Boom, Bust, or Meh: January 2015

Hey, guys! Happy New Year, and welcome to the monthly “Boom, Bust, or Meh.” Here we will be taking a look at five different movies coming out in January, 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: Matthew Lamar, 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 December’s movies.

1. Comet – BUST!

Worldwide Box Office – $6,673 (Digital)                                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 6.6

This film’s digital-only release dramatically brought down ratings.

2. Exodus: Gods and Kings – BUST!

Worldwide Box Office – $149 million (1.06x budget)                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 5.4

From ratings to the box office, this movie is the epitome of a BUST!

3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies  BOOM!                                                                

Worldwide Box Office – $580 million (2.32x budget)                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 7.1

Equally impressive in both ratings and box office numbers, The Hobbit ended the series spectacularly.

4. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – BUST!

Worldwide Box Office – $106 million (0.83x budget)                                                                                                               Average Rating – 6.1

This marks the third BUST! in a very disappointing month for theater-goers.

5. The Gambler – BUST!

Worldwide Box Office – $15 million (0.6x budget)                                                                                                                 Average Rating – 6

Doing the worst of all the films, The Gambler finishes off this month with the last BUST!

That was how each movie fared in the month of December. Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article includes each writers’ current prediction record beside their name. (And just in case you were wondering, I’m 8-7.)


Taken 3 – January 8

CAP3-720x288There’s a third Taken movie? This man has some serious bad luck. Wow. I would hate to be one of his family members.

Taken 3 appears to be the final film to the cash cow series, which first struck gold with the original back in 2008. Taken captivated audiences with its over-the-top action that had you punching your friends as you left the movie theater. It provided the adrenaline rush of a lifetime and a pretty decent plot. Taken killed in the box office with $226 million (over nine times the film’s budget), and scored an impressive 7.9 on IMDb.

With the huge success of the first, the studio took to the camera once again and released Taken 2 in 2012. The sequel was greatly anticipated, but fell short in ratings—collapsing to a very mediocre 6.3 on IMDb. But that didn’t stop it from raking in $376 million. Now the third film arrives, weapon in hand, looking to pummel the box office once again. But will it?

The Prediction:

BOOM – With virtually no competition in theaters, Taken 3 should lead the box office. Also, the trailer makes the movie look miles above the mediocrity of Taken 2.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar (2-3) – Meh

Liam Neeson is a great actor, but that’s all that keeps Taken from being a flop. The series is loads of fun and has been successful at the box office, but it’s gathered tepid reviews. I don’t see the third film changing anything.

Wesley Wood (9-6) – Meh

The film looks on par with Taken 2. Good, but not great. The critics won’t be impressed but audiences will see it.

Rob Butler (5-10) – BOOM

Seriously, another one? Wait, let me watch the trailer.

I take that back. This one actually appears worth watching. Boom.

Joshua Hale – BOOM

Given the success of the first two films, I won’t be surprised to find this one following in their footsteps—no matter how much I loathe them.


BlackhatJanuary 16


Blackhat is an action/thriller that follows a man released from prison to help the government pursue an unknown cyber criminal.

The film’s trailer certainly makes the action/thriller’s future look promising, but how have Hemsworth’s other movies fared?

Chris Hemsworth can be seen everywhere these days. He can thank Marvel for letting him show off his talents as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And everyone knows how successful that universe has been, so let’s look at his other films. Since Thor (2011), he has found success in the box office. Most notable are hit films Rush (2013) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). Both films have received over two times their respective budgets. On the other hand, The Australian actor’s film Red Dawn (2012) flopped at the box office, falling well below the production’s budget. In terms of ratings, Hemsworth’s films have a wide range. Some films fall below mediocrity, while others (like Rush) soared, scoring 8.3 on IMDb. His films aren’t consistent, but they certainly are successful overall.

The film also brings with it director Michael Mann. He has directed well-received movies like Heat (1995), Public Enemies (2009), and The Last of the Mohicans (1992). With an armory of weapons at its disposal, this film looks pretty promising.

Unfortunately, not a lot of people have heard of Blackhat.

The Prediction:

Meh – This could turn out to be a hidden gem, but it might require a lot of digging to find. The film should get mediocre box office numbers and ratings alike.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar (2-3)  – Meh

I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. It’s an action/thriller about “hacking,” which is sure to stretch the limits of realism for plot purposes. People will go to see Chris Hemsworth, but it’ll be a shock if critics like this movie.

Wesley Wood (9-6) – Meh

As long as these articles exist, I will continually reference Dracula Untold: the very first forgettable film to bore us. Put Blackhat right there with Foxcatcher and The Gambler. Don’t recall those films? My point exactly.

Rob Butler (5-10) – Meh

White Collar on the big screen? Blackhat will probably have as much success as the show did. Meh.

Joshua Hale – BOOM

With a strong cast (Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis) and director Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral, Inside Man, Manhunter) Blackhat has an easy shot to make good numbers for a January release.


Paddington – January 16


Paddington Bear is a well-known anthropomorphic bear who started talking back in 1958. The hatted bear was a huge hit, responsible for many children’s books and tons of other media. Sure, Paddington was successful, but will this modern family film do as well?

January isn’t a popular month for family films, with the exception of last year’s The Nut Job. The film performed fairly well, locking in $19 million in its opening weekend. It has since gone onto a worldwide gross of $113 (2.69 times the production budget). While not mind-boggling, the box office numbers are solid for the January movie. With a similar budget, Paddington will follow suit and produce good box office totals.

The film also has a high nostalgia factor for those who grew up reading the bear’s many children’s books. Paddington‘s trailer looks appealing, creating laughs as the bear tries to settle into his new London home.

The Prediction:

 BOOM – While this movie may score uninspiring ratings, January’s sole family film has every opportunity to draw crowds.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar (2-3)  – BOOM

For whatever reason, “kids” movies have generally been more well-received than their adult brethren. Paddington is a beloved character, and is certain to have a strong international presence.

Wesley Wood (9-6) – BOOM

Looks like another cliché kids movie; it looks cute, albeit forgettable. I think it would have benefited from a Christmas release, but we shall see. The critics already love it. Plus, prior to its release, most of its production budget has been earned back. Once it releases in America, it’ll make the money it needs for a potential sequel.

Rob Butler (5-10) – BOOM

My childhood is rushing back to me. I only hope that parents with small children feel the same nostalgia, and they take their young ones to see this. A very hopeful Boom.

Joshua Hale – Meh

Already being praised by some critics, Paddington is one film we all want to succeed. However, given the miserable success of family films in January, I wouldn’t be surprised if this film didn’t make much. Here’s hoping the DVD release later this year will off-set this box office Meh.


Mortdecai – January 23

MortdecaiThis movie looks amazing. Johnny Depp plays a role he clearly loves, and the whole plot of the movie is fantastic. Pair this with an excellent supporting cast, and you have the makings of a masterpiece. Hopefully the movie will live up to my lofty expectations. Now let’s look at Johnny Depp’s film career.

Depp has obviously found the height of his success in The Pirates of the Caribbean series, but he has had a roller coaster of a career with his other movies. Films like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) fared well, earning $152 million (3x budget) and scoring a 7.5 on IMDb. While films like The Rum Diary (2011) barely made half of its money back and scored a 6.2 on IMDb. With a spread like that, it’s hard to predict how a Depp-led film will fare.

The film also may bring in a big crowd, thanks to the four “Mortdecai Series” novels. It may not draw a huge crowd, but book-based films always seem to lure audiences their way. This should be no different.

The Prediction:

BOOM – I am hesitant to give this film a BOOM, but I think it may slither past competing movies, claiming the #1 spot opening weekend. Also, it looks hilarious.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar (2-3) – BOOM

Johnny Depp? Gwenyth Paltrow? Ewan McGregor? Jeff Goldblum? Paul Bettany? A star-studded lineup and a quirky atmosphere. I’ll hop on board for that.

Wesley Wood (9-6) – Meh

This movie has the potential to be funny. Everything hinges on its humor, because there isn’t much going on with the plot. I am unsure exactly how it will do, but since I have to guess… Critics will like it, but audiences won’t see it.

Rob Butler (5-10) – BOOM

I never can take Johnny Depp seriously, but his roles and his films always seem to do surprisingly well. Boom.

Joshua Hale – BUST

I must say, the cast seems strong with stand outs like Jeff Goldblum, Ewan McGregor, and of course Depp. But unfortunately, with a lousy trailer and the history of independent Depp films, I predict this to be a flop with audiences and critics alike.


Project Almanac – January 30

project_almanacThis movie pulls all the right strings with me; I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of time travel? It has an interesting plot, but the whole “found footage” fad is a bit played out. That being said, let’s look how other similar films have fared.

One of the most popular or infamous (depending on who you ask) found footage films is 2008’s Cloverfield. The sci-fi thriller punished its competitors in the box office with an opening weekend of $40 million. The film has since made its way up to $170 million (6.8x budget). It also garnered a respectable 7.1 on IMDb. The biggest difference between these two films is the marketing of Cloverfield. Creators approached the trailers as a series of found footage clips, but told nothing of the movie. This drove viewers’ intrigue and sold plenty of tickets.

The other found footage film that most closely resembles Project Almanac is 2012’s unforeseen success Chronicle. This movie made good use out of the genre’s unique cinematography. The film scored in the box office, securing the #1 spot with $22 million on its opening weekend. The film has reached $126 million (10.5x budget) since then, and has scored well with critics and audiences.

The Prediction:

BOOM – With an estimated budget similar to Chronicle, Project Almanac will certainly succeed in the box office. The movie will likely get only average ratings, but if it makes enough money it won’t matter.

What Others Think

Matthew LaMar (2-3)  – Meh

Looks like a cross between The Butterfly Effect and the surprisingly good 2012 film Chronicle. Though, there are no famous actors to draw performances. Even if it turns out to be a good movie, I’m not sure people will see it.

Wesley Wood (9-6) – BOOM

Time travel! Found footage! Count me in! Finally, a film that will treat time travel like any normal human would. Just watching the trailer gives me chills. Honestly, I don’t give one rip whether I am right in my prediction. This film is the next Cloverfield/Chronicle, and I am in!

Rob Butler (5-10) – BOOM

How many times have we seen this (nearly) exact story? That said, I love the Jumper/Chronicle vibe of the trailer. I’ll be seeing this one, even if it’s already played out. Boom.

Joshua Hale – BUST

Almost everything about this film screams critical failure: found footage, Michael Bay produced, and a trailer that panders to the 14 year old many believe still lives in all of us (even though he left years ago). I suspect this film, like other similar movies (Chronicle, Project X), to be forgotten a month after its release.

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

Michael Kirksey Jr


  1. Maurice Pogue on January 1, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Another month, another reason to *not* go to the theater.

  2. Wesley Wood on January 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I just want to point out that my record is the best and will be even better after this month 😉

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