24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Adam Sandler

Box Office: 'Madagascar 3' beats Cruise, Sandler films [Video]

June 18, 2012 |  4:00 am

Madagascar 3 was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
Two of Hollywood's biggest stars couldn't pull in as many ticket sales as "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" did at the box office this weekend, because the cartoon was the No. 1 pick yet again.

For the second consecutive weekend, the 3-D animated flick featuring a band of zoo animals topped the box office. The DreamWorks Animation movie raked in an additional $35.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $120.5 million.

Meanwhile, a new musical featuring Tom Cruise and a raunchy comedy starring Adam Sandler flopped. "Rock of Ages," which stars a high-profile cast including Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, only debuted with a lackluster $15.1 million. Sandler's R-rated "That's My Boy" fared even worse, starting with a weak $13 million.

So why didn't audiences turn up to see two of the country's biggest movie stars? Check out this week's box office video report for more details.

--Amy Kaufman


Photo: A scene from 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted." Credit: DreamWorks Animation.

Stale-looking 'That's My Boy' is a raunchy risk for Adam Sandler

May 23, 2012 | 10:22 am

Adam Sandler may be making the biggest gamble of his career this summer. Even though his films have become increasingly family-friendly in recent years, Sandler’s new movie, “That’s My Boy,” due out June 15, is an ultra-raunchy, R-rated comedy that features Sandler as a beer-guzzling, dope-smoking, deadbeat dad who suddenly shows up to wreak havoc on his strait-laced son’s wedding.

Reviews will likely be terrible — not that it matters, because Sandler’s goofball comedy isn’t aimed at the cognoscenti. Critics routinely trash Sandler’s films; last year, his “Jack and Jill” earned a minuscule 3 (out of a possible 100) at the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregation website. Patrick logo

But after an unparalleled run of success at the box office, chinks are starting to show in Sandler’s armor. And unfortunately for the comedian, Sony Pictures — his home studio, where he enjoys carte blanche — is under financial pressure because of large losses at the parent corporation.

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Adam Sandler comedy 'Jack and Jill' sweeps the Razzies

April 1, 2012 |  7:30 pm

Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' sweeps Razzies

Adam Sandler's critically lambasted cross-dressing comedy "Jack and Jill" made history of sorts Sunday at Magicopolis in Santa Monica: It became the first film ever to sweep every category at the 32nd annual Razzie Awards, which honor the year's worst cinematic achievements.

"Jack and Jill" won for worst film of 2011 and worst actor and actress — with both awards going to Sandler. It took the prize in all seven other categories too, including for Al Pacino as worst supporting actor, David Spade as worst supporting actress and Dennis Dugan as worst director.

The directing award for Dugan and the acting award for Sandler also recognized their work on another 2011 comedy, "Just Go With It."

Going into the tongue-in-cheek awards, Sandler had scored a record 11 nominations for himself as an actor, actress, writer and producer.

"Jack and Jill" stars Sandler as both a successful commercial director and his own whiny twin sister. Zaniness ensues when Jill arrives for a Thanksgiving visit with the family that turns into an extended stay. In "Just Go With It," Sandler plays a plastic surgeon who poses as an unhappily married man to woo single women. 

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Adam Sandler dominates the Razzie nominations

February 25, 2012 |  6:00 pm

Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" earns Razzie nods


In a dubious achievement, Adam Sandler broke all records Saturday evening, earning 11 Razzie nominations for his various work as an actor, a writer and a producer on three 2011 movies: "Jack and Jill," "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star" and "Just Go With It."

The nominations for the 32nd annual Razzie Awards, honoring the worst accomplishments in film, were announced on the eve of the Academy Awards. The Razzies have traditionally been presented the day before the Oscars, but co-owners John Wilson and Mo Murphy have moved the ceremony this year to April Fool's Day to give the Razzie voters “additional time to see the dreck" before casting their ballots.

Sandler's gender-bender comedy "Jack and Jill" — in which he portrays both title roles — earned 12 nominations, including worst film, actor and actress for Sandler, supporting actress for Katie Holmes and supporting actor for Al Pacino (yes, you read that correctly).

Rounding out the worst film nominees are "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," which Sandler co-wrote; "New Year's Eve"; "Transformers: Dark of the Moon";  and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1."

Sandler earned a second worst actor nomination for "Just Go With It" and will compete against Russell Brand for "Arthur," Nicolas Cage for three films — "Drive Angry 3-D," "Season of the Witch" and "Trespass" — Taylor Lautner for "Abduction" and "Breaking Dawn," and Nick Swardson for "Bucky Larson."

It was a good year (or perhaps a very bad one) for men in drag at the movies. In addition to Sandler, a few other actors earned nominations in the actress categories. David Spade is up for worst supporting actress as Monica in "Jack and Jill," while Martin Lawrence is nominated for worst actress in "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son," and Brandon T. Jackson from that film is in contention for supporting actress. 

Joining Sandler and Lawrence in the worst actress category are Sarah Palin in "Sarah Palin: The Undefeated," Sarah Jessica Parker for both "I Don't Know How She Does It" and "New Year's Eve," and Kristen Stewart for "Breaking Dawn."

Rounding out the supporting actress category after Spade, Jackson and Holmes are Nicole Kidman for "Just Go With It" and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley  for "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

Competing with Pacino for worst supporting actor are Patrick Dempsey in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," James Franco for "Your Highness," Ken Jeong for four movies — "Big Mommas," "The Hangover: Part II," "Transformers" and "Zookeeper" — and Nick Swardson for "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It."

Vying for worst screen ensemble are the casts of "Bucky Larson," "Jack and Jill," "New Year's Eve," "Transformers" and "Breaking Dawn."

Worst director nominees are Michael Bay for "Transformers," Tom Brady for "Bucky Larson," Bill Condon for "Breaking Dawn," Dennis Dugan for "Jack and Jill" and "Just Go With It," and Garry Marshall for "New Year's Eve."

Nominated for worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel are "Arthur," "Bucky Larson," "The Hangover: Part II," "Jack and Jill" and "Breaking Dawn."

Vying for worst screen couple are Cage and "anyone sharing the screen with him in any of his three 2011 films," Shia LaBeouf and Huntington-Whiteley in "Transformers," Sandler and either Jennifer Aniston or Brooklyn Decker in "Just Go With It," Sandler and either Holmes, Pacino or himself in "Jack and Jill" and Stewart and either Lautner or Robert Pattinson in "Breaking Dawn."

Worst screenplay nominations went to Sandler, Allen Covert and Swardson for "Bucky Larson"; Steve Koren and Sandler with story by Ben Zook for "Jack and Jill"; Katherine Fugate for "New Year's Eve"; Ehren Kruger for "Transformers"; and Melissa Rosenberg from the novel by Stephenie Meyer for "Breaking Dawn."


Movie Review: Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' is a drag 

Movie Review: 'Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

— Susan King

Photo: Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill" earned 12 Razzie nominations. Credit: Tracy Bennett/Columbia Pictures 

With 'Candy Land,' Adam Sandler pays a visit to Gramma Nutt

January 31, 2012 |  1:01 pm

Adam Sandler

Just when you worried that Hollywood’s fascination with board games was waning, it turns out it hasn’t. A day after Relativity Media decided to revive "Stretch Armstrong," which Universal had passed on, Sony has announced that it is breathing new life into "Candy Land," a different Hasbro property that had been developed but then forsaken at the Comcast-owned studio.

Sony will now make the live-action movie with Adam Sandler, retaining "Enchanted" director Kevin Lima, who was attached when the film was at Universal. (Universal, incidentally, has seen its much-hyped partnership with Hasbro slowly fade away, as my colleague Ben Fritz writes, though not before it brings out its splashy Pete Berg-helmed "Battleship" this spring.)

You could probably see the "Candy Land" movie in your mind’s eye already — Sandler frolics through a sugary paradise with children more mature than him, imparting and learning life lessons along the way. The upside is that a new draft of the script is being written by Robert Smigel (after a previous one was penned by the writers behind "Kung Fu Panda.") Smigel is the man behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog who also wrote one of the funnier Sandler movies in recent years, “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.”


Do we like Adam Sandler more when his movies are bad?

Universal Hasbro deal fizzles with departure of Stretch Armstrong

Adam Sandler, Hayley Mills and Jean-Claude Van Damme: Double roles

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Adam Sandler in "Funny People." Credit: Tracy Bennett / Universal Studios

Box office: 'Immortals' destroys rivals Sandler, DiCaprio [video]

November 14, 2011 | 12:32 pm

Immortals was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
For the first time in months, young males showed up to the multiplex in drove this weekend, lured in by the 3-D sword-and-sandals epic "Immortals."

Relativity Media's big-budget bet collected a solid $32 million at the box office this weekend, driven largely by the male audience interested in seeing the action flick. The Tarsem Singh-directed picture delivered the biggest-ever opening for the independent studio -- welcome news, since the movie cost the company about $80 million to produce and roughly $50 million more to market.

Meanwhile, Adam Sandler saw one of his lowest openings ever for a broad commercial comedy with the $26 million start for his cross-dressing  "Jack and Jill." The Clint Eastwood-directed biopic "J. Edgar," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, collected a decent $11.5 million on its first weekend in theaters.

For more on the weekend's hits and misses, check out this week's box office video report.


Relativity Media is at a crossroads

Box-office gods smile on 'Immortals'

Do we like Adam Sandler more when his movies are bad?

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Henry Cavill stars in "Immortals." Credit: Relativity Media

Do we like Adam Sandler more when his movies are bad?

November 14, 2011 |  8:15 am


Adam Sandler -- on some subconscious, primordial level -- wants to do good work, judging by the fact that he has, on intermittent occasions, collaborated with respected directors on respectable movies ("Punch Drunk Love," "Funny People," maybe "Spanglish").

That might be helpful for his sanity, and our collective good taste. But anyone advising Sandler on his career may actually want to give him the opposite counsel: Make more bad movies.

That's because lately we've shown an odd disposition when it comes to Sandler vehicles -- we buy tickets in inverse proportion to how good they are.

Of course, good is a subjective, and in Sandler's case lately, a relative term. But the actor in recent years has shown some disturbing tendencies, and we're not even referring to all those scatological moments in "Jack and Jill."

As a rule, even commercial actors see a positive correlation between reviews and box office. Consider Tom Cruise, a star who's always been about fans as much as reviews. His last four movies have performed at the box office in direct proportion to their appeal among critics. The poorest-reviewed, according to Rotten Tomatoes, "Lions for Lambs," is also the lowest grossing. His second worst-reviewed, "Knight & Day," is the second-lowest grossing. And so on.

There are plenty of reasons why it works this way. The simplest is that the hardcore fans will always come out, no matter how much a movie is panned. But strong reviews can bring in those fans as well as filmgoers who wouldn't normally see a given star's movie.

Sandler, though, somehow shows the opposite trend. Entering this weekend, his past six starring vehicles almost always made money in direct proportion to how much critics hated them. The worst-reviewed of the lot, "Grown Ups" (10% on Rotten Tomatoes) made the most money (an eye-popping $162 million). His second-worst reviewed, "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" (14%) was the second best-performing ($120 million).

And when he scored marginally better with critics, as with "Just Go With It" (20%), his box office dropped to $103 million. Call it the Sandler Rule -- the higher a movie's quality, the smaller the group that turns out to see it.

Now, you might say that's just because we don't want to see a broad-comedy actor doing anything serious or reaching for a meaty dramatic role he can't pull off. But the Sandler Rule applies in the middle of the curve too. "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" was hardly Oscar bait. But it scored better with critics than his other recent movies -- and performed worse at the box office. "Zohan," with an almost passable 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, barely hit $100 million.

His newly released cross-dressing comedy "Jack and Jill" will break the pattern a little bit. The movie is by far the worst reviewed of his recent starring roles -- at 3%, it's in the hallowed single-digit company of "One Missed Call" and most of Joel Schumacher's canon -- and it won't be a record-breaker at the box office.

But it still took in a solid $26 million this weekend, which means it will almost unquestionably outgross "Punch Drunk Love," "Funny People" and "Spanglish." To create an Adam Sandler hit, you don't necessarily have to make the movie good. But it certainly helps to make it bad.


Movie Review: Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' is a drag

Box Office: Sandler, DiCaprio can't beat No. 1 'Immortals'

'Grown Ups' a summer surprise for Adam Sandler

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Adam Sandler in "Jack and Jill." Credit: Sony Pictures

Owen Wilson's 'Big Year' joins flock of grounded geese

October 19, 2011 |  6:18 pm

The cratering of "The Big Year" this weekend--despite starring the likes of Owen Wilson and Jack Black, it barely took in $3 million--was the latest example of a movie so deeply unpopular you got the sense some people might have paid to not see it.

Unless the Fox film can pick up some momentum, it will earn the distinction of the second-lowest-grossing 2011 wide release (that is, a movie that goes out to thousands of theaters on its opening weekend) to date. (No, it can't even win that.) Top honors for the biggest flop? They go to “Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star” the porn-star comedy co-written by Adam Sandler. The Sony film eked out just $2.3 million over the entire length of its run.

But if Wilson or Sandler are feeling cold or alone, they shouldn't. Some very high-profile movies have been, well, for the birds this year at the U.S. box office.  Eight wide releases have failed to notch even $12 million, which would hardly be anything to write home about in its own right. (Last year, only three films failed to make that grade.)

The numbers fit with a larger trend in Hollywood, which has seen a 4% drop in overall domestic box-office revenues this year.

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'Devil's Double': When one actor takes on two roles in the same film

July 27, 2011 |  4:51 pm

Actor Dominic Cooper plays two roles in the new movie “The Devil’s Double”: Uday Hussein, the sadistic playboy son of Saddam Hussein, and Latif Yahia, whose resemblance to Uday landed him the unwanted job of his body double. Besides double vision, the movie may inspire a sense of déjà vu in viewers — after all, making an actor do double duty is a time-honored Hollywood tradition.

Often, the roles are twins: Hayley Mills played separated twins of divorced parents in Disney’s 1961 film “The Parent Trap,” while Margot Kidder took it to a whole new level as a woman shadowed by her psychotic former conjoined twin in Brian De Palma’s 1973 thriller “Sisters.” Jean-Claude Van Damme played twins who were separated when their parents died in 1991’s “Double Impact.” Jeremy Irons played twin gynecologists in 1988’s “Dead Ringers,” and thanks to digital face-replacement technology, Armie Hammer was able to portray the Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, in last year’s “The Social Network.”

Later this year, moviegoers will get to see Adam Sandler play twins — a male and female set — in “Jack and Jill.” Check out our double vision gallery to see more.


Dominic Cooper does double duty in 'Devil's Double'

The most famous comedian in Spain will be Adam Sandler's lover

Armie Hammer to play Winklevoss twins again -- on 'The Simpsons'

— Mark Olsen

Photo: Dominic Cooper stars as Uday Hussein (left) and Latif Yahia (right) in the movie  "The Devil's Double."  Credit: Lionsgate

Around Town: Rock docs, disco tributes, sci-fi favorites and more

July 14, 2011 |  6:00 am


The American Cinematheque screens "Barry Lyndon," Stanley Kubrick's lavish 1975 epic, at the Egyptian Theatre on Thursday evening in Hollywood. The drama, based on William Makepeace Thackeray's novel, stars Ryan O'Neal in the title role and won four Academy Awards, including one for John Alcott's cinematography. On Friday, the Egyptian celebrates the 25th anniversary of David Cronenberg's revisionist take on the sci-fi classic "The Fly," starring Jeff Goldblum in the title role, with a screening that's part of a double bill with John Carpenter's 1982 film "The Thing." On Saturday, the Egyptian presents its yearly tiki celebration with a screening of the 1951 South Sea melodrama "Bird of Paradise," starring Debra Paget, Louis Jourdan and Jeff Chandler, in addition to live music and a fashion show.

The Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica celebrates the 1991 film "Hudson Hawk" on Thursday evening with special guests, including director Michael Lehman and writer Daniel Waters, schedules permitting. On Friday, the Aero kicks off its three-day centenary celebration of Ginger Rogers -- "Backwards and in High Heels" -- with two of her best musicals with Fred Astaire from 1936: "Swing Time" and "Follow the Fleet." On tap for Saturday are 1935's "Top Hat" and 1937's "Shall We Dance"; Sunday's offerings are 1934's "The Gay Divorcee" and 1938's "Carefree." http://www.americancinematheque.com

"The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye," a film about Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV founder Genesis P-Orridge and his unique relationship with his late wife, opens this year's "Don't Knock the Rock" music festival Thursday at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre. The festival, founded by filmmaker Allison Anders and her daughter Tiffany Anders, runs through late August. Highlights include the world premiere of "Rhino Resurrected: The Incredibly Strange Story of the World's Most Famous Record Store."

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