Punch-Drunk Love

Release Date: October 11, 2002
Limited release

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Paul Thomas Anderson helms this romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler. Paul Thomas Anderson? Romantic comedy?? Adam Sandler???

Yup, you are not misreading that phrase. Sandler is a small-business owner with seven sisters who has woman issues. He's afraid of love, until he meets a strange woman, played by Emily Watson. Oh, and Sandler's being pursued by some criminals. At least that's the rumored plot on various fan sites. Anderson's pretty tight-lipped about his movies, and his cast isn't divulging any secrets.

Punch-Drunk Love is in competition at Cannes this year, and its reception will have a huge part to play in its box-office success. Anderson's films usually have critical acclaim, cult followings, but not huge box-office numbers. Sandler's last movie, Little Nicky, was a disappointment for him (but in comparison to Anderson's BO numbers, the money made was huge). So, will Punch-Drunk Love be an Anderson film or a Sandler film in terms of money? Depends on how it is marketed. The addition of Tom Cruise to the Magnolia cast did not add box-office punch, but then again, Cruise's role was a supporting one. Sandler's carrying this picture, and if the numbers are bigger for this movie than Magnolia, you can partially credit him. Additionally, a romantic comedy may be an easier sell than any of the previous Anderson films.

Bottom line, watch the word out of Cannes, watch Sandler's numbers for his other 2002 release, Mr. Deeds, and, especially, watch how it's being marketed to the public. "A comedy starring Adam Sandler" will go a longer way towards money at the box office than "a film by PT Anderson." (Calvin Trager/BOP)

Comparison films for Punch-Drunk Love
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Big Daddy 6/25/9941.54 49.50 3027 13723.00 15668.0 163.48 194.81 3.94
Waterboy, The 11/6/9839.41 50.66 2664 14794.00 18295.4 161.49 207.62 4.10
Mr. Deeds 6/28/0237.16 38.63 3231 11501.00 11501.0 126.20 131.21 3.40
Wedding Singer, The 2/13/9819.10 24.55 2821 6771.00 8373.5 80.25 103.17 3.66
Little Nicky 11/10/0016.06 17.96 2910 5519.00 5938.8 39.44 44.12 2.46
Happy Gilmore * 2/16/968.51 11.61 2022 4209.00 5523.1 38.62 52.68 4.54
Billy Madison 2/10/956.64 9.20 1834 3621.00 4828.0 25.46 35.29 3.83
Magnolia 1/7/005.69 6.36 1034 5503.00 5921.6 22.45 25.11 3.78
Boogie Nights 10/31/974.68 6.14 907 5160.00 6520.3 26.39 34.66 4.77



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