Boom, Bust, or Meh: January 2019

Welcome to 2019 ladies and gentlemen! And welcome to the first BBoM of the year 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 (which is a full twelve months now)!

Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.

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

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

The Results

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

1. Aquaman – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 64%

Audience Score: 81%

Box Office

Production Budget: $160 – $200 million

Worldwide: $751 million

Juliana: It was a financial success for DC, though while it proved popular, it didn’t enthuse all critics, frequently citing the long runtime and excessive action sequences.

2. Bumblebee – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 93%

Audience Score: 79%

Box Office

Production Budget: $135 million

Worldwide: $157 million

Juliana: Bumblebee offered a welcome change of pace for this franchise. Yet judging the box office figures, it seems that the damage of the previous films has already been done. It’s still early in its run, though it’s clear it’s not going to obtain the same returns as the ones in the Bay series. It was almost a BOOM, but just missed the mark.

3. Mary Queen of Scots – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 62%

Audience Score: 42%

Box Office

Budget: $25 million

Worldwide: $9 million

Juliana: Let’s keep in mind that this film has only just started its international run, so the box office figures don’t reveal this film’s full potential. However, they are very low even when release dates are factored in. This was a film that decided to take a few risks with its source material, and it didn’t pay off. Safe to say that it’s no longer considered a contender for an Oscar (unless it’s for one of the design categories).

4. Mortal Engines – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 27%

Audience Score: 59%

Box Office

Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $62 million

Juliana: I think everyone genuinely hoped that this would be a good movie, just so it would be a much-needed win for this genre, but we all secretly knew it was doomed to fail. Bloated, derivative, with a dash of silliness, but at least it looked pretty on the big screen!

Our Review!

5. Mary Poppins Returns – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 78%

Audience Score: 69%

Box Office

Budget: $130 million

Worldwide: $174 million

Juliana: Given the level of positive word of mouth this film is generating, I’m actually surprised the ratings aren’t higher. It seems that its reputation has preceded it. Some have found the film to be magical, while others found it to be lacking a soul.

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (51-35), and Tyler Hummel is at (32-26).


Rating: PG-13

Release Date: January 18, 2019

Synopsis: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. (IMDB).

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (51-35): BOOM! – I think everyone knows all too well that M. Night Shyamalan can produce a boom or a bust. The question is which it will be? A much-anticipated sequel to two of his (few) hits, Glass is already shaping up to be one of 2019’s most anticipated movies. Headed by three incredibly competent actors, critics love the fact that this film promises to provide a different slant to the superhero genre, which has saturated cinema in the last decade. Offering strong performances, a unique angle, and a follow up to two popular films, one can’t help but hope that this will be a triumph for this maligned director.

Tyler Hummel (32-26): Meh – Split was unexpectedly awesome! It had been a long time since M. Night Shyamalan made a great movie and this dropped to largely unexpected audiences in January 2017. That’s what worries me about this film. There is a lot of hype for this film and I’m wondering if that first film was lightning in a bottle. It’s possible this could be the epic Unbreakable sequel we’re all waiting for but if I had to put money on the Vegas odds I’d say this film is more likely going to fall apart.

A Dog’s Way Home

Rating: PG

Release Date: January 11, 2019

Synopsis: A dog travels 400 miles in search of her owner. (IMDB).

Director: Charles Martin Smith

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Ashley Judd, Alexandra Shipp

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (51-35): Meh – A Dog’s Purpose worked well because it offered a fresh take on the inspirational talking dog subgenre. It was quirky and heartfelt, portraying a narrative that was sure to connect to every dog lover on some kind of level. A Dog’s Way Home feels more derivative. We’ve seen this film before; Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is the most famous example, whilst even The Simpsons has spoofed this type of storyline before. It feels too soon to churn out yet another dog-centric movie. It’ll always find a market, but I’m predicting it’ll contain too much saccharine for critics, and adults won’t have any desire to see this film unless they love dogs, or their child begs them for a date at the cinema. I think it’ll serve its intended market, but that’s about it.

 Tyler Hummel (32-26): Bust – They dumped this in January… Moving on!


Rating: PG-13

Release Date: January 11, 2019

Synopsis: A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident. (IMDB).

Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Starring: Alice Eve, Keanu Reeves, Emily Alyn Lind

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (51-35): Bust – Honestly, I haven’t even heard of this film before. But it’s easy to see why. Being in the midst of summer, in Australia where I’m from, January promises the biggest releases, unlike the USA where it seems to be a dumping ground of risky projects. While Replicas has secured a Chinese release, it appears that this film has been deemed unworthy of a more popular date or an international market, meaning that the producers have little to no faith in this project. With the trailer filled with sci-fi clichés, Replicas’ only hope is to gain a cult-like status thanks to headlining Keanu Reeves. Either way, I can’t watch this flick–it’s not making it across the Pacific pond.

Tyler Hummel (32-26): Bust – They dumped this in January… Moving on!


Rating: R

Release Date: January 25, 2019

Synopsis: The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain comes back to haunt him, when his ex-wife tracks him down with a desperate plea for help, ensnaring his life in a new reality that may not be all that it seems. (IMDB).

Director: Steven Knight

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane, Matthew McConaughey

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (51-35): Bust – Similar to Replicas, Serenity isn’t making its way to Australian audiences, which instantly tells me that producers aren’t willing to bet this film will be an international sensation. With an ambiguous trailer and an even more tongue-tied plot synopsis, it’s obvious that this movie isn’t one that can be summarized easily. Genres exist for a reason–it makes them more marketable. When a film bucks the trend, then it’s a harder sell. Since audiences and critics honestly have no idea what this film is about, expect low box office returns. It could be a hit amongst critics, but don’t expect any hype from the limited views from the general public. Since it’s a January release, I’m guessing that even the “it’s artsy” excuse isn’t going to cut it. I’m predicting a bomb, and not a sneaky surprise cult classic.

Tyler Hummel (32-26): Bust –They dumped this in January… Moving on!

The Kid Who Would Be King

Rating: PG

Release Date: January 25, 2019

Synopsis: A band of kids embarks on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace. (IMDB).

Director: Joe Cornish

Starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Taylor, Patrick Stewart

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (51-35): Meh – I can’t even remember the last film that managed to successfully pull off a King Arthur narrative. This time it’s a heavily modernized take that stars children. It reeks of those cliché “kids must save the day” narratives that inspire the kiddies but elicits groans from paying adults. That said; never underestimate the children’s market. Their films might not be wonderful pieces of cinema, but parents are willing to pay for two hours worth of entertainment. If it gets even slightly good reviews, then expect this film to make back its budget and then some. It won’t be a boom, but it could be great for its target demographic.

Tyler Hummel (32-26): BOOM! – I’m not going to lie, I’m really excited about this film. Joe Cornish’s last film Attack the Block was spectacular. He’s a regular contributor with Edgar Wright and he’s proven himself to be a good director in his own right. If I have any fear for this film it’s the subpar advertising campaign. This won’t drop in NA till March but I’m looking forward to it!

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 January?

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.

1 Comment

  1. Zero Tolerance on February 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Hey, didn’t we already do a movie called “Serenity”?

    Different topic, of course!

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