Keep in mind, when A Christmas Story was released in 1983 it only made $19 million (for comparison, the long-forgotten helicopter action movie Blue Thunder, made 42 million that year). But now it's impossible to get through the holiday season without seeing at least a clip of it (TNT does a 24-hour marathon of just this movie on Christmas Eve every year). It took the cast a few years to realize they had something iconic on their hands.
South Shore CVA
Or tongues for some of them.
"People started commenting to me that I was that guy from that thing they watch every year. By the time it hit the 20th anniversary we were doing a charity fundraiser, and the Mayor decreed it to be Christmas Story Day. And we see like 2,000 people lined up to meet us. That's where you realize that this is something different. It's amazing to watch a 5-year-old kid sit down and watch this whole movie just rapt."
No one involved thought it was anything other than just another acting gig at the time (It was Zack's first film role), probably thinking it would be buried deep in the pages of Hollywood history below such icons as Porky's II: The Next Day.
Box Office Mojo
Also directed by Bob Clark.
"I was doing a charity signing and this guy shows up, he's got to be like 75, and he's with his son, and his son has a kid, and the kid has a child who's like four. So we're talking four generations, and this 75-year-old man is like 'Where are the guys from A Christmas Story? It took place when I was a boy!' So here's this old man who related to the film as if it was his childhood, and he had watched it with his son, and then his son had taken his son to it, and then that guy had had a baby who knew who I was. That's pretty crazy."