OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Kate’s Homemade Butter has gone Hollywood.
In the new Adam Sandler comedy “Grown Ups 2,” which opened in theaters Friday, Kate’s butter gets laughs for being so tasty a character eats it straight out of the tub.
What started as a random call from Sandler’s production company about 1½ years ago led to a key product placement for the Old Orchard Beach business.
Kate’s butter is used as a vehicle for a gag in which a boy eats the butter and declares it to be the best vanilla pudding he’s ever had.
Actor Kevin James responds: “That’s not pudding, it’s butter,” as the boy keeps eating it.
Kate’s said it did not pay for the product placement and wasn’t even sure the butter would make it into the final version of the movie.
“They contacted us a while ago. We asked to see the script to make sure it would be OK and it seemed like it would be funny,” said Lucas Patry, son of Kate’s owners Dan and Karen Patry. “We never expected to make it into the movie because so much can change or get cut. We didn’t really even think about it again until our friends started calling us this weekend.”
A camera shot in the movie focuses in on the tub of butter, which Kate’s calls its “buttercups,” and shows the company’s logo on the lid, Patry said.
“Grown Ups 2” drew $42.5 million in box office sales as the second-highest-grossing movie of the weekend after the animated film “Despicable Me 2.” The movie topped the much-hyped $190 million science fiction film “Pacific Rim.”
Still, “Grown Ups 2” garnered only a 7 percent “freshness” approval rating — out of a potential perfect score of 100 — on the movie review website www.rottentomatoes.com.
Patry said he did not know why Kate’s butter was sought out for the movie, which was filmed in Massachusetts. Sandler, who was born in New York, spent some time growing up in Manchester, N.H., where Kate’s sells its product, Patry said. But beyond that tenuous connection, Kate’s said it is puzzled by its brush with fame.
Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment did not return calls seeking comment. Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison Productions, could not be reached for comment.
The plot of the movie revolves around Sandler’s character, Lenny, who has relocated his family to the small town where he and his friends grew up. The movie, which also features Chris Rock and David Spade, centers around the last day of school and features bullies, drunk cops, party crashers and crazed grade-school girlfriends, according promotional materials for the film.
The glamor shot of Kate’s butter comes at a key time for Kate’s, which is preparing to expand from its 1,000-square-foot home-based business to a 17,600-square-foot facility in Arundel in September. Kate’s, which began in 1981, produces more than 1 million pounds of butter a year, as well as buttermilk.
Kate’s has had some conflict with its neighbors over noise issues. Neighbors have complained that trucks delivering raw materials and taking away finished products should not be operating in a residential neighborhood. The town has said the company must end its home operations by Sept. 30 or face the potential loss of its business license.
“Everyone has been a little down here lately. This is really just an awesome breath of fresh air for us,” Patry said. “It’s the first time anything like this has ever happened to us.”
Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: