Darryn told us on Monday that Netflix, The Weinstein Company & IMAX had reached an agreement to premiere Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend in IMAX theatres and on the streaming service simultaneously. I followed that up on Thursday with the reaction from major IMAX theatre operators to the deal and their subsequent refusal to screen the movie in conjunction with Netflix; and speculated a teeny bit about what this could mean for the future of movie production/distribution. It looks like the future is now.
Netflix and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions have entered into a four-movie deal whereby Netflix will fully fund four movies, with Sandler starring & producing, that will air exclusively on the streaming service worldwide. While declining to comment on specifics, Netflix stated that the movies would be of similar scope to theatrical productions and have similar-sized budgets.
When commenting on the announcement Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said:
“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 favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the US but all over the world.”
Sandler’s statement was a touch less PC:
“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!”
Expect the deal to be cancelled as soon as he realises it also rhymes with giant dicks ticks – no one likes those things.
Many people hold 1996’s Happy Gilmore in high regard, but while Sandler’s recent comedies such as Blended or That’s My Boy are not a hit with critics he remains very popular with audiences and is one of the most-viewed actors on Netflix. Traditionally Netflix has also given their production partners on their original series quite a bit of creative freedom, see the highly-acclaimed House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove for example. It’ll be interesting to see what Sandler will do with similar freedom. Will he stick to what most people recognise him for – simple, slapstick & rom-com movies, and I’d expect at least two of the movies to be in that comfort zone – but he could also give us something more like 2004’s comedy-drama Spanglish, one of my favourite Sandler movies.
There’s no word as yet on reactions from theatre operators regarding the deal. If it’s anything like those of the IMAX operators’, expect more entertainment. Even if you’re not an Adam Sandler fan, what do you think of the deal itself? Is it a sign of things to come?
Last Updated: October 3, 2014