Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Whitney Houston “Sparkle” Scores in Her Memory

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After all that, “Sparkle”–featuring the final performances by Whitney Houston-did just fine at the box office. Playing on a thousnand fewer screens than most films in the top 10, “Sparkle” took in a very respectable $12 million. What’s more, it had the secong highest per screen average of the weekend. The budget is officially set at $14 million, but with promotion and prints it’s probably more like $20 million. It shouldn’t have any trouble making its money back.

There are so many tragic what-ifs that go along with Whitney’s death last February. It’s nice to see at least that she leaves a final success. While her voice is not the same as it was at her great zenith, Houston still has enormous power in the numbers she sings. She also brings a proper dose of cynical reality to her part, as Sparkle’s word weary mother.

You wish when you’re watching “Sparkle” that there was more Whitney. She worked hard in rehab for months before filming the role. The fact that she fell apart right after she was done, and slid into her final abyss, is what hurts. Her legacy is her music. All the rest of it–the bizarre behavior of her daughter, all the backstage with her family, etc–doesn’t really matter.

As I wrote earlier last week, Whitney will be memorialized in a coffee table photo book and in a television special before Christmas. A CD package could feature some live performances from when her voice was great. And “Sparkle” will turn a tidy profit, giving her one final success.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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