But Netflix's gamble seems to have paid off. In January 2016, Netflix CEO Reid Hastings announced that The Ridiculous 6, Sandler's spoof Western and the first of the deal's four movies, was the most viewed movie in Netflix history in the first 30 days of launching on the platform. Earlier this year, Netflix announced that another deal was struck with Sandler and his Happy Madison Productions for an additional four original movies. The company followed that with some shocking numbers: "Since the launch of The Ridiculous 6," goes a 2017 shareholders report, "Netflix members have spent more than half a billion hours enjoying the films of Adam Sandler."
Half a billion! In the same report, Netflix trumpeted their current subscriber base, now up to 5 million global members, and current profits: in the first quarter of the year alone the company's made $2.5 billion off streaming subscriptions. At least according to Netflix suits, the movie strategy, including Sandler's output and smaller offerings like the war movie The Siege of Jadotville, are wrangling the eyeballs. (The company also admits some misfires; the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel Sword of Destiny didn't play.)
Later this year, Netflix will premiere The Meyerowitz Stories, the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and... Adam Sandler. It's expected to be a departure for the actor, a dramedy designed outside the mold of The Ridiculous Six and Sandy Wexler. Will it perform?
Netflix probably doesn't care. With one more untitled, original movie in the pipeline, and four more secured, the amount of joke-filled, heart-on-sleeve, occasionally problematic, cameo-literred Sandler content should crawl up to over a billion views in the next two years. Or audiences can just loop the scene in Sandy Wexler where Sandler has a heart attack and Kevin James's character works his limp body like a ventriloquist doll. That's the beauty (and the horror) of Netflix.