I think we all have a general sense of how people cut up the pie that is their lives. Work gets a huge slice. Family and friends get another. Then there’s sleep, sweet majestic sleep. What’s left is… not a lot, but it’s also super important. In a way, it’s that time that can help define your interests and priorities outside of those other major pillars. And according to the numbers put forth by Netflix upon the announcement of a new (surely very lucrative) deal with Adam Sandler for four additional films (on top of the six they’ve already made, including his stand-up special), we, as a species, can be defined by our love for Sandler’s Netflix films.
Two billion hours. That’s how much time has been spent watching Sandler’s movies on the streaming service since 2015. So if you believe in Malcolm Gladwell’s rule about needing 10,000 hours to master something, well, we are well past the point of mastering the art of watching an Adam Sandler movie while sitting on our couches.
Some other stats of note: Sandler’s film, Murder Mystery, in which he and Jennifer Aniston star as an American couple abroad that get tied up in, well, a murder mystery, was the number one Netflix movie last year. Which means, yes, it toppled Underground 6. That’s something I typed as a snarky aside before remembering that that movie also did well for itself on Netflix. So hey, what’s going on?
The general notion is that Sandler’s Netflix movies have been… not as well-received as his (stellar and frantic) turn in the Safdie Brother’s Uncut Gems, but obviously people (including me, sometimes) like what they’re seeing. That is unless Ludovico Techniquing to Sandy Wexler is the new hot social trend that I’m somehow unaware of. Call it curiosity, call it nostalgia for Sandler’s previous hits (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, etc), or affection for easy to digest comedies with familiar faces. Whatever it is, it’s working, so good for you Sandman, get that money and make those movies. And if you should happen to throw a few bones the Safdie Brothers’ way so they can make a grimdark Pee Wee’s Playhouse movie (you can stand in for the late Phil Hartman and play Captain Carl!) as one of these four new films instead of flying off to Cyprus to make a buddy comedy with David Spade, then I think that’d be just swell.