Adam Sandler Tops as Highest Earner via Netflix Hits, says Forbes

Adam Sandler dominates Netflix, rewriting Hollywood's earnings playbook

by Zain ul Abedin
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Adam Sandler Tops as Highest Earner via Netflix Hits, says Forbes
© Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

In a year when the glitz and glam of the Oscars might not spotlight Adam Sandler for his role in Netflix's "Murder Mystery 2," the actor finds solace in a different kind of accolade. Forbes magazine's latest financial rundown reveals that Sandler has clinched the title of Hollywood's highest-paid actor, thanks in large part to the romantic comedy-thriller sequel's success on the streaming giant.

2023 was a banner year for Sandler, seeing him star in and produce three films for Netflix, amassing a staggering $73 million in earnings, according to Forbes. This impressive sum propelled him past other Hollywood luminaries, including "Barbie" phenomenon Margot Robbie, who, at 33, stands as the youngest top-ten earner by a significant margin.

Robbie, who also served as a producer on the blockbuster "Barbie" and the critically acclaimed "Saltburn," finds herself in the esteemed second place. Hot on their heels is Tom Cruise, securing the third spot, with Robbie's "Barbie" co-star Ryan Gosling and Matt Damon tied for fourth.

Jennifer Aniston, who teams up with Sandler as a part of the bumbling detective duo in "Murder Mystery," rounds out the top six. Despite "Murder Mystery 2" facing its share of critical drubbing, with some outlets lambasting it as a lackluster comedy, the film enjoyed considerable success on Netflix.

It emerged as the fifth most-watched movie on the platform last year, clocking in 173 million hours viewed. Amid the critique, there were voices of surprise and even appreciation for the film, with several reviewers conceding that its leads delivered performances surpassing expectations.

Sandler's Streaming Triumph

Sandler's profitable partnership with Netflix also brought to audiences the animated feature "Leo," which he wrote, produced, and voiced, alongside the comedy "You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah." His 2023 lineup included the sci-fi drama "Spaceman," further solidifying his relationship with the streamer.

Netflix, commenting on renewing Sandler's contract after the success of the 2019 "Murder Mystery," remarked, "There's no such thing as too much Sandler," underscoring the actor's lucrative appeal. His financial triumphs were bolstered by 44 stand-up comedy shows last year, adding to his impressive revenue.

Marking his first appearance at the top of Forbes' list since 2002, Sandler's resurgence as Hollywood's highest earner is a testament to his enduring appeal and versatility. Previous leaders of the pack, Tyler Perry in 2022 and Dwayne Johnson before him, did not cut this year, showcasing the dynamic nature of showbiz earnings.

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