Perhaps critics and audiences have come to an agreement on Adam Sandler movies? "Blended," which was savaged in reviews -- New York Times critic A.O. Scott wrote that it will make children "stupid" -- was also largely ignored by audiences. The family comedy, which was rated PG-13, earned an estimated $18.2 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, and $14.2 million during the traditional three-day frame. That three-day total ranks as Sandler's worst wide-release opening for a live-action PG-13 movie since 2004's "Spanglish," a James L. Brooks film. The last traditional Adam Sandler comedy with a debut weekend as low as "Blended" was 2000's "Little Nicky," which opened with $16 million in ticket sales.
"'Blended' was hampered from maximizing its potential," Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution, said to The Hollywood Reporter. "The A-minus CinemaScore will help grow our box office as we continue into the lucrative summer playtime." According to THR, Fellman cited "good weather" around the country as part of the reason "Blended" had a disappointing debut.
Beyond sunshine, however, is a case of diminishing returns for Sandler. Two of his last three live-action films have failed to top $100 million in North American ticket sales, and it seems unlikely that "Blended" will hit triple digits either. (According to Box Office Mojo, "Blended" should gross more than $50 million before it exits theaters, a number that roughly represents its reported production budget.) Which isn't to say that things are too dire for the 47-year-old star: his next two films are prestige comedy-dramas "The Cobbler" (from Thomas McCarthy) and "Men, Women & Children" (from Jason Reitman), projects that sound akin to more adventurous Sandler movies such as "Punch-Drunk Love" and "Funny People." After that, Sandler will star in the animated movie "Pixels," which Sony has set for release on May 15, 2015. As of now, he doesn't have a broad, live-action comedy on his schedule.
For more on "Blended" and the weekend box office, head to THR.