Adam Sandler’s Netflix deal could bring the demise of movie theaters

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(PIX11) — Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have already caused the demise of video stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, and some may argue that the lifespan of cable television is coming to an end as well.

But, could box offices be next?

Comedy veteran Adam Sandler has signed a deal to produce and star in four films that will stream exclusively on Netflix.

“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,” Sandler said in a news release. “Let the streaming begin!!!!”

The move could be quite the game-changer in entertainment, coming hot off the heels of the success of Netflix original series “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” both of which were nominated for multiple Emmys two years in a row. Talk show host Chelsea Handler also left her popular gig at E! to join the streaming site for the first-ever on-demand talk show.

"Let the streaming begin!!!!" Adam Sandler wrote in the Netflix news release. (Photo: Getty Images/stock photo)

“Let the streaming begin!!!!” Adam Sandler wrote in the Netflix news release. (Photo: Getty Images/stock photo)

If successful, it could disrupt the business formula Hollywood has been working with for decades. To allow for maximum profit, big-budget, high-potential films always went to theaters first, later traveling through a rigid schedule of staggered releases on DVD, cable and streaming sites.

Netflix wants to reverse the process and could soon be touted as an established studio. Before its rise, no tech company had the clout to draw A-listers with the means to distribute films directly to consumers.

Theater companies criticized Netflix and the Weinstein Co., which brokered the deal for the sequel for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to stream simultaneously on Netflix and in participating IMAX theaters.  The original movie made $213.5 million world-wide.

“We will not participate in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to three inches wide on a smartphone,” said Regal Cinemas spokesman Russ Nunley. The company operates 573 theaters and 7,341 screens nation wide.

“The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement.

Netflix has garnered more than 50 million subscribers who pay about $9 a month.  With New Yorkers paying an average of $12.75 per movie ticket (the most expensive in the country), theaters could very well be a thing of the past — with viewers choosing to stay home in comfort instead of venturing out to overpay on everything from popcorn to M&Ms.

After last year’s polar vortex and with winter fast approaching, the second option sounds much more appealing.


  • Michael

    Just means it will be 4 of his movies that I will not watch is all. No biggie. He plays pretty much the same character in every movie so there is no reason to subscribe to Netflix just to see a movie.

  • George P

    Really? A has-been actor who sucked to begin with is going to bring down the theaters? Good luck with that.

  • Skyler

    I don’t have Netflix, and I don’t plan to ever get it. I love movie theaters, I doubt they will ever be a thing of the past.

  • Kathleen

    The end of Movie Theaters would be a shame, we as a country have become more isolated than ever before. No one talks to each other, they text . Human contact is very important ,if we don’t have that ,we lose compassion & caring for humanity.

    • Stacy

      Not to sound rude, or to even be a jerk, but the last time I was at a theater if you talked (or had any human interaction) during the film that got you ejected pretty quickly. You don’t go to the movies for “human interaction.” You go so you can watch a movie on a bigger screen and immerse yourself in the fantasy that is film. It is no different than going to a store or a concert… You aren’t there for the people.

  • Mick

    Because I don’t know the previous respondents ages, I would advise remember the Drive-In, Beta Max, VCR, CD, and DVDs soon to be replaced by Blue Ray.
    I have a 65″ LG TV that I sit about ten feet from eye level for everyone (no strained necks or squinty eyes) in a comfortable recliner (No aching backs or numb butts). I may be alone (Ah the solitude), with my girl (Nobody cares how far the making out goes) or with a few friends (cell phones are on vibrate and answered where we cant hear them) or I kick them out! The list continues. Oh a big thing, due to agoraphobia I hate theaters of any sort so others don’t have to deal with me freaking out in the middle of a show.

  • Amanda Vann

    I think Adam Sandler is a great actor. I don’t have Netflix but will consider it to see Sandlers new. movies. If other great stars follow this path it will certainly give theaters a tougher competition. I agree human interaction is important but we can still accomplish that in the comfort of our homes too. Me and my friends have movie night at each others house every other Friday. My kids have started to do the same. Which gives less worries, considering late shows end at 11 or later, to kids driving home late, and in some cases where the kids have to walk home. Plus the family time we accomplish by watching a movie at home since a majortity of our time is spent at our jobs.

  • Martin McDonough

    So, Adam Sandler is bringing about the demise of movie theaters? Yeah, okay. Is this article supposed to be serious? The guy’s been irrelevant since 2011. This is just a desperation move on his part. Nobody’s paying to see his horrendous movies anymore.

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