Netflix Boss Defends Adam Sandler Deal: "He's an Enormous International Movie Star"

Pixels Still 6 - H 2015
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Pixels Still 6 - H 2015

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos expressed confidence in the actor's four-film deal and says he's encouraged by the international showing for 'Pixels.'

Netflix isn't worried about Adam Sandler.

Following the actor's box-office underperformance this past weekend with Pixels, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos defended the star Tuesday at the Television Critics Association's Summer Press Tour.

"[I'm] thrilled," he said after being asked by The Hollywood Reporter how he felt about the streaming service's four-film deal with Sandler. "Not to give you a defensive answer, there. I definitely don’t have to defend Adam Sandler. The movie did $24 million domestically, $25 million internationally, and a third of our subscribers are outside of the U.S. That’s why we made a deal with Adam Sandler: because he’s an enormous international movie star. That $25 million opening for Pixels is pretty respectable, and I think it will continue to grow. We are more encouraged than ever, and that split of U.S. and international box office is exciting."

Sandler produced and led the voice cast in the '80s homage to video games. The movie was panned by critics and marked a departure for Sandler in that the film was a VFX-laden action comedy versus a straight comedy or a romantic comedy.

Sony Pictures made Pixels for a reported $88 million after rebates; the total cost is anticipated at $110 million. Sandler's Happy Madison banner produced Pixels alongside director Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures.

"Adam's audience is mostly at home, and they're watching his stuff over and over again," Sarandos told reporters after his executive panel. "He's incredibly popular on Netflix because people want to go back and watch his stuff, and they're watching it at home."