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A Christmas Story Christmas Will Ignore The Previous Sequel Attempts

Have you heard? HBO Max is giving us something perhaps no one needed: A sequel to the beloved holiday classic "A Christmas Story."

Surprisingly, when "A Christmas Story" premiered in 1983, it wasn't nearly the success it became. It only grossed $13 million dollars that year, per Box Office Mojo — which is perhaps less surprising considering what else was released in 1983, like "Tootsie," "Flashdance," "Trading Places," and at No. 1, "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi." In his review, Roger Ebert said, "My guess is either nobody will go to see it, or millions of people will go to see it." Turns out both are true: While few people saw it when it premiered, its VHS release two years later allowed many to see it, per Vanity Fair, and buy, share, and watch it regularly. When TNT began showing the film on a 24-hour loop in 1997, that solidified its position as a bona fide Christmastime classic — even if not everyone feels it's a good Christmas movie.

Now, HBO Max released the first trailer for "A Christmas Story Christmas" on Twitter on November 1, and the film is set to start streaming on November 17. Many original stars have returned, including the original foursome of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), his brother Randy (Ian Petrella), Flick (Scott Schwartz), and Schwartz (R.D. Robb), and even big bully Scut Farkus (Zack Ward). But this isn't the first attempt at a sequel — not that this new movie will give any indication of it.

There have been a few sequels about Ralphie Parker's adventures

There were actually a few sequels to "A Christmas Story." And perhaps all prove Yahoo's point that "A Christmas Story" is less about Christmas than about consumerism, children in pain, and the misadventures of the Parker family. All the films, including the 1983 original, are based on the autobiographical stories of Jean Shepherd.

After PBS aired televised stories about Ralphie and his family in the late 1980s, 1994 saw "It Runs in the Family," later retitled "My Summer Story," released as a sequel to "A Christmas Story," per Paste. Having nothing to do with Christmas, the film follows the Parker family on a fishing trip the following summer. None of the cast returned, as the movie featured Charles Grodin and Mary Steenburgen as Ralphie's parents and Kieran Culkin as Ralphie. It also brought the occasionally mentioned hillbilly neighbors The Bumpuses into the spotlight. It brought in a $70 million worldwide gross and was received poorly.

Trying again to recapture the original magic with more direct ties, the straight-to-video "A Christmas Story 2" was released in 2012 and received even more poorly. That same year also saw the Broadway musical adaptation of "A Christmas Story," produced by Peter Billingsley and later shown live on television in 2017. But it's unfair to call that a sequel, as Billingsley told Playbill, "it's really an extension of the story." 

Perhaps fortunately, Netflix will not address any of these sequels in "A Christmas Story Christmas," according to Variety. They're sure to stick to the original for nostalgia and callbacks.