Earlier this month, Netflix announced it signed Adam Sandler to an exclusive four-movie deal.
The decision may have seemed a bit odd considering Sandler’s most recent films have flopped in the states; however, the comedian has proven himself in recent years to be popular overseas at the box office.
On Wednesday’s Q3 earnings call, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos expanded more on the decision to collaborate with Sandler, citing Sandler’s foreign box-office performance in key markets:
The Adam Sandler decision was driven by following market after market seeing Adam’s films, either from his deepest catalogue to his newest releases, outperforming not only their box office, but performing wonderfully in every territory. Defying conventional wisdom that American comedy doesn’t travel. More importantly, he really performs well in the box office in our key markets like Brazil, like Germany, like the UK. His last movie was 60% international [“Blended”]. Adam is not only a proven 20-year star, meaning he has a movie that performs well at the box-office every summer for 20 years, he is a real global superstar. We see that in the data, and the more international we get, the more access we have to those data points versus relying on conventional wisdom of generic thinking that American comedians don’t travel so well.
Netflix’s Adam Sandler offerings vary a lot by country. Here are the current films available to stream in Brazil, Germany, and the UK, respectively.
Here are the Sandler movies available in the US in October.
We previously pointed out that Sandler’s main audience at the box office the past few years has really been driven by international audiences. Since 2011, four of his last six movies including “Just Go With It,” “Jack and Jill,” Hotel Transylvania,” and “Blended” have all performed better overseas.
When asked how the company will measure the success of Sandler’s films Sarandos didn’t give any specifics. Instead, he said success will be measured similarly to their original content and whether or not people “get excited about Netflix because of it.”
I would think about it the same way we look at the successes around original series or any of our licensed series. Relative to what you’re paying do you get this kind of three legs of success with the viewing, the brand halo, and the net subscriber additions based on access to the content. Particularly in this one, we try to be as consumer friendly as we can and I think the model here is telling us that consumers want access to those films sooner and that we can build a model that’s economically feasible to do it.
Think about measuring success as the same way we do series: Do people get excited about Netflix because of it?
During the call, CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings positioned the Sandler deal as similar to how Netflix has been dealing with original series.
“Think of it with us playing with this idea of episodic and serialized, but now in the movie form and seeing what kind of great brand allegiances we can create for Adam’s fans — that’s not everybody, but they’re very identifiable,” said Hastings.
Sandler’s upcoming movies will stream exclusively on Netflix. Fans will not see them in theatres.
The budgets for the four films are similar Sandler’s previous movies, according to Vulture. Sandler’s big-budget films have average budgets ranging from $US75-$US80 million. His most recent film, “Blended,” cost an estimated $US40 million.
Though no release date is set for Sandler’s films. Netflix tells The Wall Street Journal one film is expected to be released per year.
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