Why “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” flopped at the box office

The long-awaited biography on the big screen, Whitney Houston: I want to dance with someone, It debuted over the weekend – to limited interest among moviegoers and lukewarm reviews from critics.

The Sony/TriStar film opened at 3,625 locations across North America. From Friday to Sunday, it earned an estimated $5.3 million and landed at No. 3 at the box office – right behind Avatar: Water Road And the Puss in Boots: Last WishAccording to the box office tracker Comscore.

The drama was worth $2.0 million in ticket sales on Friday, $825,000 on Saturday, and about $2.5 million on Sunday — an average of $1,462 per location. These are certainly disappointing numbers for a film with a production budget of $45 million.

Related story: The ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ trailer showcases Whitney Houston’s ‘No-Holds-Barred’ look

Despite the film’s slow start, Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, believes it can still find its footing.

“Once the festive festivities are over and the weather clears up, we hope the film finds favor with audiences looking for a brand-new film to enjoy and another about this remarkable icon,” Dergarabedian said. Urban Hollywood 411.

But Sean Edwards, film critic for Fox 4 News in Kansas City, Missouri and executive producer of the Critics’ Choice Association’s “Celebration of Black Cinema & TV,” isn’t so sure.

He believes it will be difficult for the film to recover after a series of missteps, including opening two days before Christmas, when many Houston fans were focused on holiday shopping or staying indoors as a deadly winter storm battered much of the United States.

“Whitney Houston fans love Christmas. They wouldn’t run out of the house to see this movie over the holidays,” Edwards said. “The release date is terrible. Why didn’t Sony release this in October and capitalize on the popularity of their movie, The King’s Womanwhich they released in September.

Related story: ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ Reviews – Critics are divided on ‘Uneven’ Whitney Houston Biopic

Sony

I wanna Dance With Somebody Directed by Casey Lemons (Eve Bayou And the Harriet(From a text written by Anthony McCarten)bohemian rhapsody). The film stars BAFTA award-winning actress Naomi Ackie as the late singer, alongside Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Tamara Tune as Cissy Huston, Navesa Williams as Robyn Crawford, and Clark Peters as John Huston.

Clive Davis, legendary record executive and Houston’s sister-in-law Pat Houston, produced the film under license.

Back in August 2020, Davis said miscellaneous ‘Strictly Business’ podcast The film will offer an ‘off-the-cuff’ look into the Grammy Award-winning singer’s life and reveal more about her character ‘than we’ve seen so far’.

But after a series of documentaries about Houston, Lifetime Movie Whitney and BET’s Bobbi Brown storyEdwards said that many fans felt there was nothing new to say.

Every time someone talks to me about it [the film]This isn’t part of the industry, they were like, “We’ve already seen this. What’s new? We already know everything. She used to be a model. She started singing. Clive Davis signed her. She had a bunch of hits. She married Bobby Brown.” We all knew Robyn was her friend. She was on drugs. She died in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton. We already knew that,” Edwards explained, adding, “That’s what people said on the streets, that’s not me.”

Related storyClive Davis says: Whitney Houston had a secret affair with Robyn Crawford

The movie was originally called I wanna Dance With Somebodyafter Houston’s 1987 injury, but some people found the title confusing.

“When you do a bio on someone, put their name in the title. And even Sony realized they made a mistake, because they sent an email saying they changed the title to Whitney Houston: I want to dance With Somebody. “Even they knew the title was bad,” Edwards said.

While I personally loved the movie and watched it twice, other critics weren’t so kind.

The film has a score of 46 percent rotten tomatoes,with reviewers calling it “uneven” and “tacky”. Critics generally praised Naomi Ackie’s performance, though Edwards questioned the casting.

“Naomi is great, but she’s not a star. This movie has no stars. When Universal did BeamWho was Ray Charles? Jamie Foxx. when they did What’s Love Got To Do With It? Tina Turner was Angela Bassett. when they did respectAretha Franklin was Jennifer Hudson. As if no one in the world knows who Naomi is. “She’s not a star,” Edwards said. “Look, Naomi Ackie could land in Kansas City now and go to the busiest grocery store in town and nothing would change.”

Whitney Houston: I want to dance with someone It is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

Below is Comscore’s top ten weekend domestic box office chart.

Comscore Box Office Chart Christmas 2022 (Credit: Comscore)

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