Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have already caused the demise of video stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, and some may argue that the lifespan of cable television is coming to an end as well.
But, could box offices be next?
Veteran comedian Adam Sandler has agreed to produce and star in four feature films that will be released exclusively to Netflix.
The move could be quite the game-changer in entertainment, coming hot off the heels of the success of Netflix original series “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” both of which were nominated for multiple Emmys two years in a row.
Talk show host Chelsea Handler also left her popular gig at E! to join the streaming site for the first-ever on-demand talk show.
Sandler’s deal is yet another effort by Netflix to bolster its content portfolio, and one that is expected to be a hit with users. Sandler is one of the few actors whose films consistently rank among the most viewed by subscribers, Netflix said.
If successful, it could disrupt the business formula Hollywood has been working with for decades. To allow for maximum profit, big-budget, high-potential films always went to theaters first, later traveling through a rigid schedule of staggered releases on DVD, cable and streaming sites.
“His appeal spans across viewers of all ages — everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line — not just in the U.S., but all over the world,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer said of Sandler.
Netflix did not announce any additional details about the four films, or when they would be released.
Sandler made full use of his unique humor in a statement released by Netflix.
“When these fine people came to me with an offer to make four movies for them, I immediately said yes for one reason and one reason only: Netflix rhymes with Wet Chicks,” he said. “Let the streaming begin!!!!”
Netflix announced a deal earlier this week that will allow it to premiere a feature film — the sequel to the 2000 hit “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — at the same time moviegoers can see it in theaters.
The deal is a first for the film industry, and yet another sign that Netflix plans to be a major player in original content.
“The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, according to PIX11.
Read more: PIX11