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Source: Madame

I’m sure the production team behind “Sparkle” expected a killer opening weekend with the opportunity to give Whitney Houston fans one last look at the singing icon in action, but unfortunately the film had a rather lackluster opening. After its August 17 release, “Sparkle” only brought in $12 million dollars in its opening weekend, coming in at fifth place behind “Expendables 2,” “Bourne Legacy,” “ParaNorman,” and “The Campaign.”

As Entertainment Weekly put it:

“Sparkle didn’t have 3-D ticket prices working on its side, but still, its less-than-stellar box office is somewhat surprising given Houston’s status as pop royalty.

Fortunately, the ScreenGems release cost only $14 million, and that low cost will be its saving grace. Thanks to a narrow theater count of 2,244, Sparkle notched a sturdy, if uninspiring, $5,348 per theater average, and if it can garner strong word-of-mouth — which seems likely given its “A” CinemaScore grade — it could find legs in the weeks to come.”

Celebuzz rounded up reviews of the film from the most popular movie critics, and given their reactions to “Sparkle,” it’s easy to see why the opening weekend was so dull.

A writer from The A.V. Club remarked:

“This is Houston’s last film, and her performance embodies everything right and wrong about Sparkle: It’s a monochrome collection of overprotective mom gestures, but suggests a rainbow of human complexity in a superfluous, show-stopping musical performance.”

The The Washington Post noted:

“While Sparkle doesn’t give the audience a lasting memory of Houston’s voice at its most soaring, it does manage to provide a lingering sense of loss, mixed with celebration and grim irony. Houston plays the disapproving mother of a daughter who longs to make it big as a singer; in a role that plays like a cautionary mirror version of Houston’s own fatal battles, she warns against the depredations of an entertainment industry that indulges and exploits young talent just as intently as it nurtures it.”

Usually film critiques don’t have much bearing on how well a film does when people are interested in a movie not necessarily because of the story line but because of who stars in it— take the Twilight saga for example. But it appears the allure of watching Whitney’s last film role still wasn’t strong enough for the fans who mourned her passing in February to head out to theaters this weekend.

Did you catch “Sparkle” this weekend? What did you think about the movie? If not, do you plan on seeing it?

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