Movieline Investigates the Adam Sandler Box Office Paradox

If you're the kind of person who hates reading about bad movies achieving box office success, here's some bad news: Adam Sandler's latest comedy Just Go With It -- which currently rests at a shameful 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, has just passed $100 million domestically. Has Adam Sandler, the patron saint of scathing critical responses, actually developed a foolproof formula for turning awful films into multiplex gold?

Join Movieline as we revisit his most mainstream comedies (that means no Punch-Drunk Love or Funny People!), and determine if there is indeed a bizarro correlation between Sandler's sophomoric madness and box office glory.

Click here to launch the slideshow.

[All box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


  • J'accuse! says:

    "Just go with it," seems like something you'd mutter to yourself right before throwing yourself off the George Washington Bridge to avoid having to see another stupid Adam Sandler movie.

  • Alex says:

    There is an easier explanation: Most people are morons and Adam Sandler panders to them. Middle America speaks: "Oh, look, he is one of us! And he gets laid with all these hotties! Let's watch."

  • Mike the Movie Tyke says:

    Never have so few (laughs) done so much (damage) to so many (writers, actors and directors with real talent).

  • j says:

    it seems as though people have forgot the purpose of movies in the first place. movies were not originally made to portray some kind of complex artistic vision. movies are made to entertain. sandler's movies do well because they get right to the point in an attempt to make you laugh, they do not have to dance around some directors grand scheme of inspiration. i feel like reviewers and these critics feel that ALL movies must have some higher calling to give the viewer a sense of enlightenment, but this is not the case. After a long day at work or school, most people want to sit back and have a laugh or two; this does not mean that these kinds of movies are taking away from film making, but only adding to it by providing people with an opportunity to realize the principle purpose of movie entertain.

  • I thought the film was hilarious.

  • J'accuse! says:

    If you'll excuse me, that's bullshit. I love light hearted films, stupid films even, long as they are consistently entertaining. 'Big Trouble in Little China' is neither cerebral nor an artistic masterpiece, but at the end of a long day it is consistently hilarious while asking nothing from your brain. They have a recurring thing on this website, bad movies we love, and that could be one of them.
    You can also make a comedy that is both entertaining and high quality too. Films like 'Dazed and Confused', 'Groundhog Day' and 'Rushmore' are all comedies that aim for quality, present some deeply affecting and mostly universal themes, and are also pretty funny/easy to watch.
    The problem with Adam Sandler's films is that they're both bad and not funny/entertaining. Unless you're in the 'Ow My Balls' demo, in which case you can just run that on a loop next to Megan Fox doing a striptease in front of an explosion set to a wailing guitar solo and you're set. Never need to leave your La-Z-Boy reclining toiletchair.

  • Scared for Movies says:

    Adam Sandler is your classic idea of beating the same movie too death over and over again. I used to be a huge Sandler fan in my youth. I knew the movies weren't great but they were at least fun. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Wedding Singer, & the Waterboy. Not long after that he released a crop of similar but inferior movies and the trend continued from there. It's very disappointing because I was a huge fan but I can't defend the weak movies he puts out these days. Grown Ups was a pathetic cash in for his buddies. Zohan was infused with an over the top gay vibe. And now a movie with a boring one note actress who makes the same movies over and over again. Is anyone even trying anymore or is it that once you make your money you lose all your creativity. Sad.

  • Neo says:

    I blame the frat boys, who love Adam Sandler movies as much as they love rockin' out to Dave Matthews Band.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Dude! You shall not malign the good name of Dave Matthews by mentioning him in the same sentence as Adam Sandler.

  • Alex says:

    You don't know anything.

  • left coast says:

    "Grown Ups" was shit and Kevin James has the comic timing of aids.

  • josh says:

    if you hate him or his movies that much, why even bother reading an article about him or bother muttering his name? go watch your fake indie art house films if he angers you that much. if you think most people are morons, i'm sure none of these morons would probably want to watch anything you'd recommend or come up with as an idea for a movie. who'd be the moron then?

  • D.Z. says:

    It may have made $100 million, but the budget was $80 million, according to Box Office Mojo. And that probably doesn't include P+A. So it's acually a disappointment for Sandler.

  • Alex says:

    Still you, Sandlerlover.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Dude, if people who are commenting on Mr. Sandler's shortcomings are, as you implied at the end of your comment, morons, then what does that make the guy who takes the time to bitch about said morons?

  • KevyB says:

    I was going to say that Adam Sandler appeals to the "I just want to be entertained crowd" but somebody already made that horrible argument. We ALL want to be entertained. Some of us choose not to be entertained by predictable crap that we've seen a million times before. Comedy comes from the unexpected, something rare in a Sandler film. He'd probably be great to hang out with, but I don't want to see him do the same thing every year.

  • I do not know if it's just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your website. It appears as if some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my web browser because I've had this happen before. Many thanks

  • Todd says:

    hey Julie,
    Did you actually see this movie? Because it is actually really funny. I loved it and so did all my friends. Its the funniest comedy I have seen in a while. Also while the reviews were not good, if u go to the reviews from people who actually saw it were all great. go look. Sandler has made his share of clunkers, so i feel like critics and perhaps yourself review movies before they even see them and just decide that they are going to suck. but that wasn't the case here. But it is an excuse for a snarky article.

  • Whatever says:

    The movie sucked. I was dragged to it by my boyfriend who for some unknown reason still loves Sander. But, even he said this one was disappointing. I think that Sandler appeals to boys like Aniston appeals to girls. Average joes with limited talent--both are non-threatning and safe.