Hey guys, Jana here,
If anyone would have suggested that the mass of little red envelopes flooding the post would one day throw the entertainment industry in a tizzy, we’d have laughed at the possibility. That was 1997 and none of us had any idea of how big a shadow Netflix would end up casting. The SVOD dropped a Jaws-like bomb into the normally calm seas of the movie biz and set the choppy seas in motion by announcing their partnership with The Weinstein Company and IMAX to release ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend‘ on the same day for Netflix viewers and IMAX theaters. Not content to let the waters settle, Netflix has another partnership they want to share. The controversial company and Adam Sandler have entered a partnership that will feature a four-pack of films, starring Sandler of course, and produced under his Happy Madison banner that will go straight to the subscription members, no theater stops in between.
Adam Sandler joined the constantly rotating cast of ‘Saturday Night Live‘ in 1990. The funny-man was great as part of a team effort, he developed some characters that are still amazing today. As his popularity grew, he was given more to work with, enter ‘Billy Madison‘. The film was a melange of perfectly timed comedic irreverence. The spark of genius that shone so brightly in the beginning of his career would be bent into different shapes over the rest of his career. He formed his own production company, Happy Madison, and continued to churn out movies. Some hit the mark incredibly well, and some fell more than just a little left of center.
Deciding which films are good depends on how you’re judging the material. If you’re looking at the bottom line, you’re using a whole different scale of criteria than I am, I judge by laughs. For my money, ‘50 First Dates‘, ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry‘ and ‘Grown Ups‘ (Only the first one!) are some of my favorites. I know tons of people hated the ‘Grown Ups’ franchise, they’re cheap, easy laughs. I guess I’m a cheap, easy laughing kind of girl, then. Sandler had his serious streaks and I really couldn’t get into the pics. Maybe it was the storylines, maybe it was Sandler playing straight. His latest efforts since ‘Just Go With It‘ did not perform well for viewers or theaters. That true talent that was there in ‘Billy Madison‘ seems stretched incredibly thin.
“People love Adam’s films on Netflix and often watch them again and again,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “His appeal spans across viewers of all ages — everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the U.S. but all over the world.” Said Sandler: “When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only: Netflix rhymes with ‘wet chicks.’ Let the streaming begin!”
Theater owners were already in a heated state over the deal for Crouching Tiger 2, and that was just one film, now there are 5. Even if Sandler’s most underwhelmed films were pulled from theaters, there goes a big chunk of revenue. Theaters have evolved from live stage shows, reel-to-reel, IMAX, stadium seating, drive-ins and all stops in between. With production companies trying to shorten the gap from theater to home availability, how does this fit into the already skewed picture? How can venues keep up with new technology? Who will be the next star Netflix lures to the dark side?