Oct 31, 2018
Hit or Bomb? June 2017 movie predictions
Welcome to June! We’re now in the thick of the summer movie season, with all the unwanted reboots and sequels a moviegoer could ever want. Once again, we at the Agony Booth are here to judge which releases this month will be HITs and which ones will BOMB based solely on watching the trailers. And as always, make sure to stick around after the predictions to find out how well we did in our May predictions. (Read our May 2017 movie predictions here.)
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Wonder Woman (June 2)
The first female-led superhero film of the Cinematic Universe era takes us back to the early 20th Century to show us the origins of Diana, Princess of the Amazons (Gal Gadot). An American pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) washes ashore on the island of Themyscira, which eventually leads to Diana fighting alongside men in the war to end all wars.
Jordon: So far, the DCCU has been a soulless hell of Zack Snyder action pieces. But I think people want to see Wonder Woman. And Snyder, thankfully, didn’t direct. This is the movie DC should have started with. It’s not being promoted properly. But this will be a huge (and much needed) HIT.
Thomas R: Like everybody else, I’m cautiously optimistic about this one: Yeah, Wonder Woman using a sword and killing people doesn’t feel right, but at least the movie seems to have a cohesive narrative, properly-defined characters, and justifiably high stakes that aren’t blown out of proportion. Plus, it’s directed by the woman who brought us Monster, so it’ll be cool to see her get offered more jobs after the movie becomes a MEGAHIT.
Susan: The early reviews are heaping ten times the praise on Wonder Woman compared to DC’s previous tentpole films, Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. Of course, we all know that positive reviews don’t always guarantee a hit, but when there are articles complaining how there’s not enough promotion for Wonder Woman, I think it’s safe to say that fans are super (no pun intended) excited for this movie. You go, girl! HIT.
Tyler: The impossible has been achieved: a DC release that stands on its own merits, which doesn’t seem like just another cash-grab reboot, franchise building-block, or cynical counter-move to another studio’s movies; which has received consistently laudatory advance reviews, which looks colorful and thrilling, and which has a deceptively clever marketing strategy behind it. It’ll clean up. HIT.
Thomas S: Well, this movie has a ton of pressure on it to succeed, doesn’t it? With Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad all receiving mixed reviews, Warner Bros needs not only a bona fide financial success prior to Justice League, it needs a critically well received one as well. Fortunately for them, the buzz has been positive, and Gal Gadot was hailed as one of the few things about Batman v Superman everyone agreed was good. I’m going with HIT.
Rick: Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman! The whole world’s waiting just for you! And the power you possess! In your satin tights! Fighting for your rights! And the red, white and blue!!! Critics love it, and Gal Gadot owned Batman v. Superman. HIT.
The Mummy (June 9)
The first film in Universal’s Dark Universe focusing on classic monsters (well, it’s the first now that Dracula Untold bombed) stars Tom Cruise as a guy entrusted with the mummified remains of an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) who rises from the dead and unleashes terror upon the world. Dr. Jekyll (Russell Crowe) also pops in to set up future films.
Jordon: Be honest, who doesn’t like seeing Tom Cruise run away from explosions? It’s basically the pizza of movies. It’s meant to start a franchise, but as a stand-alone feature, this looks like it delivers what it promises. The budget wasn’t too out of control, which is why this will be a HIT.
Thomas R: So you’re planning on rebooting the Universal Monsters series, starting with the monster with the best recent box-office track record. How do you adapt this classic tale to the 21st Century? Why, turn it into a generic action vehicle for Tom Cruise, of course! I do like the Cruiser, and appreciate that he’s one of our last bankable movie stars, but there’s too many explosions and too little horror for me to get on board with this one. Combine that with Wonder Woman’s guaranteed dominance of June’s box-office and you’ve got yourself a domestic BOMB.
Susan: Now that we’re reaching peak saturation with superheroes, I guess it’s time to revitalize the monster genre too. I will admit, Tom Cruise’s The Mummy looks much more sophisticated than Brendan Fraser’s, but it doesn’t seem to be as fun. But Tom Cruise does need another franchise now that’s he’s done with Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible, so I warrant we’ll see The Mummy 2: The Bandages Come Off next summer too. HIT.
Tyler: Hey, I have an idea! Let’s take a fun, lighthearted action movie that hearkened back to Golden Age Hollywood, and reboot it as a dreary dirge that clobbers you over the head with “epicness” and evokes everything shitty about modern blockbusters. And let’s harp on the fact that it’s intended to be the first entry in a new cinematic universe, thus priming people not to expect too much out of it. BOMB.
Thomas S: Does anyone other than me remember a time when attaching Tom Cruise’s name to a project almost guaranteed success? Those days went out with that infamous couch hop on Oprah’s show. Still, I don’t think this movie would succeed no matter who was starring in it. No one was asking for this movie, and no one is asking for a Dark Universal franchise. I’m going with BOMB.
Rick: Wow, that dialogue is unimaginative shit, even for trailer fodder. “Kick her ass!” “You saw that, right?” “She did something to me.” “Run!” Nothing about it looks scary, or exciting, or fun. A paint-by-numbers BOMB.
Rough Night (June 16)
Red Band Trailer (NSFW):
Five friends (Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz) unite for a bachelorette weekend in Miami, but things take a dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper, and raunchiness and craziness ensue as they try to cover it up.
Jordon: According to people who say this kind of stuff, there’s this preloaded hatred of female-driven movies, especially comedies. Ghostbusters was actually really funny, but it barely made its budget back. Bridesmaids made a profit, but only because the cast was paid in tickets to see Bridesmaids. Rough Night‘s budget appears to be a state secret. If it cost less than $60 million, it will be a HIT. If it cost more than $100 million, it’ll be a BOMB. Either way, it’ll be far funnier than anyone with a Y chromosome will admit.
Thomas R: Look, Hollywood, I’m happy the Magic Mike movies finally got you to notice that women like raunchy comedies too, but surely you could come up with a better premise than The Hangover meets Weekend At Bernie’s. Also, picking a boring nondescript title over the original choice of Rock That Body? Lame. Making the plot’s whole starting point a lazy fat joke at the expense of not-Rebel Wilson? Even lamer. In any other month, I’d say this had a chance of being a modest hit, but given the competition, I’m gonna go with BOMB.
Susan: After getting slapped with the Anti-Feminist™ label by the Mary Sue and various sites for its “dead stripper at a bachelorette party” premise, it really should be marked down for wasting the comedic talents of Kate McKinnon and Ilana Glazer. Everyone appears to be in a competition to be the most outrageous and obnoxious, and to me that doesn’t translate to “funny”. This is one bachelorette party that I don’t want to be invited to. BOMB.
Tyler: I don’t really care for Broad City. I know many people do. A movie from the makers of Broad City and starring one of its main players isn’t for me, and that’s fine. The problem is, it doesn’t look like it’s for anyone else, either. ScarJo isn’t known for her comic chops. The plot’s a gender-swapped Hangover retread. The raunch looks forced and the black comedy looks underdone. The only good thing that’ll come from this flick is a Movie Duel column once Girls [sic] Trip comes out a month later. BOMB.
Thomas S: W… T… F? Either this has been one of the worst marketing campaigns ever, or I just haven’t been visiting the right web sites, because this is the first time I’ve heard of this film’s existence. Maybe that’s saying something about the studio’s faith in this film? And isn’t this a remake of a terrible Christian Slater film? It wasn’t funny when the stripper was a woman, and it ain’t any funnier with it being a man. Still, with a relatively low budget I’m guessing it’s going to be a very, very modest HIT.
Rick: So, an all-female remake of Very Bad Things? Is that something anybody wanted? BOMB.
Cars 3 (June 16)
Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) gets pushed out of racing due to a new generation of faster cars taking over the sport. To avoid an early retirement, he turns to race technician Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and the spirit of his mentor Doc Hudson (unused recordings of Paul Newman from the first movie) to help him get back in the game.
Jordon: The only thing I hated more than Cars was: Cars 2, Planes, Planes: Fire and Rescue, and Southland Tales. All these animated movies made at least double their budgets, mostly from overseas. They’re easy to dub, easy to make toys out of, and aimed at an audience with few choices and an above-average need for booster seats. Factoring in merchandising and overseas sales, and this will be a HIT; may God help us all.
Thomas R: If there’s one thing Pixar’s Cars and Planes movies have taught us, it’s that trends come and go but little kids will always love playing with toy vehicles or watching them on the big screen. The fact that Pixar seems to have put more effort into this one than in its predecessors won’t make a difference, but this is going to be a HIT.
Susan: I don’t know how Pixar did it, but they managed to make The Wrestler with anthropomorphic cars. HIT.
Tyler: Wow, they kept this one quiet. Pixar sneaks an unnecessary, dreadful-looking entry in an overstuffed and consistently underperforming franchise into theaters with all the grace of a drunk dropping his own soiled pants into the neighbor’s trash. BOMB.
Thomas S: I didn’t like the first one, never saw the second, could not possibly care less about the third. Nevertheless, despite my indifference to this franchise, I know that there will be lots of screaming ankle biters eager to see the movie along with parents compelled to make them happy to get a moment’s peace. I’m going with HIT, no matter how much I’d like to see this movie bomb just so we can get another good Pixar movie.
Rick: Hey, remember when Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy were big comedy stars? Sorry, Pixar, Cars has come and gone as a thing kids care about. Let it go. (And definitely don’t try to market it as an inspirational sports story instead of a laugh-fest. Have you forgotten why we go to animated movies?) Not quite a bomb, definitely a disappointment. Barely a HIT.
Transformers: The Last Knight (June 21)
In the fifth entry in Michael Bay’s never ending series of violent robot orgies, humans are at war with the Transformers and Optimus Prime is nowhere to be found. So it’s up to the returning Mark Wahlberg to team up with Bumblebee, Sir Anthony Hopkins [!!], an Oxford professor cosplaying as Megan Fox, and Bay’s newest jailbait discovery to uncover the secret Arthurian history of the Transformers and save the world.
Jordon: I’m not watching this trailer because I still have some hope for humanity as a whole. The interesting thing is that the Transformers movies have made decreasing sums of huge money while increasing their budgets. This one cost about $250 million, which is what the last one made. It won’t be any good, but technically, it will be a HIT because the Asian markets will save it. And then all my faith in humanity will be lost.
Thomas R: If you had told me ten years ago that Michael Bay would still be making Transformers movies for the next decade, I would have been skeptical. If you had told me that the fifth one would be the second movie of 2017 to prominently feature King Arthur and Excalibur and be the most successful of the two, I’d have called the nearest psychiatric hospital. Yet another obvious HIT.
Susan: Talking cars that are robots in disguise? Fine. Talking cars that are robot-aliens from other planets in disguise? Cool. Talking cars who are robots-aliens in disguise who had a hand in forming King Arthur’s legend? No. If it didn’t work for Charlie Hunnam, it won’t work you either, Michael Bay. BOMB.
Tyler: GRRRSH CRASH kA-DOOOOSH GRRRRMBL KREEEOW BASSSSSH POOOOM BLRRRRGH HIT
Thomas S: You have no idea how badly I want this film to bomb. You cannot possibly conceive the level of contempt I have for this franchise and the millions of people who keep going to these dumb fucking movies. Unless you’re one of my fans; if you read my stuff then you’re okay, you’re just showing a gross lack of judgment. Oh, and thanks mainly to China, this is going to be a HIT.
Rick: Since we only judge by domestic box office, BOMB. (And I think even overseas ticket sales are going to be a letdown this time.)
Despicable Me 3 (June 30)
Former supervillain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) meets his long lost identical twin Dru (also voiced by Carrell) while also trying to stop a former child star (Trey Parker) from achieving world domination. Meanwhile, those ever popular Minions decide to stage a mutiny.
Jordon: Just reread my Cars 3 entry. HIT.
Thomas R: Nothing says “we’re running out of ideas” quite like giving your main character a long-lost brother and bringing him out of retirement for One Last Job, with a few random scenes of the Minions in prison [?!] thrown in. Apart from that, it looks virtually indistinguishable from the previous entries, and we’re approaching summer, so expect armies of kids to drag their parents to the theater and make this a huge HIT.
Susan: Let us have a moment of silence for all the parents who will be inevitably dragged to this movie and its sequel next summer too. HIT.
Tyler: Pretty safe to assume this’ll be a HIT. What else are kids going to see this month? Cars 3?
Thomas S: Yeah, what I said about Cars 3? Just copy/paste here. HIT.
Rick: Evil twin is not a promising premise, but it’s Gru and the Minions! HITTTTTTTTTTTT.
And here’s how we did last month (thanks once again to Rick for compiling this list!):
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2
Prediction: 100% HIT (6 of 6)
Prediction: 100% HIT (6 of 6)
Prediction: 100% HIT (6 of 6)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Don’t Care About Domestic Box Office
Prediction: 50% HIT (3 of 6)
Reality: BOMB-ish. Can a movie likely to make $150 million domestically really be considered a bomb, especially when everyone knew the real money was overseas anyway?
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Prediction: 0% HIT (0 of 6)
Reality: Legendary MEGABOMB
Final Score: 2 hits, 2 misses (with one 50/50 split)