Love or Hate Adam Sandler, ‘Pixels’ May Be a Hit

Regardless of whether you love or hate Adam Sandler, you’ve probably watched the trailer for his upcoming movie Pixels – and you’re far from the only one. Sony just announced that the recently released clip has generated 34.3 million views worldwide in its first 24 hours online, making it the studio’s biggest trailer launch of all time. With the film already garnering so much attention (both good and bad), it seems Pixels might finally give Sandler the hit he hasn’t had in years.

Directed by Chris Columbus and based on Patrick Jean’s 2010 short film of the same name, Pixels follows a motley group of video game enthusiasts who are tasked with saving the world after aliens misinterpret classic games, like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, as a declaration of war and employ them as weapons against humans. Sandler stars as Sam Brenner, a former 1980s video game champion who leads the squad in charge of defeating the attackers. Meanwhile, frequent Sandler collaborator Kevin James portrays the president of the United States and Sam’s childhood best friend. Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, and Michelle Monaghan play the other members of the alien-fighting team, while Ashley Benson and Jane Krakowksi also co-star as video game character Lady Lisa and the First Lady, respectively.

If the plot sounds kind of insane, that’s because it is – something the trailer makes sure to acknowledge. “Pac-Man’s a bad guy?” Sandler’s character says in disbelief as he watches the classic video game character barrel down the street, tormenting civilians. Later, Donkey Kong throws barrels off a roof and, in a particularly memorable scene from the clip, the Pac-Man creator tries to defend his “son” only to get bitten in the hand.

With its offbeat premise, a star-studded ensemble cast and the acclaimed director behind flicks like Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire on board, it’s no wonder audiences were so curious to get their first look at the upcoming action comedy. Still, the film seems to be generating even more interest than predicted. Over the course of a single day, the trailer broke a record for Sony, going 50% above the 22 million-view mark previously held by The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and drew a lot of attention on social media.

That’s not to say the reaction has been entirely positive. As is the case with every Sandler film, Pixels has its fair share of detractors, with some already pegging it as “truly terrible” and “a disaster.” But unlike most other Sandler films, Pixels also has plenty of enthusiasts, who argue that the outrageousness of the plot only adds to the fun – and the funniness — of the film.

Regardless of whether people are talking about it with excitement or disdain though, they’re definitely talking about it with interest – which is more than can be said about many of Sandler’s recent films. The actor is coming off a string off poorly received films, including last year’s Blended, Men, Women & Children, and his most recent box office bomb, The Cobbler.

Whether Pixels can end this losing streak for the comedian remains to be seen. But judging from the huge response to the trailer, it seems safe to say the movie will have audiences buying tickets — even if only out of sheer curiosity.

Pixels hits theaters on July 24, 2015.

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