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The Whitney Houston biopic critics hated and fans love is the top Netflix movie in the US

Published Apr 24th, 2023 6:11PM EDT
Whitney Houston
Image: Frederic REGLAIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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Here’s yet another reminder that the Top 10 rankings inside Netflix’s app should be considered less of a “Here are the 10 best” movies and TV shows list, but rather a reflection of which of Netflix’s most recent titles subscribers are watching the most of. Case in point: The newly added Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance with Somebody. As of this writing, it’s the #1 Netflix movie in the US and is thus outperforming more highly regarded titles like Seven Kings Must Die.

To my assertion above: Yes, I Wanna Dance with Somebody is the #1 Netflix movie right now in the US, but it’s objectively not the best movie currently available on the streamer. Via IMDb, for example, we can see that the movie from director Kasi Lemmons has a 6.6/10, while the critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes currently stands at a dismal 44% (based on 131 reviews at present).

Opines a reviewer for the Austin Chronicle: The movie ends up feeling like “the SparkNotes of [Houston’s] life, a smattering of collected moments that feel hollow.” Adds another reviewer via Rotten Tomatoes: “This doggedly formulaic picture struggles to capture even a fraction of the electrifying sparkle of Houston at the peak of her powers.”

I Wanna Dance with Somebody hit Netflix just two days ago, which is a further indication that the Top 10 lists in the app are a better gauge of recency than quality. By the way, this also calls to mind something I noted a week ago in a separate post. It’s the turn of events surrounding The Snowmana Michael Fassbender flop that absolutely bombed at the box office after reportedly making just $6.7 million in the US, compared to a production budget of $34 million.

That movie, too, shot straight to #1 on Netflix days after it was added to the streaming giant. Despite the fact that both critics and fans think it’s a garbage film. It’s got a 6% critics’ score and an 18% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, yet it’s somehow still the #3 Netflix movie in the US right now. Go figure.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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