A few weeks back we wrote about the newly released The Ridiculous Six, starring Adam Sandler. It was the first of four movies Sandler would make for Netflix. We weren’t fans of the movie and the point we were trying to make is that even Netflix has some missteps. Yes, Netflix’s original programming has been mostly stellar but this Sandler thing was a mistake. I take it back. I was wrong. Netflix knows exactly what it’s doing.
During his CES keynote, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos revealed that Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six has been the most watched movie in Netflix’s history. To clarify, the movie had the most views in a 30 day period of any movie released on Netflix. It doesn’t have the most total views. But still, that’s impressive for a movie with a 0% on rottentomatoes.
Netflix wasn’t going for a high score on the tomatometer. They know exactly what people watch on Netflix and they can easily predict what releases people want to see. It just happens to be that stupid comedies are really popular on Netflix. When you invite someone over to “Netflix and chill” are you going to be watching The Beasts of No Nation? No (Although I’m sure that has happened. Yes, someone probably got their dick sucked while half watching African child soldiers).
When you get high with your buddies are you going to put on a Hitler documentary? Probably, because you already watched The Ridiculous Six.
The Sandler-Netflix partnership is a good thing though. Making money off Sandler allows Netflix to create all the other great shows you love, that don’t get even half the views of The Ridiculous Six. A few months after the Sandler deal, Netflix made a deal with the Duplass Brothers. Sarandos mentioned the Sandler deal saying, “the reason we do things like the Adam Sandler deal is so we can do things like this as well.”
Everytime you browse Netflix and see The Ridiculous Six, don’t get upset. Remember, without it you might not have F is for Family or Narcos or Jessica Jones. You should thank Sandler for still having such universal popularity. It’s not like you’re forced to watch his movies just because they’re there.