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MFF Off-Season Statistics: Adam Sandler and Release Dates

January 2, 2018

If you’ve been reading MFF for sometime you know we love weird statistics and writing about Adam Sandler. While looking into the release dates of his theatrically released films I noticed something groundbreaking that almost moved me to tears. There is a trend going on with his films and the results might blow your mind and make you reconsider everything you know about release dates. I found out that Adam Sandler movies released around (+/- 10 days) Statehood Day in Arizona (02/14) have a much higher critic/audience average than his films that were released around International Picnic Day (06/18), Shark Awareness Day (07/14) and Homemade Bread Day (11/17).

Quick note: This post is ridiculous and offers zero correlation/causation. Also, thanks to Box Office Mojo for the numbers.

  • Statehood Day in Arizona (02/14) – 47% RT / 6.68 IMDb – $114 million average – (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Just Go With It)
  • International Picnic Day (06/18) –  24.8% RT / 6.04 IMDb- $178 million average –  (That’s My Boy, Grown Ups, Click, Big Daddy, Mr. Deeds)
  • Shark Awareness Day (07/14) – 26.75% RT / 5.825 IMDb – $113 million average – (Pixels, Grown Ups 2, Funny People, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry)
  • Homemade Bread Day (11/17) – 20% RT / 4.9 IMDb  – $151 million –  (Jack & Jill, The Waterboy, Little Nicky)

Here are the films that helped Statehood Day in Arizona claim absolute victory

  1. Billy Madison (02/10/95) – 46% RT / 6.4 IMDb
  2. Happy Gilmore (02/16/96) – 60% RT / 7 IMDb
  3. The Wedding Singer (02/13/98) – 67% RT / 6.8 IMDb
  4. 50 First Dates (02/13/04) – 44% RT / 6.8 IMDb
  5. Just Go With It (02/11/11) – 18% RT / 6.4 IMDb

I love that Billy Madison has a 46% Tomatometer average. It’s better than expected.

What makes these numbers important is The Wedding Singer (67%). Happy Gilmore (60%), 50 First Dates (44%) and Billy Madison (46%) are the top four highest rated “Sandler” comedies (E.G. not Punch Drunk Love, Funny People or The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)) on Rotten Tomatoes. Also, Happy Gilmore, 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer have the highest IMDb scores of his comedies.


Why is it the best? 

  1. Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore  solidified Sandler as a star, and are probably the most beloved due to the straight up weirdness of Billy Madison and actual quality of Happy Gilmore. They were released in February because Sandler didn’t have the summer box office pull yet. Also, Sandler hadn’t become a brand, so there was none of the current backlash associated with his films.
  2. The Wedding Singer and its Barrymore/Sandler follow-up 50 First Dates established Sandler as a romantic lead and proved that Drew Barrymore is the best. Their release dates also correspond with the little known holiday called Valentine’s Day.
  3. Just Go With It has a rotten Tomatometer average (18%) but it has one of the highest IMDb scores (6.4). It also features Dave Matthews picking up a coconut with his butt.
  4. All of the films were profitable domestically. This is the only grouping of films that can claim this.


The potent combination of early Sandler and Barrymore/Sandler won the day. The February releases dates (and early Sandler before he was a brand) meant that the films made less money than the summer months, but they are still the most well-received and only The Wedding Singer and Happy Gilmore have fresh Tomatometer scores (of the Sandler comedies).

Sandler and Barrymore were very excited to hear the exciting/dumb news.

Below I’ve included the critic/user averages and films for each holiday.

International Picnic Day (June 18) films have a Tomatometer average of 24.8% and a 6.04 IMDb user score.

  1. That’s My Boy – 20% RT / 5.6 IMDb
  2. Grown Ups – 10% RT / 6 IMDb
  3. Click – 32% RT / 6.4 IMDb
  4. Big Daddy – 40% RT / 6.4 IMDb
  5. Mr. Deeds – 22% RT / 5.8 IMDb

Homemade Bread Day (November 17)  films have a Tomatometer average of 20% and a 4.9 IMDb user score.

  1. Jack & Jill – 3% RT / 3.4 IMDb
  2. Little Nicky – 22% RT / 5.3 IMDb
  3. The Waterboy  – 35% RT / 6.1 IMDb

Shark Awareness Day (July 14) films have a Tomatometer average of 26.75% and a 5.825 IMDb user score.

  1. Pixels – 17% RT / 5.6 IMDb
  2. Grown Ups 2 – 7% RT / 5.4 IMDb
  3. Funny People – 69% RT / 6.3 IMDb
  4. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry – 14% RT / 6 IMDb

If you like this dumb data make sure to check out our other posts!

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