As most of you already know by now, they are making Grown Ups 2. In fact they shot the film this past summer and is set to be released July 12, 2013. Considering the first Grown Ups movie was universally panned by film critics (it currently has a 10% fresh rating) and hated by nerds all across the internet, this may came as a shock to some. But when you consider the facts, it makes perfect sense.
FACT: Adam Sandler doesn't give a shit about critics.
Critics don't understand Adam Sandler, mostly because they are old crusty dinosaurs, too uptight to laugh at or enjoy anything that doesn't contain much intellectual content. And because critics have had it out for Sandler his whole career. Don't believe me? Well in his 1995 review of Billy Madison Roger Ebert said the following:
Adam Sandler has a problem. He's not an attractive screen presence. He might have a future as a villain or a fall guy or the butt of a joke, but as the protagonist his problem is he recreates the nails on the black board syndrome. You can't stand him in a movie.
Reviews of comedy films are completely useless. You wouldn't go to a comedian for a review of The Master, so you shouldn't go to a critic for a review of Grown Ups.
FACT: Adam Sandler movies, and Happy Madison movies in general, make money.
The first Grown Ups cost $80 million to produce, and earned over $250 million world wide. In fact, since Sandler started his Happy Madison production company, every one of his comedies, with the exception of Little Nicky, has turned a profit, and big profits at that. Let's take a look. Mr. Deeds cost $50 million and made over $150 million world wide. Anger Management, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, Click, Chuck and Larry, Don't Mess with the Zohan, Bed Time Stories, and Just Go With It each cost around $80 million and all made about $200 million. And even arguably the worst film of Sandler's career Jack and Jill made $150 million, nearly doubling its budget.
The only Sandler films that don't do well, are his more serious roles. Funny People, and Reign Over Me, the only Happy Madison films to get somewhat positive reviews from critics, both more or less broke even.
Even Sandler's Grown Ups costars have made a lot of money for Happy Madison. Kevin James vehicle Paul Blart: Mall Cop is Happy Madison's most profitable movie to date, earning $225 million on a $25 million budget, and his most recent Zoo Keeper doubled its $80 million budget, earning over $160 million worldwide. David Spade has been less successful, Joe Dirt and Dickie Roberts both basically broke even, but Joe Dirt has become somewhat of a cult classic due to heavy rotation on cable television. Even Rob Schneider movies quietly make money. Deuce Bigelow earned $90 million on a $20 million budget, And The Animal, The Hot Chick, Deuce Bigelow 2, and Spade/Schneider collab The Benchwarmers all basically earned double their respective budgets.
Happy Madison movies make money, plain and simple.
FACT: Adam Sandler loves his friends.
Adam Sandler likes making movies with his friends. Anyone who's ever seen a Sandler movie knows this. Sandler has created a Happy Madison army, comprised of his buddies, and they are all getting filthy stinking rich. Allen Covert, Peter Dante, and Jonathan Loughran appear in small roles in almost all of his films. I don't know for sure, but I gotta imagine, given the $80 million budget for most of Sandler's films, they are getting paid at least SAG-minimum to talk in goofy voices and give cross eyed stares to the camera.
But that's just peanuts compared to what his writing, directing, and producing team are racking in. Dennis Dugan, also known as the weasely little shmuck PGA president in Happy Gilmore, has directed Sandler in eight films, including the upcoming Grown Ups 2. Tim Herlihy, also known as the singing kangaroo from Big Daddy, wrote the screenplays for nine Sandler films and served as a producer on seven more. But the grandaddy of them all is Jack Giarraputo, who has been a producer in some way or another on twenty three Sandler films, as well as fourteen other Happy Madison films. For those of you not in the film industry, let me tell you a secret. If you want to make tons of money in Hollywood, being above the line on multiple hugely profitable features isn't a bad idea.
All that being said, if all Sandler, and all Happy Madison movies make money, and make Sandler's friends money, why not make a different movie? Why make Grown Ups 2? Because Grown Ups 2, the first sequel Adam Sandler has ever starred in, is the Happy Madison all-star game. Sandler, Schneider, James and Spade star, Dugan directed it, Herlihy wrote it, and Giarraputo produced it. And more importantly, Because Adam Sandler had a ton of fun making Grown Ups and wanted to do it again. I imagine the first movie was developed after the following (fictional) conversation:
Sandler: Man I miss hanging out with you guys. The SNL days were so fun.
Spade: Yeah those were the days! You, me, Rock, Rob and Farley had such good times.
Sandler: Let's just make a movie were we all just hang out and make fun of each other, people will go see it.
Spade: But Farley's dead.
Sandler: Screw it, let's get Kevin James. He's fat, people won't even know the difference.
Spade: Sure. As long as I get to continue pretending like I'm a lady's man.
Schneider: Can we ride a bunch of waterslides and I get to have sex with a weird old lady?
Rock: As long as I don't have to make any more movies about black people hair, I'm in.
Love it or hate it, Grown Ups 2 is coming out next summer, and it will be a hit. The facts are loud and clear: Adam Sandler and the Happy Madison army aren't going any where.
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