Critics trashed Adam Sandler's 'Murder Mystery,' but Netflix said 73 million households watched it in the first month

NetflixJennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in ‘Murder Mystery.’
  • Netflix said on Wednesday that “Murder Mystery” was watched 73 million households in its first four weeks of release, its biggest Adam Sandler original movie yet.
  • It illustrates why Netflix struck a four-movie deal with Sandler in 2014 and then renewed the deal for four more movies in 2017.
  • Sandler’s Netflix original movies have been trashed by critics, including “Murder Mystery,” but they are popular.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s latest movie is a huge hit, according to Netflix.

73 million households watched “Murder Mystery” in its first four weeks of release, the streaming giant said in its Q2 earnings report on Wednesday.

After the movie was released late last month, Netflix said that it had the biggest opening weekend ever for a Netflix original movie.

READ MORE: Netflix won’t stop bragging about the millions of people who watch its mediocre original movies

“30,869,863 accounts watched Murder Mystery in its first 3 days – the biggest opening weekend ever for a Netflix Film. 13,374,914 accounts in the US and Canada, and 17,494,949 more worldwide,” Netflix tweeted at the time.

Netflix counts a view for a movie when an account has watched more than 70% of the movie.

Sandler’s Netflix movies are panned by critics, but Netflix loves them

Sandler and his production company, Happy Madison Productions, struck a four-movie deal worth millions with Netflix in 2014. He signed a new deal for four more movies in 2017.

The movies have been trashed by critics. His first Netflix exclusive in 2015, “The Ridiculous 6,” received a devastating 0% critic score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. One Netflix movie that Sandler starred in, 2017’s “The Meyerowitz Stories,” was a critical hit, but wasn’t produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions.

Meyerowitz storiesNetflix‘The Meyerowitz Stories’

But Netflix has regularly touted Sandler’s movies as being popular with subscribers, and “Murder Mystery” shows why it keeps luring him back.

Netflix’s content chief, Ted Sarandos, said in 2014 that Sandler “stands out for his global appeal to Netflix subscribers” despite the comedy genre traditionally struggling internationally. “Even movies that were soft in the U.S. [theatrically] outperformed dramatically on Netflix in the U.S. and around the world.”

Sandler was one of Forbes’ highest-paid actors from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018. Sandler made $US39.5 million in that time, according to Forbes, thanks in large part to his Netflix deal.

Sandler’s Netflix movies seem immune to negative critical reactions. We’ve gathered his five Netflix original films so far that were produced in partnership with Happy Madison Productions, and provided their Rotten Tomatoes scores below.

Below are Sandler’s Netflix movies, ranked from best to worst by Rotten Tomatoes critic scores (ties are broken with audience scores):


“Murder Mystery” (2019)

Netflix

Critic score: 46%

What critics said: “It would be uncomfortably cynical to assume that Sandler thinks these novocaine-like comedies are what common people want to watch, but the guy doesn’t leave us much choice.” Indiewire


“Sandy Wexler” (2017)

Netflix

Critic score: 27%

Audience score: 40%

What critics said: “As with almost every Sandler vehicle, this is an adoring ode to a lifelong man-baby who mistakes his half-a–ed excretions for art.” Hollywood Reporter


“The Week Of” (2018)

Netflix

Critic score: 27%

Audience score: 35%

What critics said: “The best that can be said about ‘The Week Of’ is that it at least tacks some heart on to an otherwise stale, mothball-scented set-up.” Entertainment Weekly


“The Do-Over” (2016)

Netflix

Critic score: 10%

What critics said: “Surely this movie must be almost over, you think, as you jab the pause button on your remote – only to find you are at the 50-minute mark with another 58 to go.” The Guardian


“The Ridiculous 6” (2015)

Netflix

Critic score: 0%

What critics said: “‘The Ridiculous 6’ is everything wrong with Hollywood for the past two decades.”The Wrap

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