Netflix has extended its deal with Adam Sandler, who has quietly established himself as the streaming service’s king of feature comedy. As Sandler preps the fourth film in the first deal — word is that he might be joined by Chris Rock, who just signed a Netflix deal for two stand up comedy specials — Sandler has made a new deal for another four films that he will star in and craft through his Happy Madison production banner. He may take the odd actor for hire in a theatrical feature, but he is expected to be mostly monogamous to the steaming service during this period, focusing on comedies that are seen solely by Netflix subscribers in 190 countries. Netflix will finance development and production of the films.
Netflix doesn’t break out viewership numbers, but the films of Sandler — the first established movie star to refocus his career toward Netflix — have proven very popular and helpful in gaining subscribers and keeping them in place. Sandler started with The Ridiculous 6 and The Do-Over, which Netflix called its biggest film releases, and his next film, Sandy Wexler, bows April 14. The title of that film is an homage to his longtime manager, Sandy Wernick at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Sandler plays a talent manager whose mannerisms might be familiar to anyone who has done business with Wernick. Jennifer Hudson, Kevin James, Terry Crews, Lamorne Morris, Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider, Jane Seymour and Aaron Neville star alongside Sandler.
Sandler’s renewal of vows to Netflix will have some harumphing that the comic vehicles for the former Saturday Night Live star weren’t performing at the box office like they once did, but his Sandler-centric films seem to translate well to his core following at the streaming service. He gets to do exactly what he wants to, and he gets paid very well in that Netflix deal that not only pays retail salaries, but also buys out the projected back end of what films might have done had they been released through the traditional theatrical model. Over his career, Sandler’s films have grossed more than $3 billion, and his last theatrical vehicle, Pixels, grossed $230 million worldwide on about a $70 million budget.
“Adam Sandler one of the leading comedians in the film world, and his movies have proven to be extremely successful with our subscribers around the world,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to extend our partnership with Adam and his entire team at Happy Madison and keep the world laughing.”
Said Sandler: “Love working with Netflix and collaborating with them. I love how passionate they are about making movies and getting them out there for the whole world to see. They’ve made me feel like family and I can’t thank them enough for their support. WME and BEP made the new deal.