Boom, Bust, or Meh – May 2022

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 from each participating GUG film critic:

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.

At the end of each month, each of the films will be arbitrarily judged and the critic’s ongoing tally will be updated (the score is written beside their name: correct predictions – incorrect predictions).

Let’s see what May has to offer after we look at last month’s results!

The Results

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

1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 67%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 96%

IMDB Score: 6.9

Box Office

Production Budget: $90-110 million

Worldwide: $323 million

Juliana: An entertaining film filled with fun, though many recognized it was cashing in on the franchise which hindered its authenticity.

2. Ambulance Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 69%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%

IMDB Score: 6.2

Box Office

Production Budget: $40 million

Worldwide: $50 million

Juliana: Not Michael Bay’s best, but not his worst either, many found Ambulance to be ridiculous and ashamedly enjoyable.

Our review!

3. Father Stu – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 46%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%

IMDB Score: 7.0

Box Office

Production Budget: $30 million

Worldwide: $17 million

Juliana: The critics may have seen the film’s narrative faults, but Father Stu still managed to resonate with audiences, with many finding its tale of redemption appealing in today’s more unforgiving world.

4. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 47%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%

IMDB Score: 6.5

Box Office

Budget: $200 million

Worldwide: $332 million

Juliana: While some are claiming it’s the best of the series thus far, for many the film lacked any true magic of cinema, including an interesting plot, enticing characters, and an engaging atmosphere.

5. The Northman – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 89%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 64%

IMDB Score: 7.8

Box Office

Budget: $90 million

Worldwide: $42 million

Juliana: My personal favorite for the month, though unfortunately general audiences found it too violent and glib to rate it high enough to call it a BOOM.

Our review!

6. Morbius – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 17%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 71%

IMDB Score: 5.1

Box Office

Budget: $75-83 million

Worldwide: $161 million

Juliana: Delayed since February (along with the results of our predictions), Morbius isn’t the catastrophe some were saying, though it is a substantially generic film.

Our review!

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (98-78), Tyler Hummel’s is (77-68), and L.J. Lowery’s score is (1-4).

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: May 6, 2022

Synopsis: Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens the doorway to the multiverse, including alternate versions of himself, whose threat to humanity is too great for the combined forces of Strange, Wong, and Wanda Maximoff. (IMDB)

Director: Sam Raimi

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (98-78): BOOM! – It’s finally here! Over the last few films, the MCU has really focussed Doctor Strange’s character in anticipation for this movie. At the moment he’s a bit like the Donatello of the group; he has mainly served as a plot device, or rather he’s set up the inciting incident to begin the drama the other characters must face, and sometimes he’s even the solution as the literal “a wizard did it!”. Now it’s finally his time again to stand firmly in the spotlight and bare his faults and flaws. While I personally don’t think he’s the most engaging character, it’s safe to say this film will be a wild ride. Hype aside, there are a few concerns surrounding this movie as it does set the tone for the MCU ahead. Judging from the trailer, this film has a plot that has the capacity to deliver multiple crossover potential, Marvel spin-off options, fulfil nauseating amounts of fan service, and even possibly retcon the events of past films. I have faith that it’ll know how to walk that fine line of giving fans what they want and not selling out completely, and even though there’s no doubt this will be a success, those concerns are still present.

Tyler Hummel (77-68): BOOM! – Maybe it is a bit premature to predict this movie could be a masterpiece in the making. For one, the trailers suggest it’s a huge movie with tons of moving parts, stories, and characters. That’s very easy to mess up and it isn’t impossible that this thing falls apart upon arrival. That said, it is also directed by the great Sam Raimi, the man who gave us the Spider-Man trilogy, The Evil Dead trilogy, and Ash vs. The Evil Dead. Raimi is one of our best pop artists; someone with experience doing horror and superhero films and I suspect that he is showing up to play here with the MCU. Given that Spider-Man: No Way Home brought back his version of Spider-Man, it wouldn’t surprise me if this film became a backdoor pilot to convince Disney to allow him to direct the long-awaited Spider-Man 4

L.J. Lowery (1-4): BOOM! – This one is an obvious BOOM! As I write this, the trailers have already shown too much, and leaks and rumors are plaguing people’s feeds. This is the perfect movie to follow the hit No Way Home. Not much else to say here other than that I will be watching on Thursday night like many others. While there are likely some people experiencing comic book movie fatigue at this point, I’m onboard the train and fully aware that Marvel’s movies and Disney+ shows aren’t perfect by no means.

Firestarter

Rating: R

Release Date: May 13, 2022

Synopsis: A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind. (IMDB)

Director: Keith Thomas

Starring: Zac Efron, Ryan Keira Armstrong, Gloria Reuben

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (98-78): Meh – Stephen King film adaptations can be a bit of a hit or miss; generally his dramas are better on the silver screen. I get the sense this will be one of the better ones, due to it being helmed by the same director that delivered the surprise hit, The Vigil, and that Zac Efron has picked up the script (and while his films aren’t masterpieces, he does tend to at least choose to act in entertaining and somewhat competent movies). It looks like it’ll be a decent film with a horror superhero vibe, though I believe it will be overshadowed by the other massive movie in this genre that’s out this month, turning what could have been a boom into a humble meh.

Tyler Hummel (77-68): Meh – Seeing the names “Stephen King” and “Blumhouse” in a trailer together certainly is fascinating. The indie horror studio has a very specific way of directing its mid-budget horror films and I’m curious to see how that will map onto a Stephen King novel. That said, King adaptations have one of the most bizarre and underwhelming track records of any writer, with the majority of them being middling or hilariously bad. I am not familiar with the book this is based on but the Carrie vibes don’t give me much thought that it’s super original. 

L.J. Lowery (1-4): Bust – This movie has been trying to get made for a long time and I was surprised to first see an ad about it on TikTok. I remember watching the original and have a strange nostalgia for it, but I don’t know that many remember it or would even care to go see this new one. I’ll watch it eventually out of morbid curiosity but I can’t bring myself to go and see it myself when there are still a few big movies from last month that I have yet to see. This one will be a bust simply due to the lack of interest.

Downton Abbey: A New Era

Rating: PG

Release Date: May 20, 2022

Synopsis: Follow-up to the 2019 feature film in which the Crawley family and Downton staff received a royal visit from the King and Queen of Great Britain. (IMDB)

Director: Simon Curtis

Starring: Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Tuppence Middleton

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (98-78): Meh – Having already released overseas, including my home country of Australia, I noticed a long line of grey-haired seniors waiting to enter the cinema to see this film the other day. My past job as an usher has taught me to never underestimate their spending power! Appealing to a completely different demographic quadrant to the box office powerhouse that will be Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I wouldn’t be surprised if Downton Abbey: A New Era makes a tidy sum. But it is very niche. I went to see Downton Abbey (2019) with my mom despite having never seen the show before (she was a fan), and I must say it was very inaccessible for newcomers. I won’t be watching it, and it’s fair to say that most won’t unless they’ve seen the show. I feel it will be a special outing for fans, but I can’t say it’ll be a BOOM for the rest of us.

Tyler Hummel (77-68): Meh – I have no thoughts or input on the Downton Abbey franchise. I hope the fans like it!  

L.J. Lowery (1-4): Meh – I’m taking a shot in the dark here because I’m not familiar at all with the show or the previous film, but the movie itself must have done well enough to get a sequel. This one is out of my wheelhouse but I can see people like my mom or aunt wanting to see it. I’ll take a guess and say this one might do well at the box office but won’t be as good as its predecessor. I apologize for my lack of knowledge on this one.

Top Gun: Maverick

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: May 27, 2022

Synopsis: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. (IMDB)

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (98-78): BOOM! – It’s been so long that I completely forgot Top Gun was getting a sequel! I was a little too young to join in the hype of the original film, and despite it being considered a classic of sorts, this sequel is in danger of having waited too long to appeal to its intended demographic. That said, the plot looks generic enough for people to enjoy regardless of whether they watched the first. The reason I’m predicting a BOOM is because of Tom Cruise; say what you want about the man’s personal life, but as an actor he completely dedicates himself to a role, doing his own stunts, and therefore opens up so many possibilities in regards to amazing action sequences. I’m predicting an adrenaline pumping, high-flying adventure!

Tyler Hummel (77-68): BOOM! – I don’t know if I can say I’m deadly excited about a sequel to Top Gun; the silliest and cheesiest of 1980s schlock Hollywood blockbusters. I am interested in this though because it is a Tom Cruise movie at the height of his creative control. Of all the pandemic-related delays, the one this film has endured as been the most brutal. This film was set for a summer 2019 release and it’s been held off till summer 2022: THREE YEARS. It better be worth the wait or this movie is going to be dragged hard.

L.J. Lowery (1-4): BOOM! – I’ve heard early reviews are claiming this is actually a really good movie. My personal expectations are low, though I expect it to be a good time. Though we’ve had many soft reboots and sequels taking place years later, I’m surprised that Top Gun has not yet been one of them. People will jump at the chance to go see this movie and it will do extremely well. I can’t say that younger audiences will have much of an attachment or desire, but hopefully this sequel will bring families of all ages together for an entertaining time at the theater.

Bob’s Burgers: The Movie

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: May 27, 2022

Synopsis: The Belchers try to save the restaurant from closing as a sinkhole forms in front of it, while the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant. (IMDB)

Directors: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman

Starring: H. John Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Dan Mintz

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (98-78): Meh – I haven’t seen the show, but I have heard great things about it over the years. This does seem like a fun movie (even though the plot appears a little cliché with the whole “we need to save the restaurant” schtick), and it looks a whole lot more accessible and welcoming to newcomers compared to Downton Abbey: A New Era. I’m a person that has been introduced to series through their spin-off movies before, so I know it’s not outside the realm of possibility this film could appeal to people who aren’t yet fans. But will people be willing to take a punt on it at the theater? I predict this film will gain popularity once it hits streaming services, as only fans will tend to seek this out at the cinema.

Tyler Hummel (77-68): Meh – Again, I have no thoughts or input on Bob’s Burgers: The Movie as I do not watch Bob’s Burgers. The trailer for this movie looks cute but I have no investment in this series.  

L.J. Lowery (1-4): Meh – I’m a fan of Bob’s Burgers and will be going to see this one. However, I don’t know what the pulse is like on this series for a larger audience. I greatly enjoyed The Simpsons Movie, but I don’t know if Bob’s Burgers is big enough to pull those kinds of numbers. I have high hopes and want it to boom, but I can’t see it going that way. I wish all the best for this movie and would like to see more traditional animation return to theaters.

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 May?

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.

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