Netflix announced Thursday it will bring four movies by comedian Adam Sandler exclusively to its subscribers, the latest push by the online video service into the terrain of Hollywood movie studios.
Netflix didn’t disclose financial terms of the deal or timing of the movies’ releases. The company’s head of content, Ted Sarandos, said it approached Sandler to create the feature-length films because the actor’s movies were consistently among the top watched films for Netflix’s 50 million global users.
“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 U.S. but all over the world,” Sarandos said in a release.
The comedian, known for his raunchy, fraternity-like humor, said: “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!!!!,” he said in the release.
Though Sandler’s films have been popular for Netflix’s users, the actor and movie producer hasn’t had breakout hit in years.
Sandler began his career on television’s “Saturday Night Live” before launching a prolific movie career. In recent years, his movies “That’s My Boy” and “Jack and Jill” were panned by critics and did poorly in movie ticket sales.
But the 48-year-old actor and producer has one of the deepest catalogs of movies. His movies have reached about $3 billion in box office sales and according to Nash Information Services, a movie data company, Sandler ranks 68 for top-grossing actors.
Netflix’s deal with Sandler comes days after it announced plans to exclusively distribute on Netflix and some Imax theaters a sequel to “Crouching Tiger” with producer The Weinstein Company. The announcement angered theater firms AMC Theatres and Regal, who have been hit by competition in home movie viewing and rely their ability to run movies first in their theaters.
The push into feature length films highlight the online video company’s ambitions to become a bigger player in the entertainment industry. Netflix began as a DVD rental service and then an online streaming service, but CEO Reed Hastings has said the firm is interested in pushing more into producing original content. Netflix signed a contract with television talk show host Chelsey Handler for her own show. Its television series “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” have been critical hits and have helped draw in millions of new subscribers.