Boom, Bust, or Meh: December 2018

Welcome to the last BBoM for the year, ladies and gentlemen, 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 (and hopefully into 2019 as well)!

Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.

Meh: A film that entertains at the moment, but has no lasting impact.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of December vault!

The Results

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

1. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 34%

Audience Score: 37%

Box Office

Production Budget: $120 million

Worldwide: $130 million

Juliana: A hollow production with no heart or soul–just another hackneyed story with a “believe in yourself” message.

Our Review

2. Bohemian Rhapsody – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 62%

Audience Score: 91%

Box Office

Production Budget: $52 million

Worldwide: $487 million

Juliana: The critics may have thought some areas needed improvement, but this film had the general public singing Queen’s songs for weeks. So there’s a split in the consensus as to whether it’s a good film or not, but no one can really argue the film’s success after looking at its box office figures. BOOM!

3. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 39%

Audience Score: 64%

Box Office

Budget: $200 million

Worldwide: $470 million

Juliana: I’m personally surprised at how high the general public’s rating is on this film. Personally, I felt it was one of the worst movies I’ve seen all year. But there’s enough love and box office money here to declare that it wasn’t a total bust.

4. Widows – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 91%

Audience Score: 62%

Box Office

Budget: $42 million

Worldwide: $43 million

Juliana: It’s an Oscar darling according to critics, but it seems that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

5. Ralph Breaks the Internet – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 88%

Audience Score: 68%

Box Office

Budget: $175 million

Worldwide: $141 million

Juliana: These figures surprise me: after hearing all the hype, I thought the general public’s score and the box office would be higher. Granted, this film is yet to be released in a few overseas markets. So it still has room to grow and blossom into a glorious BOOM, but at the moment these results are underwhelming. Meh.

Our Review

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (49-32), and Tyler Hummel is at (29-24).

Aquaman

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 21, 2018

Synopsis: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world. (IMDB).

Director: James Wan

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Dolph Lundgren

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (49-32): BOOM! – After getting hammered by Marvel at the box office, DC needs and hit, and apparently, it’s already looking like Aquaman will deliver. Stepping away from the oft-criticized gritty presentation, this films looks and feels unapologetically cartoony, which may just be what audiences want. After all, can anyone take this story seriously? I’m expecting this film to finally buck DC’s poor downward trend.

Tyler Hummel (29-24): BOOM! – DC is doing better! Wonder Woman is greater and Shazam looks promising. Some of the upcoming DC films also sound cool! There’s a solid hope for this one!

Bumblebee

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 21, 2018

Synopsis: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning eighteen and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. (IMDB).

Director: Travis Knight

Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Justin Theroux, John Cena

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (49-32): Meh – With Michael Bay’s legacy finally running its course, this latest film seems to trek back to the film franchise’s roots, tapping into what made the first movie popular in the first place. It’ll be a solid story, more heartfelt than the rest. But will it offer something new? I’m thinking that audiences have grown weary of Transformer films, and given the other movies on offer, this month may seek other sources of entertainment instead.

 Tyler Hummel (29-24): BOOM! –This is the first time I’ve seen a Transformers movie with more sincere hype behind it. Coming from the director of Kubo: The Two Strings I would expect something special!

Mary Queen of Scots

Rating: R

Release Date: December 7, 2018

Synopsis: Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution. (IMDB).

Director: Josie Rourke

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (49-32): BOOM! – While Josie Rourke may be a newcomer as a film director, her cast for this movie certainly does not consist of unknowns. Both leads (Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan) are strong past Oscar nominees. These two women have proven that they can handle the responsibility of driving a film, and their presence alone is enough to warrant attention from potential patrons. With the trailer teasing a powerful showdown between two equally dominating personalities, this movie will no doubt be a hit amongst those who are hankering for a competent period drama. It may not please the historians, but so far it has been a hit amongst critics. I’m predicting a BOOM, though it won’t pull in the same numbers as a Marvel or franchised spectacle movie.

Tyler Hummel (29-24): Meh –This one is blowing hard under the radar and usually that’s a sign that nobody wants to promote it. It could be decent but the lack of hype is rather telling.


Mortal Engines

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 14, 2018

Synopsis: A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw joins forces with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head, and Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, to lead a rebellion against a giant predator city on wheels. (IMDB).

Director: Christian Rivers

Starring: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Jihae

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (49-32): Bust – Fantasy book adaptations haven’t really fared well in the past. The book might be popular, but that audience doesn’t necessarily transfer to the screen. While Peter Jackson’s involvement in the project is a drawcard, he is actually one of the screenwriters, not the director, as the trailer may have mistakenly led you to believe.

The director, Christian Rivers, is fairly new to directing; he has worked with Peter Jackson numerous times before as a storyboard artist. I have no doubt this will be a competent film, but it just won’t garner enough attention to be considered a hit in today’s tough cinematic market, filled to the brim with already established film franchises. I wish it the best of luck, but it’ll need to overachieve to survive by word of mouth and get the box office numbers it desires.

Tyler Hummel (29-24): Bust – I want to believe that this will be good but I’m not getting anything out of the trailers for this. It’s probably going to be dead on arrival.

Mary Poppins Returns

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 19, 2018

Synopsis: Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael’s children through a difficult time in their lives. (IMDB).

Director: Rob Marshall.

Starring: Emily Blunt, Dick Van Dyke, Meryl Streep

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (48-28): BOOM! – Disney is taking no chances when it comes to ensuring this film has the best chance of being a box office hit. With some of the best known names in Hollywood involved in this production, this movie will appeal to young and old alike. Musicals are the most popular genre in live theatre, and given that there’s only roughly two films a year that cater to this massive market share, you can be sure that many will come to check out this song-filled, multi-demographic feast.

Tyler Hummel (29-24): Meh – Saving Mr. Banks came out 5 years ago… Man, time flies. This could be fun! Emily Blunt is an excellent lead tho this is rather gimmicky.

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 December?

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.

2 Comments

  1. John Canary on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    I want to see the second Ralph film. The first was very well done (IMO) and I love the idea of a Disney Princess slumber party!
    It just sounds cute.

  2. Peter Schott on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    I’m interested in Ralph (despite the potty humor, which is not my favorite) and Mary Poppins, but the target person in our household would never manage being in a movie theatre w/ the volume cranked up to 20. She has enough trouble at church when the organ or orchestra starts going on a louder piece. :/

    20 years ago, I’d have loved a Bumblebee movie. But – Michael Bey did his work on Transformers and kind of made it a movie franchise of little interest to me. This may be different, but his directing has turned me away from Transformers movies for a while. 🙁

    Aquaman is probably interesting, but I’ll probably just catch it streaming/home release. Again – volume control is important and the ability to pause is a big deal. I hope DC is turning things around because until recently their movies outside of Batman were horribly written. Still disappointed about the Green Lantern mess – so much potential and a really bad script. I powered through, but was reading a book during the end of the movie while glancing at the screen – and GL is one of my long-time favorite heroes from DC.

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