Welcome to December’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 November predictions!
1. Terminator: Dark Fate – BOOM!
Critic Score: 71%
Audience Score: 83%
Production Budget: $185 million
Worldwide: $250 million
Juliana: The critical score and box office earnings could be better, but most people seemed pleased, citing Dark Fate as the best film in the franchise since Judgement Day.
2. Midway – Meh
Critic Score: 42%
Audience Score: 92%
Production Budget: $100 million
Worldwide: $97 million
Juliana: Audiences may have been impressed, but not critics, as they found it all too easy to compare Midway to similar (and better) fare.
3. Doctor Sleep – BOOM!
Critic Score: 76%
Audience Score: 89%
Budget: $45 million
Worldwide: $64 million
Juliana: This director needs to be commended for combing Kubrick’s stunning but poorly adapted visuals alongside King’s meandering text. A deeply satisfying sequel.
4. Frozen II – BOOM!
Critic Score: 76%
Audience Score: 93%
Budget: $150 – 200 million
Worldwide: $464 million
Juliana: Having everything going for it, this would’ve had to flop hard to not be an overnight success.
5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – BOOM!
Critic Score: 96%
Audience Score: 91%
Budget: $25 million
Worldwide: $27 million
Juliana: This is such an Oscar darling! Released only just over a week ago, the box office still has room to grow. Don’t be surprised if this film develops some staying power in cinemas as the 2020 Academy Awards draws nearer.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (82-60), and Tyler Hummel is at (64-47).
Release Date: December 13, 2019
Synopsis: In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game. (IMDB).
Director: Jake Kasdan
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart
Juliana Purnell (82-60): BOOM! – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a pleasant surprise as far as sequels go. It playfully expanded and modernized its universe, with a nice dose of comedy, keeping its light-hearted tone in place. If The Next Level manages to tap into that same energy, then there’s no reason to believe it won’t also please audiences. The biggest hurdle will be in regards to whether the screenwriters are able to successfully raise the stakes, allowing this movie to be more than a simple rehash of its predecessor. If it tackles the challenge, then it’ll be a success as opposed to merely being average fare.
Tyler Hummel (64-47): Meh – The long awaited sequel to the remake of a 90’s movie I never watched is finally here! Honestly, the 2017 remake didn’t interest me at all, but people I respect told me it was fun mostly because The Rock is great in it. I’m inclined to take their word on it and I’m sure the sequel will be more of the same.
Rating: Not yet rated.
Release Date: December 20, 2019
Synopsis: A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life. (IMDB).
Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Francesca Hayward, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba
Juliana Purnell (82-60): Meh – This pains me. I feel like I’m one of the few people that really don’t mind the look of the characters (in some instances, I actually think they’re beautiful), and I can appreciate and understand Tom Hooper’s vision. I strongly believe this will be a wildly eccentric and entertaining journey, and a decent film over all.
However, audiences are stubborn. A lot of people detest the look of this film, and I’m getting the impression this is one of those productions where some will find it more fun to jump on the hate train as opposed to critiquing it fairly. As a result, critics will love this movie, whilst audiences will keep expressing their dislike (possibly even without seeing Cats in its entirety), bringing down its review scores, and forcing me this time next month to declare it as a Meh. I really do hope I’m proven wrong.
Tyler Hummel (64-47): Meh – I have no attachment to this particular musical, as it was before my own brief delve into musical fandom. That said, this movie’s reputation precedes it. It looks to be one of the most bizarre studio films of the year.
Release Date: December 20, 2019
Synopsis: The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. (IMDB).
Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac
Juliana Purnell (82-60): BOOM! – This film will make a lot of money, but will it be any good? After the incredibly divisive sequel, The Last Jedi, there are only a handful of directions this trilogy can still take. One narrative option still available is wildly reformative, evolving the audiences’ understanding of the Force while tying together all of the previous films. Or the story can play it safe, resulting in blandness. Either way, The Last Jedi has managed audiences’ expectations, with many seeming to say they’d just be happy with an average film at this stage. Yet I still have faith in this franchise, and I’m predicting something fantastic.
Tyler Hummel (64-47): BOOM! – No film has more pressure on it than this one, maybe ever. I really enjoy Disney Star Wars (flaws and all) and I loved Last Jedi. I’m confident Abrams will bring the same strengths he brought to The Force Awakens here.
Release Date: December 25, 2019
Synopsis: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. (IMDB).
Director: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh
Juliana Purnell (82-60): BOOM! – An Oscar nominated director. A solid cast. A classic story. If you’re into period pieces and the romance genre, then this retelling of Alcott’s famous novel isn’t raising any red flags. It has everything going for it.
Tyler Hummel (64-47): BOOM! – Greta Gerwig surprised the world two years ago with Ladybird and set herself up as one of Hollywood’s best female indie directors. Now she’s adapting one of the best novels of the past few centuries. Could be very good!
Release Date: December 13, 2019
Synopsis: A group of female students are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. That is until the young sorority pledges discover the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy. (IMDB).
Director: Sophia Takal
Starring: Imogen Poots, Cary Elwes, Lily Donoghue
Juliana Purnell (82-60): Meh – With all the saccharine-drenched Christmas films flooding television stations and streaming services, I guess there needs to be a more darkly themed movie release to balance things out. A Christmas-themed slasher horror film, it stars only a few recognisable faces and is helmed by a relatively unknown director. The most trustworthy credit is seemingly the production company – Blumhouse – which has repeatedly signed on a surprisingly good amount of quality horror films, earning a reputation for having an eye for talent. This is certainly a wildcard; Black Christmas has the potential to succeed or flop. I’m predicting this certainly won’t be the best horror film of 2019, but it won’t be an atrocity either.
Tyler Hummel (64-47): Bust – So I had to look this up because it wasn’t on my radar, but apparently this is a different film from Last Christmas, the Paul Fieg comedy from earlier this month…and it’s a horror reboot… yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay….
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!”