The Adam Sandler Movie Generator: the secret to Netflix’s success?
Ivan Radford | On 04, Oct 2014
Who on earth comes up with Adam Sandler movies? This week, the Internet has provided the answer: an Adam Sandler Movie Generator.
The device, created by a Norwegian website, automatically generates the kind of thing you would expect Adam Sandler to star in – and they all sound brilliantly/scarily believable.
There’s Fertile Bookkeeper, in which Adam Sandler plays a kindhearted accountant, but one day he realizes that he is the last fertile man in the world. He becomes lieutenant colonel and fools around, until he falls in love with the girl next door. Then he pulls himself together and emerges as a better person.
Or there’s Fabulous Cop, which stars Adam Sandler as a successful police officer, but one day he realizes that the stories he’s telling comes alive. He adopts a goat and fools around, until he falls in love with his childhood friend. Then he pulls himself together and emerges as a better person.
And let’s not forget Hell of a Story, which sees Adam Sandler portray a cynical news anchor, but one day he realizes that he is the devil’s lawyer. He becomes mayor and fools around, until he realizes that he’s hurting the people closest to him. Then he pulls himself together and emerges as a better person.
Or that other timeless classic, Fictitious Nitwit, in which Adam Sandler is a successful nitwit, but one day he realizes that the stories he’s telling are all lies. He exploits this for his own good and fools around, until he realizes that family is more important than money. Then he pulls himself together and emerges as a better person.
It’s perfect timing for the generator’s creation, which follows an announcement by Netflix that they will be producing four new Adam Sandler films that will be released exclusively on the streaming service. Any of these auto-generated plots would be ideal for them.
Why? Not because they’re terrible, generic and lazy, but because they star Adam Sandler. And, like it or not, Sandler is a cash cow. A cash cow who farts, wees and falls over, to the apparent delight of many.
And Netflix? Netflix loves sure things. It’s entire business model is one based on data and numbers: its user base is a huge calculator, able to tell them what cross-section of genres that people stream the most.
Netflix’s latest move follows another surprise announcement: that it will release a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel day and date alongside select IMAX cinemas around the world. After its record number of Emmy nominations – and wins – for Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards, the VOD service is undoubtedly a disruptive presence in the entertainment industry.
“We are trying a lot of different distribution models” with a “variety of release patterns,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told the Wall Street Journal. “We want to create as much choice as possible.”
But that doesn’t mean Netflix takes risks: if it is making four Adam Sandler movies, that’s because it expects to make money from four Adam Sandler movies.
The facts are there: Sandler, whose films have grossed more than $3 billion globally, has seven movies on Netflix UK – one of the higher amounts per actor.
says he is among the few performers whose films consistently rank among the most viewed by Netflix members around the globe. Not just once, but several times:
“People love Adam’s films on Netflix and often watch them again and again. His appeal spans across viewers of all ages – everybody has a favourite movie, everyone has a favourite line – not just in the US but all over the world.”
Unlike a cinema, where box office figures do not guarantee adoration from an audience, Netflix can tell whether people enjoy his films. Just look at the average ratings out of five: Billy Madison and Bedtime Stories score 3.7. Grown Ups and Just Go with It have an even higher 3.8. Jack and Jill and Dirty Work score 3.5. Even Don’t Mess with the Zohan, his worst rated movie on Netflix UK, scores 3 – far from a disastrous panning. The average overall for his Netflix UK titles is 3.57.
People appear to watch them in droves too: Billy Madison’s ratings are an average of 2.96 million votes. Bedtime Stories? 2.18 million. Sandler movies are not only popular – they’re well received.
Equally crucially, Netflix says Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions will work with them to develop the four films and to premiere them exclusively to members – an arrangement that still leaves the way open for distribution on DVD, TV or even cinemas further down the line. Both Orange Is the New Black, produced with Lionsgate, and House of Cards, produced with Sony, have enjoyed physical media releases further down the line.
“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,” said Sandler in an official statement. “Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks.”
According to the company’s number crunching, several million people around the world found that funny. And those same people will most likely tune in to stream the newest additions to their Adam Sandler catalogue in a year or two’s time – whether it’s to watch Fabulous Cop or Fertile Bookkeeper. Who on earth comes up with Adam Sandler movies? Netflix. And they have one hell of a generator.