined by my co-writers: Wesley Wood, Rob Butler, and Joshua Hale.

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


The Results

In this section for “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” we show the results of the previous month’s films.

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

1. Taken 3 – BOOM!

Worldwide Box Office – $209 million (4.35x budget)                                                                                                               Average Rating – 6.1

This film had nearly disastrous reviews, but, with those box office numbers, it doesn’t matter.

2. Blackhat – BUST!

Worldwide Box Office – $11 million (0.15x budget)                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 5.3

Everything about this movie’s results screams BUST.

3. Paddington  BOOM!                                                                

Worldwide Box Office – $187 million (3.40x budget)                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 7.9

After the stunning ratings this movie garnered, I might just have to see Paddington now!

4. Mortdecai – BUST!

Worldwide Box Office – $10 million (0.16x budget)                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 5.5

These results are eerily similar to Blackhat’s.

5. Project Almanac – DELAYED

Worldwide Box Office – ?                                                                                                                                                     Average Rating – ?

This movie came out too late in the month to give an accurate rating, so it will be listed on the March BBoM article.

That was how each movie fared in the month of January. Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article includes each writers’ current prediction record beside their name. (And just in case you were wondering, I’m 10-9.)


Jupiter Ascending – February 6

Jupiter-Ascending-Channing-Tatum1A fantasy/adventure movie that takes place in space? Written and directed by the Wachowskis (The Matrix, 1999)? Sounds good to me! Surely it will succeed, right? Let’s look at how the Wachowskis’ past movies have fared.

The Wachowskis really became a household name after creating the fantastic world of The Matrix. That film scored an 8.7 on IMDb and currently sits at #18 on the website’s top 250 list. The Keanu Reeves-led movie has raked in a very comfortable $463 million over its lifetime. The Wachowskis also created two sequels for the sci-fi thriller, totaling over $1.5 billion for the trilogy.

Their most recent film, Cloud Atlas (2012), has been well-received, scoring a 7.5 on IMDb. The sci-fi drama did not do as well in the box office though, barely managing to earn back its $130 million budget.

The siblings put their script into the hands of A-listers Channing Tatum, Milas Kunis, and Sean Bean. They have all had very successful careers, and the trailer appears to give them an opportunity to shine in the science fiction setting.

The Prediction:

Meh – I have really high hopes for this film. Everything within the plot and setting resonates well with me, but I worry that the large budget will cause this film to fall short.



What Others Think

Wesley Wood (10-9) – BUST

I can see that just from the trailer the fingerprints of the Wachowski brothers. Here’s the gist: amazing visuals, average (at best) story, uninteresting characters, and forced social commentary. I have heard its budget is around $175 million, though I am unsure if it’ll make it back. Plus, the studio clearly doesn’t have much confidence in the film, since they’re releasing it in February instead of a prime time month.

Rob Butler (7-12) – Meh

Another extraterrestrial space film. Should I trust this to be any good? I want to, but I’m skeptical.

Joshua Hale (2-2) – Meh

Despite wonderful visuals and the directing talents of the Wachowski’s, Jupiter Ascending looks like it may flop. It will follow the trend of their non-Matrix efforts (Speed Racer, 2008, Cloud Atlas); it will perform mediocre, at best, during its theatrical run. Original properties tend to perform poorly when compared to franchises based on established works.


Seventh Son – February 6

seventh_son_ver6_xxlgThis movie appears to target a similar audience to that of both Clash of the Titans (2010) and John Carter (2012). All three films focus on a male protagonist that battles many mythical creatures. Let’s take a look at those movies now.

1. Clash of the Titans – 

Worldwide Box Office – $493 Million (3.94x budget)                        Average Rating – 5.8

2. John Carter – 

Worldwide Box Office – $284 Million (1.13x budget)                        Average Rating – 6.6

Clash of the Titans clearly did well in the box office with $493 million. John Carter, on the other hand, just barely made its budget back. In terms of ratings, Carter performed slightly better with a mediocre score of 6.6, while Titans flopped with a low 5.8.

The Prediction:

BUST – Although backed by the very reliable Legendary Pictures, Seventh Son will likely see failure in both ratings and box office. And you can rest assured that opening against Jupiter Ascending will only make matters worse.


What Others Think

Wesley Wood (10-9) – BUST

Critics have already hated this film, and I can see why. I don’t understand the premise of making a film with a poor story and uninteresting characters. The lead looks bland, and the villain is a cliché. The film lacks anything to make it stand out (aside from Jeff Bridges). It’s just another average fantasy romp that we will all soon forget.

Rob Butler (7-12) – BOOM

I’m expecting this to be a cross between Lord of the Rings (2001) and Percy Jackson (2010).

Joshua Hale (2-2) – BUST

With a production history that seems constantly one step away from disaster, Seventh Son screams “you’ve seen this all before.” Based on a lesser-known series of fantasy novels, this film has nothing to stand on. Aside, of course, from Jeff Bridges, and even he couldn’t save the miserable trailer.


Kingsman: The Secret Service – February 13

kingsman-secret-service-most-posterKingsman: The Secret Service is a spy action film that is based on the comic series The Secret Service. The film has a lot of talent in it with big names like Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, 2010), Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, 2012), and Michael Caine (The Dark Knight, 2008).

The spy flick is also written and directed by Matthew Vaughn, who has found a lot of success in the comic-based movie world. His latest film, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) struck gold in the theater, scoring an 8.1 on IMDb, and reached #214 on the website’s top 250 list. In the box office, the film opened with a $91 million opening weekend and has achieved $748 million (3.74x budget) in its lifetime.

The thing that will (more than likely) turn this film into a box office hit (besides its amazing cast and writers) is its marketing. I can’t even recall how many times I’ve seen a Kingsman: The Secret Service commercial on Hulu or its banner displayed at the mall. That being said, it wasn’t quite “beat the dead horse” marketing like The Lone Ranger (2013). Close, but not quite that bad.

The Prediction:

BOOM – Kingsman: The Secret Service has so much going for it, and not much (besides, maybe, Hot Tub Time Machine 2) can slow it down.



What Others Think

Wesley Wood (10-9) – BOOM

I say BOOM rather lightly on this one. The film intrigues me, but I’m more confident that I’ll rent it rather than see it in theaters. I think the critics will enjoy it and audiences might (maybe, I hope) go see it as well.

Rob Butler (7-12) – Meh

As much as I want this to be a success, I’m hesitant to give a BOOM rating.

Joshua Hale (2-2) – BOOM

A great trailer, cast, and director (Matthew Vaughn) will help this film find a voice at the box office. Even though Vaughn’s previous comic-book adaptations (Kick-A**, 2010 and X-Men: First Class) performed mediocre at best, they both were hits with critics, giving Vaughn something to stand on during Kingsman’s theatrical run.


Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – February 13

MV5BODAyMzg4OTI5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTk0MzU2MzE@._V1_SX214_AL_Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is the sequel to 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine, and luckily most of the cast is returning. (The only missing actor is John Cusack, replaced by Adam Scott.) This time the guys go back in time to save their friend from being murdered. Sounds great, but let’s look at some factors.

The film’s director, Steve Pink, has mainly done insignificant comedies. His first film, Accepted (2006), has earned about $38 million (1.65x budget) in its lifetime. That college-based film also went on to score an uninspiring 6.5 on IMDb. That is the near perfect example of a “Meh” score. Pink then released Hot Tub Time Machine, which ended with a similar, though slightly better, fate. It had the same score on IMDb, but raked in $64 million (1.77x budget).

Also notable is Steve Pink’s film About Last Night (2014) starring Kevin Hart. This movie had a greater net profit than the others, and has brought in $49 million (3.92x budget) in its short lifetime. That seems a lot better, but the movie did take a slump in ratings with a 6.1 on IMDb.

The Prediction:

Meh – This time-traveling comedy will likely follow Pink’s other films, scoring poorly and bringing in a solid box office total. And who knows? Maybe in a few years we will have a third movie in the series on this list.


What Others Think

Wesley Wood (10-9) – BOOM

Looks funny. They dumped John Cusack, and they are travelling to many different time periods. Why not?

Rob Butler (7-12) – BOOM

This might be my most anticipated sequel of all time.

Joshua Hale (2-2) – Meh

While the film will probably do better than most February releases, it will, more than likely, score low marks with critics and audiences alike. Comedy sequels tend to fare worse than their predecessors, and giving the film a February release date isn’t a good sign that the studio has much faith in it.


Focus – February 27

Focus-PosterI have to admit, I love con man movies. Matchstick Men (2003) is one of my most beloved films. Will Smith in the lead role of a con flick? Okay, now I’m excited!

Focus is written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. And there lies the problem. This duo has never written something in this genre, at least not for a while. Most of their written work is either kids movies (Cats & Dogs, 2001) or Rated-R comedies (Bad Santa, 2003). And those movies are mostly successful. But they’re great directors. They have found major success in their comedy/drama Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011). It scored a very respectable 7.4 on IMDb and has brought in $142 million (2.84x budget) in its lifetime.

The movie stars Will Smith as Nicky, a suave con-man. Everyone knows Will Smith and for good reason. He’s been nominated multiple times for his outstanding performances in both The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) and Ali (2001). Focus appears to give Smith the same chance to show what makes him such an accomplished actor.

The Prediction:

BOOM – Will Smith should be able to lure in audiences to see what will hopefully be a sensational film.



What Others Think

Wesley Wood (10-9) – BUST

I had to watch two trailers and I have come to my conclusion; some films are absolutely pointless: this is one of them. Why? Why even bother. The premise isn’t even a good one. At least Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son could be exciting, but Focus? Don’t even waste my time.

Rob Butler (7-12) – Meh

BBoM has made me cynical to almost all films currently coming out. Unfortunately this is no exception.

Joshua Hale (2-2) – BOOM

While it is odd to see Mr. July (Will Smith) have a film out this time of year, he and Margot Robbie are enough to sell tickets. With an interesting premise and trailer that relies heavily on flirtation and sex appeal, Focus strongest selling point is Will Smith in the lead. He’s a man who almost never fails at the box office (you know, when M. Night Shyamalan isn’t directing).

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

Michael Kirksey Jr

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