Monday, June 26, 2006
Sandler's success eludes me
From Usatoday, “He may be getting older, but Adam Sandler's box-office clout is as healthy as ever.
His latest comedy, Click, coasted to the top spot at theaters this weekend by taking in $40 million, according to studio estimates from Nielsen EDI.
The debut met most analysts' expectations. Of course, most Sandler films do; the star logged his seventh film to debut at $35 million or more.
"He's one of the most consistent actors, in terms of box office, I've ever seen," says Gitesh Pandya of boxofficeguru.com. "Most of his comedies open in the high 30s or low 40s. I don't think many actors can claim that loyal a fan base."
But the fan base might be changing. Typically, Sandler's audiences have been young and male — the kind of moviegoers who turn comedies such as The Waterboy and Big Daddy into box-office smashes.
Click, however, marked a departure for the 39-year-old actor. According to distributor Sony Pictures, 51% of its audience was women, and 50% was 25 and older.
"He's almost 40 and has a child now," Pandya says. "He's growing up. And it appears his audiences are, too."
That doesn't mean critics are growing fond of him. So far, Click has generated positive reviews from fewer than one-third of the nation's film critics, according to the review survey site rottentomatoes.com.
But Rory Bruer, distribution chief for Sony, says critics underestimate Sandler's "everyday guy" appeal to audiences.
"I'm not sure why there's a disconnect between critics" and Sandler's movies, Bruer says. "But Adam is accessible to people in a way that's pretty unique. They relate to him. His life could be theirs."
Of course, Sandler's life is filled with millions in box-office receipts. According to Pandya, Sandler is the only actor to enjoy a debut of $30 million or more for each of the past five years.
"Adam Sandler is the most consistent actor working today," he says.
The animated film Cars recovered nicely from a steep drop last weekend, taking second place and $22.5 million.
The Jack Black comedy Nacho Libre, on the other hand, stumbled in its second weekend. It dropped 57% for third place and $12.1 million.
Waist Deep, the Tyrese Gibson crime thriller, did $3 million better than projections, taking in $9.5 million, for No. 4. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift dropped 62% from its debut for No. 5 and $9.2 million.
The Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth did a solid $1.9 million on 514 screens, bringing its total to $9.5 million and making it the seventh-biggest documentary.”