When “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released just before Christmas in 1946, it was met with mixed reviews and subsequently recorded a loss of over $500,000 for his studio. It took a 1974 clerical error by the film’s next owner to prevent its copyright renewal, opening Jimmy Stewart/Frank Capra’s holiday fantasy to the constant, uninterrupted holiday broadcasts that made it the classic. that he always deserved to be.
“A Christmas Story” took a different route to holiday movie dominance. The nostalgic 1983 comedy was a very modest success when it was first released a week before Thanksgiving and reviews were generally positive, but by Christmas it had disappeared from most theaters. Soon after, he became a mainstay on premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime and a cult following was born.