Adam Sandler Movies: A Box Office History

Can you believe it’s been nearly 20 years since Adam Sandler’s movie career began with Billy Madison? And can you believe that ever since, critics and certain audience segments have been asking the same question: how can Adam Sandler keep making stupid comedies over and over again?

The reason: you.

Hollywood makes what audiences want, and, for better or for worse, they gauge what audiences want based on money. Silly for-profit companies! And you – yes, you – keep coming back for more. Every time Adam Sandler makes another stupid comedy, it’s your fault.

Adam Sandler has been on a rut lately, and people are saying that the funny man’s career may be at a crossroads. Again. Yeah, Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy were critical and box office disappointments, but if Sandler’s box office history is any indication, he’ll rebound yet again. Take a look at this chart which outlines Adam Sandler’s box office performance, data courtesy of



On the flip side, you could argue that his previous box office disappointments – Punch-Drunk Love, Eight Crazy Nights, Spanglish and Reign Over Me – represent Sandler’s attempts to move out of his comfort zone; none of the four are standard “stupid comedies.”

Grown Ups 2 opens in theaters this week – time will tell whether Adam Sandler’s career really is in danger.

On a side note:

  1. Budgets have remained pretty steady over the last 10 or so years, at approximately $125 million. Where does all this money go, except to pay for Sandler’s salary?
  2. Hotel Transylvania is Adam Sandler’s biggest movie ever. While it’s an animated children’s movie and therefore  a poor comparison to Sandler’s other movies, that still will make for good trivia.
By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Box Office, Comedies, Featured