Welcome to March’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 February predictions!
1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – BOOM!
Critic Score: 91%
Audience Score: 89%
Production Budget: $129 million
Worldwide: $285 million
Juliana: A wonderful end to a brilliant franchise!
2. Alita: Battle Angel – Meh
Critic Score: 60%
Audience Score: 94%
Production Budget: $170 million
Worldwide: $287 million
Juliana: Performing better than expected, general audiences were wowed and the box office responded in kind. Yet critics found parts of this story to be a little too goofy for their liking, muttering a collective “meh” and bringing down its final score.
3. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – Meh
Critic Score: 86%
Audience Score: 75%
Budget: $100 million
Worldwide: $137 million
Juliana: This film pleased its audiences enough to warrant calling it a success… but why didn’t that translate to ticket sales? For an animated film nearing the end of its worldwide release, one would expect those box office figures to be higher.
4. What Men Want – Bust
Critic Score: 45%
Audience Score: 35%
Budget: $20 million
Worldwide: $52 million
Juliana: A film filled with wasted potential, many found the jokes either didn’t land or masked a #MeToo agenda.
5. Cold Pursuit – Meh
Critic Score: 70%
Audience Score: 59%
Budget: $60 million
Worldwide: $44 million
Juliana: It performed poorly at the box office, but it scored highly enough to warrant a look when it comes out on streaming services.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (59-37), and Tyler Hummel is at (39-29).
Release Date: March 8, 2019
Synopsis: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. (IMDB).
Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law
Juliana Purnell (59-37): Meh – Marvel has produced mediocre movies before (granted, it has been a while), though Captain Marvel is already facing a lot of backlash. Fans were very vocal about their lack of excitement, which has, in turn, caused some to question whether the early negative perception of the trailer had more to do with the gender of the movie’s protagonist as opposed to its portrayal of a bland story. This accusation only made the dissenters dig their heels in even further, trying to justify their dislike, wanting to be right about the film being bad lest they are proven to be misogynistic. Now the whole film is tarnished with this weird gender war that may or may not exist. It has gotten so out of hand that Rotten Tomatoes no longer allows audiences to rate films prior to their cinematic release.
But guess what? The trailer is meaningless, as people will still see this film whether they’re excited or not. Gotta get all those clues before Avengers: Endgame drops!
But it makes my job hard. Captain Marvel will make big bucks by default, but the film’s scoring will be trolled; data which I use to determine whether it’s a boom, bust, or meh. So next month I may have to rely on my personal opinion for this one. But for my prediction–Marvel doesn’t have the greatest track record for handling their most powerful heroes well, so I feel Captain Marvel will indeed be one of the weaker movies in the franchise. Meh.
Tyler Hummel (39-29): BOOM! – There’s a lot of preemptive tension regarding this film that hasn’t been helped by Brie Larson’s comments about film critics and reporters. I’m going into this primarily as a Marvel movie. As such I’m not sure what to expect. I’m not familiar with the directing team behind this film but my expectation is that the film will be alright.
Release Date: March 29, 2019
Synopsis: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. (IMDB).
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Eva Green, Michael Keaton, Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins
Juliana Purnell (59-37): Meh – I love Dumbo. I still own it on VHS! But what I loved about it was that we got to see this macabre world through the eyes of a gorgeously innocent elephant. Naturally some scenes are problematic for modern audiences and definitely require heavy adaptation (crows dressed as racist stereotypes, and pink elephants), however, the trailer seems to imply that Dumbo’s tale will be shown through a human’s perspective, and I’m worried that decision will drastically alter the story’s spirit beyond repair. Given Disney’s reputation, I’m sure this film will perform well enough at the box office despite being one of the more obscure animations in this studio’s early history. Tim Burton’s track record hasn’t been great as of late either. So I’m predicting reviews will be mixed. Meh.
Tyler Hummel (39-29): Bust – Two words: Tim Burton…. The only thing worse is likely to be the Guy Ritchie Aladdin Movie later this year…
Release Date: March 22, 2019
Synopsis: A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them. (IMDB).
Director: Jordan Peele
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke
Juliana Purnell (59-37): BOOM! – If this movie is anything less than a boom, it would be terribly disappointing. This is the second film to arise from the brilliant mind of Oscar-winning Get Out’s director, Jordan Peele. With everyone hoping his career doesn’t follow a downward trajectory like Shyamalan, the trailer for Us advertises an equally terrifying and compelling experience. Here’s hoping for a brilliantly crafted horror that truly scares its audiences by reflecting society’s darkest issues, and not through lazy jump scares. This one should please both critics and the public alike.
Tyler Hummel (39-29): BOOM! – It’s kind of a foregone conclusion that Jordan Peele’s second feature would be a huge deal. After making a movie like Get Out it’s not surprising. This movie looks incredibly intense and stressful but there seems to be an interesting foundation for a horror premise under the jump scares and rabbit rooms. This could be one of the most interesting films of 2019.
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Synopsis: Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict–the collaborators and dissidents. (IMDB).
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Starring: Machine Gun Kelly, John Goodman, Vera Farmiga
Juliana Purnell (59-37): Meh – Captive State has secured a state-wide US theatrical run, however an Australian release date for this film is yet to be confirmed. This instantly tells me that the studio has some confidence in this movie, but not enough to warrant showing worldwide. What gives me hope is that it’s directed by Rupert Wyatt (who did a fantastic job on Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and it involves the talent of John Goodman who tends to pick his projects well. The trailer hints at an underground sub-plot involving racial prejudice/tensions. It will either add layers to an otherwise bland alien invasion film, or it could come across too heavy, hitting the audience over the head with its themes. Sadly I’m predicting the latter. Not that it matters–I can’t watch this film anyway!
Tyler Hummel (39-29): Bust – From the Director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes a small, “timely,” and highly derivative dystopia story. This movie has next to no buzz and I’m not hopeful about it.
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Synopsis: Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive. (IMDB).
Director: None credited
Starring: Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Jennifer Garner, Brianna Denski
Juliana Purnell (59-37): Meh – Shame this isn’t a Disney film because then there would be the possibility of this actually turning into a ride. Instead, this is the newest animated movie by Paramount. Written by the same people who scripted the last two live-action Ninja Turtles movies, as a massive TMNT fan, I must say… it doesn’t bode well for Wonder Park! Yikes, I hated those films with a passion! Wonder Park looks beautifully rendered, and I’m sure there will be some sweet scenes, but I don’t see it achieving the same heights as Pixar. It looks okay, but I’m not overly enthused.
Tyler Hummel (39-29): Bust – I don’t care about this film. It’s a Nickelodeon original animated film with a huge cast of celebrity voices. I’m not impressed.
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!”