The Santa Clause 2
November 1, 2002
Despite strenuous objections from the anti-Tim Allen coalition (i.e., North America) and mainly due to the lobbying of the all-powerful Stonecutters, there will be a sequel to The Santa Clause released in theaters just in time for - you guessed it - Christmas.
If you are wondering who to blame for this horrifying turn of events, look no further than a mirror, for it was you, the people of Earth, who somehow turned the original title into a bona-fide blockbuster, with worldwide receipts approaching $200 million. Disney is simply making a sound business decision to milk the cash cow until its udders fall off. In order to save yourselves and those you love, there is but one decision to be made: Boycott.
All joking about the need for a sequel to such a slight piece of fluff aside, Tim Allen has shown remarkable resilience at the box office. In fact, until Joe Somebody arrived and quickly disappeared from theaters, Mr. Tool Time had demonstrated himself to be one of the most consistent draws in the industry. Don't believe me? Consider this: Jungle2Jungle, The Santa Clause and Galaxy Quest all made at least $60 million in domestic receipts, and the combined average total of the three productions is a staggering $91.7 million. If we adjust for inflation, the number shoots up even further to $112 million per title. And that's not even factoring in the Toy Story phenomenon. Who knew?
The simple fact of the matter is that Tim Allen is a beloved television actor who has somehow managed to quietly make the leap into the realm of box-office success as anonymously as possible. He is by no means foolproof, as the afore-mentioned Joe Somebody and the unfortunately-not-yet-forgotten For Richer, For Poorer demonstrate. When he is in the sort of role that mass audiences find comfortable, though, he is a license to print money, and he's much, much cheaper than other A-list stars to boot.
As you can see, a sequel makes fantastic financial sense for the studio, so it's no surprise that, after eight years of waiting, the new production has finally arrived. The good news is that several funny people have been brought along for the new journey. This group includes brilliant comedian and Talk Soup host Aisha Tyler in the key role of Mother Nature. Also along for the journey are the long under-appreciated Judge Reinhold and the marvelous Kevin Pollack. Elizabeth Mitchell, whom you all know from Gia, whether you admit it or not, has the key role in the film of Allen's potential love interest. This is because the plot for the sequel is keyed upon the idea that there is a -clause- in the Santa contract (Get it? Then you must be at least six years old.). It requires our heroic red-suited gift-giver to be married within a month of assuming his duties; otherwise, he will forfeit his title to the first runner-up in the Mr. North Pole pageant. I am certain that we may expect tons of missteps, high-jinks and shenanigans along the way, building up to a heartwarming finale that will teach us all the true meaning of Christmas.
And it will make a ton of money and demonstrate phenomenal legs throughout the December and January campaign. You also have to give Tim Allen credit here. This film could have already been in theaters, but he held off the production for a full year to make certain the script was better. In the interim, all he had on his schedule were Big Trouble, an against-type performance that was a tough sell even prior to the events of 9/11, and Joe Somebody. Neither title was a surefire hit, yet he didn't take the easy way out and do the guaranteed hit sequel until he felt comfortable with its quality. That's rare in this day and age of money-now thinking and I tip my cap to him on it. Of course, I tip my cap to anyone who casts Kevin Pollack. (David Mumpower/BOP)
November 1, 2002
Tim Allen isn’t bulletproof, as the recent box office failures of Joe Somebody and Big Trouble have shown. It’s impossible to know for certain whether Big Trouble was a victim of bad circumstances (it was buried as an embarrassment after the events of 9/11) or just a bomb waiting to happen, but there’s no doubt that Joe Somebody was just a financial disaster. That may be the reason that Disney’s campaign for this Christmas sequel smacks a bit of desperation. They’ve had an unusual number of advance screenings of the film, and free tickets are attached to copies of The Santa Clause DVD that is just now hitting stores. Oddly, the television campaign seems to be muted in contrast. Ads are visible, but not prominent (though it’s possible that Sony just bought up all the airtime for I Spy), though they are fairly effective in establishing that The Santa Clause 2 should provide holiday fun for the entire family. The movie is slated to go ultra-wide on its opening weekend, and considering the recent dearth of good family entertainment, the name alone might be enough to propel it to a successful box office run. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Vital statistics for The Santa Clause 2
Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell
Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Wendy Crewson, Judge Reinhold, Michael Dorn
Leonardo Benvenuti, Ken Daurio, Ed Decter, Cinco Paul, Steve Rudnick, John J. Strauss
||Walt Disney Pictures
||Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture
Comparison films for The Santa Clause 2
|Toy Story 2
|Santa Clause 2, The
|Santa Clause, The
|Jungle 2 Jungle
|Jingle all the Way
|Galaxy Quest ^