Adam Sandler's Uncut Gems Keeps Setting Indie Box Office Records, Despite Fan Scores

Uncut Gems Kevin Garnett talks to Adam Sandler, while Lakeith Stanfield watches, in the jewelry stor

While it’s not an everyday occurrence, seeing a box office record set in the world of independent film is a pretty impressive feat. But that infrequency hasn’t stopped the Adam Sandler starring film Uncut Gems from setting some pretty high bars for its studio parent, A24.

Previously, the indie darling powerhouse saw their best per-screen average record broken, thanks to the Safdie Brother’s weaponized panic attack of a film. But now, Uncut Gems has made an even bigger splash in its wide release, delivering the studio’s biggest opening frames ever.

To be more specific, the film garnered $9.5 million over the traditional weekend timespan, while hauling in a greater $18.8 million when taking into account the extra couple of days the film has been in wide release since its Christmas Day opening. With roughly $20 million in total grosses, according to the estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations Company , it looks like Uncut Gems could be on its way to becoming the most successful title in the canon of A24 films.

Of course, there’s still quite a bit of ground to cover in that respect, as director Ari Aster’s Hereditary currently holds the money crown in A24’s stable of winners. At an uber-respectable $79.3 million, the horror thriller is the highest grossing title in the studio’s catalog.

So if Uncut Gems is thinking about taking the top spot, it’ll have to maintain, if not increase, its box office showing. Which, depending on who you ask, could be easier said than done.

While audiences seem to be flocking to theaters on the brand recognition of Adam Sandler’s presence alone, this initial wave of box office has seen Uncut Gems fall prey to the expectations of fans who are more attuned to Sandler’s outwardly comedic output.

This has left the film as another example of a movie where the fans and the critics seem to differ, as the audience scores on sites like Rotten Tomatoes and CinemaScore have blasted this film apart. Meanwhile, if you look at critics’ lists, award nomination boards, and even our own top 10 list here at CinemaBlend, you’ll see quite a bit of praise has been logged in the film’s favor.

Technically, this is Adam Sandler’s second biggest hit in 2019, with Netflix’s Murder Mystery putting up some pretty big numbers in its own opening weekend. And one could say the greatest liability Uncut Gems may have is the fact that Sandler has been pegged, for the most part, as a comedic talent.

So when seeing him being advertised in Josh and Benny Safdie’s latest trip through the seedy underbelly of New York, wider audiences are probably expecting something a lot funnier and lighter than this particular film is known to be.

Ultimately, it’s going to be word of mouth that determines whether Uncut Gems becomes an even bigger hit, or finds itself slowing down in the next couple of weeks. And what you hear for yourself will depend on whatever specific mouths you trust when getting your opinions on movies.

Or, you can see it for yourself, as Uncut Gems is in wide release now, ready for you and yours to enjoy the entertainment of anxiety. Just don’t go in expecting another carefree comedic romp.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.