Boom, Bust, or Meh: August 2015

Welcome back to another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh.”
If you are new to the series, “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” is a monthly article that looks at five different theatrical releases, then our staff predicts how each film with perform, both financially, and critically.
Each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: So good you spend your month’s paycheck on tickets for you, your boss, and his grandmother to see the matinee everyday.
Bust: Leaves you with a worse feeling than illegally passing a school bus.
Meh: So basic you feel like a teenage girl starting her day fifteen minutes earlier than usual to order Starbucks new mini-frappe, because… like, cute!
I am joined once again this month by Christian Living Editor, Nestor Arce.
Enjoy.
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The Results

Let’s review last month’s performance.
1. Terminator Genisys – Meh…
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 26%
Audience Score: 64%
Box Office
Domestic: $85,666,000
Worldwide: $305,066,000 (2x budget)
Chris: Terminator Genisys more than doubled its production budget, but missed the mark as a summer blockbuster.
2. Self/less – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 21%
Audience Score: 56%
Box Office
Domestic: $11,862,000 (Under budget)
Chris: No surprises here. Move along. 
3. Mr. Holmes – Meh…
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 88%
Audience Score: 77%
Box Office
Domestic: $6,432,000 (Budget information N/A)
Chris: Mr. Holmes received a limited release and after a great early showing, is opening to a wider audience.
4. Pixels – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 18%
Audience Score: 58%
Box Office
Domestic: $24,000,000
Worldwide: $49,400,000 (Budget information N/A)
Chris: Just because a studio gets the rights to use the likeness of nostalgic arcade characters that will never imply the movie will be actually worth seeing. Pixels will probably recover its budget, and I guess that’s good for the economy or something.
5. Southpaw – Meh…
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 58%
Audience Score: 82%
Box Office
Domestic: $16,500,000 (Budget information N/A)
Chris: Southpaw has not had enough theater time make a good assessment on its performance. Reviews are average at the moment.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (7-3). Nestor is at (1-4).
Last month, Inside Out almost tripled its budget, so as Pixels, Southpaw, and Mr. Holmes have more time in theaters, I will update our scores accordingly.

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Fantastic Fourf4-characters-poster-us

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Synopsis: Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save earth from a former friend turned enemy. (IMDB)
Starring: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell
 
In an age where no settled comic franchise is safe, Fantastic Four gets a reboot. This time, our heroes are played by younger actors, each having proved their chops in previous films. This being an origins story, and being produced through 20th Century Fox, I can’t help but wonder about X-Men cameos.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – BOOM!
I really do feel optimistic for this franchise. The other two films from the 2000s were sort of shoddy and didn’t capture the Marvel vibe well. I’m a big fan of each actor selected for their roles, so I’m expecting a big financial turnout. Expect an average critical rating, but a standing ovation from audiences… Especially if Wolverine makes a post-credits appearance.
Nestor Arce (1-4)  Meh…
Doesn’t convince me. Perhaps it was the bad taste that the first two poor attempts left in my mouth. The more I see of this movie, the less I’m interested in it. It just feels like too much of a departure from the original source for me (and, no, please don’t bring out the Human Torch “race bait” debate; this has nothing to do with it). Maybe it’ll surprise me one day when I eventually watch it on TV, but at this point I’d rather stay with my comics for some good ol’ FF action.
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UnderdogsUnderdogs_2013_animated_film_poster

Rating: G
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Synopsis: A young man named Amadeo sets off on an unexpected adventure with the players of his beloved Foosball game. (IMDB)
Starring: Matthew Morrison, Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, John Leguizamo
 
Originally developed and released in Argentina, Underdogs set records and became the highest grossing Argentine film premiere. This happened over two years ago. The greedy Weinstein’s snatched up the rights and our U.S dubs for the film to include some fun, but not incredible voice acting. While this might be a year or so too late to catch on with the World Cup craze, the story feels right at home in the hearts of those in pursuit of playing fütbol.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Bust
I can’t call Underdogs a flop, but even though soccer is gaining considerable popularity, I just can’t see this doing well. The opening weekend in the US won’t compare to the Argentine release, and there aren’t enough celebrity voice actors to carry it by name alone. 
Nestor Arce (1-4) – Meh…
Kids might love it. I could care less about another generic CG family movie. Here’s a second idea: Go watch Inside Out again instead. Without your kids this time.
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Ricki and the FlashRicki_and_the_Flash_poster

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Synopsis: A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family. (IMDB)
Starring: Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep, Sebastian Stan
 
Meryl Streep continues to destroy everyone in her path, this time taking up the mantle of an old boozed-out rocker. Lots of old rock tunes, along with great casting for Streep and Gummer together. Writer Diablo Cody has come a long way since Juno in 2007, and even though big laughs are given up in the trailer, you can’t go wrong with Meryl Streep.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Bust
So, Meryl Streep will be the defining character of this one, and she always carries her movies. The plot is spoiled in the trailer, and Flash doesn’t look like anything completely spectacular. I’m sure there will be some fun music numbers, and Streep will ruin the foolish men who hurt her daughter, and everyone will come together at one of Ricki’s concerts to end the film. 
Nestor Arce (1-4)  Meh…
Meryl Streep is one of the best actresses in Hollywood (you can all put your hands down now). But there just seems to be something a bit generic about this whole trailer. If I could remember, isn’t there another similar film starring Al Pacino being released soon about an aging rock star trying to mend his relationship with his kid (Danny Collins)? Who knows though, this may be a hit with critics with Diablo Cody (Juno) writing and Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) directing. Meryl Streep could find herself walking off with, yet, another Oscar next year (keep your hands down, please).
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The Man from U.N.C.L.EhiV4dZX

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, that is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer
 
Drawing similarities to The Lone Ranger from two summers ago, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboots another old 60s television series, with similar style and actors (Hammer). Cavill isn’t new to summer blockbusters, playing Superman from Man of SteelI should mention director Guy Ritchie wrote and directed the two Sherlock Holmes installations, starring Robert Downey Jr., so I feel this film will have a similar vibe.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Meh…
This won’t be the summer hit everyone will be talking about for months, but I think it safe to say it will make its production budget. 
Nestor Arce (1-4)  Meh…
Warner Bros. and Guy Ritchie try to recapture that edgy Sherlock Holmes magic with a remake of the popular 60’s series. The thing is that one of the main reasons why Sherlock Holmes worked so well was due to Robert Downey, Jr.’s iconic performance as the world’s greatest detective and Jude Law’s endearing charm. Whether Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer can reproduce the bromance formula remains to be seen in the trailer. I’m personally more excited about Ritchie’s six-movie King Arthur project. Yes, six movies.
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Hitman: Agent 47B_Fr49ZUwAExJhB.jpg-large

Rating: R
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Synopsis: An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
Starring: Zachary Quinto, Rupert Friend, Ciarán Hinds
 
Films based off gaming franchises are notoriously bad, but director Aleksander Bach hopes to change the stereotype. One wonders why marketing cheapens the Hitman lore for an action movie, when it deserves to be a thriller. This will be Bach’s first credited director chip, so who knows how this will perform.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Bust
As stated, video game adaptions are rarely worth a buck, and spending eight sounds obscene. There are a lot of reasons this could go horribly wrong, and getting caught sneaking around won’t be one of them. I suppose we could be surprised, but the synopsis couldn’t be any more vague and boring. I want to be wrong. 
Nestor Arce (1-4) – Bust
Another video game movie. Enough said on this one.

 

Thanks for reading this month’s edition. Let us know your predictions in the comment sections. Join us next month for another addition to “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”

Chris Hecox

Chris enjoys the simple things in life, like teaching his wife the newest review game, looking up Ketogenic recipes, and playing 10 hour long indie games on Steam. If he's not thinking about the oil drum components from Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, playing Player Unknown: Battlegrounds with his college buddies, or dwelling on the release of Daredevil Season Three, he's probably shooting or editing video, because that's what he does for a living.

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