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The Marlon Wayans Comedy Spoof Flop Defying Odds And Killing It On Netflix

The Wayans Brothers helped bring the parody movie into the 21st century with their send-up of "Scream" and other horror titles with 2000's "Scary Movie." Not only did it deliver consistent laughs, but it also helped launch the careers of Anna Faris and Regina Hall. Numerous "Scary Movie" titles followed, with the consensus being that each one was a step down from the last. But it wasn't just horror films getting spoofs. "Scary Movie" ushered in an entire era of "[Genre] Movies," like "Date Movie" and "Epic Movie."

Parodies of specific films followed, like "Meet the Spartans," which was a send-up of "300," but Marlon Wayans returned to his parody roots with 2016's "Fifty Shades of Black," naturally a parody of "Fifty Shades of Grey." The spoof flopped on arrival, only earning $22 million at the global box office. Granted, it did only have a budget of $5 million. It also earned a pitiful 4% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, those factors aren't stopping Netflix subscribers from checking out the comedy, which cracked into the platform's Top 10 Movies.

Marlon Wayans assured E.L. James Fifty Shades of Black wasn't offensive

"Fifty Shades of Grey" and its sequels were massive hits when they came out. Numerous YouTube videos and TV episode titles made use of the "Fifty Shades" format, so Marlon Wayans obviously had to offer his take on the sensation. And to his credit, he tried to do justice to the source material, as he revealed in a Facebook Q&A that he got in contact with "Fifty Shades of Grey" author E.L. James. He revealed, "I think parody is one of the hardest genres to try and concept and people take it for granted, it takes a lot of time and a lot of work. You have to look at it from a different lens, like a fisheye lens. I ran into EL James and she asked me if it's offensive, and I said no. She might not like one joke in the movie but I think she will enjoy the rest."

"Fifty Shades of Black" doesn't just poke fun at concepts introduced in "Grey." There's also a striptease sequence that's riffing on "Magic Mike," so Wayans had fun making a whole stew of what was going on in the zeitgeist at that time. The film also holds the distinction of being the last movie "Brady Bunch" star Florence Henderson was in before her death on November 24, 2016. She was also in "Bad Grandmas," but that was released posthumously in 2017.

While the movie wasn't critics' cup of tea, hopefully, Netflix subscribers will enjoy the throwback.