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The Whitney Houston Biopic Flop Defying Odds And Killing It On Netflix

I Have Nothing... except success.

Who doesn't love a feel-good story about someone following their dreams? After the release of the Oscar-winning "Bohemian Rhapsody," the floodgates for musician-focused biopics opened. There was Elton John's "Rocketman," Aretha Franklin's "Respect," and the most recent "Elvis," which dominated the box office. While there have been some musical biopics that have succeeded, there have been a few flops to round out the trend.

Here's one you probably missed: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," a biopic based on Whitney Houston. Best known for her soul-ballad take on "I Will Always Love You," Houston has sold over 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time and a true American icon, per Sky News. The songstress first rose to prominence in the 80s and quickly dominated the rest of the century, nabbing half a dozen Grammy awards along the way.

Directed by Kasi Lemmons, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" was released in December 2022 with "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" star Naomi Ackie in the lead role. Despite high expectations, the film floundered at the box office. Per The Numbers, the film grossed $23 million domestically, facing significant competition from "Avatar: The Way of Water" and "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish." With a budget of $45 million, the biopic bowed out at the box office with a worldwide total of $59 million.

While "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" wasn't the runaway success many hoped it would be, the Houston biopic has found a second life on Netflix.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is streaming on Netflix

As it stands, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is in Netflix's Top 10, making it one of the most-watched films on the streaming service. While audiences weren't willing to fork over cash during the holiday season to catch the flick, it's great to see the Whitney Houston biopic has found viewers on Netflix.

What do fans think of the Houston biopic? The film received a highly-positive A CinemaScore in 2022 and currently boasts a three-star rating on the film social media siteĀ Letterboxd. While some fans think the film doesn't do Houston justice, it's hard to deny how the film is a crowdpleaser. Critically, the film didn't fare too well. Looper gave the film a 5/10, praising Naomi Ackie for tackling Houston's behemoth personality. Despite Ackie's best efforts, critic Dominic Griffin found the film lacked depth and production value worthy of Houston's abilities.

Mixed reviews, however, shouldn't deter viewers from checking out "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," which boasts an all-star cast including Stanley Tucci and Nafessa Williams. Fans of Houston should definitely give the flick a watch as it tackles some of the singer's most pivotal moments, including her iconic performance of the United States national anthem at the Super Bowl.