Welcome to 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. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – Meh
Critic Score: 78%
Audience Score: 78%
Production Budget: $100 million
Worldwide: $179 million
Juliana: For once the critics and general audiences concur! Though the film’s underperformance at the box office is what truly demonstrates the general “meh” attitude towards this movie.
2. Fantasy Island – Bust
Critic Score: 10%
Audience Score: 47%
Production Budget: $7 million
Worldwide: $35 million
Juliana: I think I am the only one in the world that actually liked this movie…
3. Sonic the Hedgehog – Meh
Critic Score: 64%
Audience Score: 93%
Budget: $85 million
Worldwide: $222 million
Juliana: A pleasantly entertaining film that exceeded low expectations, though critics can’t survive on nostalgia alone and have responded accordingly.
4. The Call of the Wild – Meh
Critic Score: 62%
Audience Score: 90%
Budget: $135 million
Worldwide: $51 million
Juliana: This film is pleasing audiences and gaining traction due to some nice word-of-mouth. Not the greatest film, but certainly lovely for families.
5. Emma. – BOOM!
Critic Score: 85%
Audience Score: 81%
Worldwide: $8 million
Juliana: A witty production, this film has rejuvenated people’s love for romantic comedies.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (89-68), and Tyler Hummel is at (73-53).
Release Date: March 6, 2020
Synopsis: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.(IMDB).
Director: Dan Scanlon
Starring: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Juliana Purnell (89-68): BOOM! – Unlike previous Pixar films, I’m not terribly excited about this one. Admittedly I haven’t personally stumbled across that much advertizing for it, so it’s not a movie that’s present in my mind. I don’t foresee this film being as big of a financial success compared to Pixar’s past productions, though I’m confident in their storytelling abilities and that it’ll contain a great narrative. This tale feels a little more niche, though for those that do catch this one in cinemas, I believe they’ll enjoy it immensely.
Tyler Hummel (73-53): BOOM! – I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty tired of Pixar nowadays. I loved Inside Out, but their post-2010 films have been mostly inferior cash grab sequels. While I’m happy this and Soul are original films, I can’t bring myself to get super excited beyond the fact that it looks cute. It’ll probably be good though.
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Synopsis: Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers. (IMDB).
Director: Dave Wilson
Starring: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, Toby Kebbell
Juliana Purnell (89-68): Bust – Considering I had this character confused with DC’s Deadshot until I noticed this film was distributed by Sony Pictures instead of Warner Bros., it’s safe to say that I’m not familiar with this comic book story. But that’s okay—whilst the superhero genre is currently overcrowded, there is still some room to explore. Judging from the trailer however, this one isn’t going to be one of those exceptions. It looks cheap, generic, flashy, and painfully over-the-top, humming that B-grade vibe that dredges up memories of Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux. I’m sure it will garner a few fans, but most people will find this offering to be silly and shallow.
Tyler Hummel (73-53): Bust – I’ll admit I’m not overly familiar with independent superhero comic book characters like Bloodshoot. It’s natural though that any publisher with a halfway decent character is going to want to make a star-studded big budget movie. That said, I doubt we’re in for something notable here.
Release Date: February 14, 2020
Synopsis: The true-life story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss that looks to prove there is always hope. (IMDB).
Directors: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Starring: K.J. Apa, Britt Robertson, Shania Twain, Abigail Cowen
Juliana Purnell (89-68): Meh – As a Christian film, naturally there will be a particular demographic that will find this tale to be absolutely wonderful, while others will find reasons to hate it. The truth will most likely sit somewhere in the middle. Christian films are consistently getting better in quality, having finally found their niche as family-friendly entertainment that knows how to tug on a heartstring or two. While it’ll be a competent film, it may fall into the same trap as I Can Only Imagine; a fantastic story though it’s hampered by its own sense of self-importance. Critics will knock it down a few pegs for that, but it will please its intended audience.
Tyler Hummel (73-53): Meh – It’s a Christian movie. It’s probably gonna be fine but unremarkable…
A Quiet Place: Part II
Rating: Not yet confirmed
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Synopsis: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path. (IMDB).
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cillian Murphy
Juliana Purnell (89-68): BOOM! – The first film was wildly popular, even though it did rely heavily on a gimmicky premise. Yet there was still enough mystery left over to warrant a second outing. Since we’ve already seen the creatures in full, no doubt this film will be forced to contain more action, which isn’t necessarily a bad consequence. Though it’s unlikely this story will generate the same level of tension as the first.
Tyler Hummel (73-53): BOOM! – John Kraskinski’s 2018 directorial debut with his mid-budget horror film, A Quiet Place, was one of the years better surprises! Flaws and all, it’s a great story with interesting ideas and gimmicks. While I’m not sure where the followup is going, I’m very interested in seeing this continuation!
Release Date: March 27, 2020
Synopsis: A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan.’ (IMDB).
Director: Niki Caro
Starring: Yifei Liu, Jet Li, Li Gong, Jimmy Wong, Doua Moua, Jason Scott Lee
Juliana Purnell (89-68): BOOM! – There’s a lot of excitement surrounding this film. Unlike The Lion King, fans aren’t seemingly as precious towards Mulan as they are compared to other recently remade Disney properties. So like The Jungle Book, this means there’s more room for creative freedom, thereby the film may actually find a way to justify its existence aside from being a cash grab. General audiences aren’t treated to grand-sweeping, epic battles all too often, though film critics—who are more likely to be familiar with Chinese cinema—may find Disney’s approach rather kitsch, inauthentic and somewhat grating in their effort to mimic the genre.
What may surprisingly challenge this juggernaut’s popularity is COVID-19. This is a film that is banking on success at the Chinese box office, though it’s difficult to predict the extent of the country’s lockdown by the end of the month. People may not be able to physically see the film (granted, many movies will be impacted by strict quarantine protocols, not just Mulan). Bad timing has killed the earnings of many films before, with Death Wish being a prime example. In a month’s time, will people be keen for a pro-Chinese Empire film? Or will it unfairly attract criticism and become the scapegoat for people’s frustration? Or maybe it will come at the perfect moment, becoming a beacon of light in a time of extreme negativity? Who knows! This is a unique situation that possesses a wild card factor.
Tyler Hummel (73-53): BOOM! – Disney live-action remakes are all over the map in terms of creativity and quality. They’re also mostly lazy. Honestly though, the best of these are the ones that take the biggest risks and transform the source material into something new like Pete’s Dragon. This film seems to be transforming the more fanciful source material into a more grounded epic in the style of recent Chinese historical-action films and there’s a lot of potential with that!
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!”