A Christmas Story 2 has been all over the web this week. I’ve followed the story, but not by choice: everyone seems to be writing about it, whether it’s a news site I read or a friend I follow on Twitter. Even I got in on the act today (as I drafted this post), jokingly wondering which cable network might air the direct-to-DVD “film.”
Joking aside, though, I was curious about the “Why now?” question. A Christmas Story has been popular as long as I can remember, and has only grown in popularity as I’ve aged. I’m not surprised that the rights owners would want to capitalize on the film — in fact, what intrigued me is that they waited so long.
A Christmas Story was not an immediate hit, which is certainly why it wasn’t sequelized in the aftermath of its release, when the film’s stars could have conceivably participated. But it certainly could have been cashed in on during the 90’s or Aughts. This seems at least ten years too late, right?
But the timing, in fact, is perfect. A Christmas Story 2 was never going to be an accepted film, let alone a popular one. Sure, there will be a small minority who will actively anticipate this film, and an even smaller group of that minority will enjoy and defend it. It may even be aired on a cable network during the holidays once or twice. Maybe it could receive its own ironic marathon, bringing my aforementioned joke to fruition.
But the film is being released now because a machine exists to broadcast it to the masses. Sites like The AV Club and Collider and their ilk hate on it because it’s another post to add to their tally. It’s a pageview grab. And rather than make a film that could go to theaters and flop (because no one wants to choose to see A Christmas Story 2, let alone in a public setting), Warner Bros. has chosen to make the gag gift of the year.
I imagine that far too many of us will see A Christmas Story 2 at our holiday gatherings this year. Everyone around us will laugh. Some will even pop the disc in and watch a bit, or all, of it.
But a few of us will realize, “Oh, yes, this is exactly how it was supposed to happen.”