Adam Sandler's latest offering, Sandy Wexler, hit Netflix this month, and it doesn't look like it's going to be the film that brings the comedian back into favor with critics. A '90s rom-com about a talent manager and his stable of eccentric clients, the film does significantly better than its predecessors (The Ridiculous Six and The Do-Over), but still only manages to scrape a 33 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. That this is a vast improvement on his other recent efforts is certainly saying something about the current critical opinion of the man who was once a true darling of the big screen.
Despite critics panning Sandler's films, it seems that the viewers aren't quite as unimpressed. The Ridiculous Six set records at Netflix for being the most-watched movie on the streaming service within the first 30 days of release. In fact, the films are doing so well in terms of pure numbers that Sandler signed a new contract with Netflix last month, to create a further four films for the service once his current four-film deal is finished. Now, a recent report from Netflix reveals some of the numbers behind this decision.
The quarterly shareholder report (available to read online) covers a huge range of subjects pertaining to the company and the new projects that it is taking on. Comedy is a big theme in the report, and it reveals that the new Sandler deal comes after Netflix members spent half a billion hours watching his movies since Ridiculous Six was released.
"Just ahead of the release of our third film from Adam Sandler, Sandy Wexler, we announced the renewal of our deal with Sandler to premiere an additional four films exclusively on Netflix around the world. We continue to be excited by our Sandler relationship and our members continue to be thrilled with his films. Since the launch of The Ridiculous 6, Netflix members have spent more than half a billion hours enjoying the films of Adam Sandler."
The Ridiculous 6, Sandler's first film for Netflix, was released in December of 2015, which means that those half a billion hours of viewing time have been racked up in under a year and a half. A huge number of Sandler films are also available on the streaming service, with over twenty options that star Sandler (not including those where he makes smaller appearances), and all of these films are included in the 'half a billion hours' figure.
It seems that while the critics may hate Sandler's work these days, the fans are still impressed -- or at least, they are happy enough to watch. It's worth noting that while the report uses extremely positive language like "thrilled" and "enjoying", the actual figures cannot reveal whether the viewers did actually "enjoy" the movies, or if they just watched them. It's also worth noting that as the figure does include Sandler's back catalog, many of these hours of enjoyment may be spent watching films like Billy Madison, rather than the newer slate. Still, in an industry that thrives on views, this is an impressive figure that goes a long way to explaining Netflix's decision to keep Sandler on board.
The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, and Sandy Wexler are now available to stream on Netflix.