An elf in our favorite holiday makes the sadness go away.
Few Christmas films become classics, and even fewer do so as quickly as Will Ferrell’s “Elf.” Jon Favreau’s unusual holiday film remains a fan favorite nearly two decades later. Even though the film deviated slightly from its original concept, it was the best option.
“Elf” performed well in theaters, and many continue to view it. Favreau asserts that the original “Elf” script greatly emphasized comedy and aimed at a mature audience, which may have prevented it from becoming a Christmas classic.
Many people associate Christmas with family, so a film that the entire family cannot relish probably would have performed poorly during the holiday season. In its final part, “Elf” was about celebrating Christmas with family, even if that family did not resemble a conventional one.
Buddy is a human adopted by Santa’s minions in the film, and Buddy, portrayed by Will Ferrell, has difficulty fitting in at the North Pole. When Buddy discovers he has a biological father in New York, he departs to spend Christmas with him, and Buddy has a more difficult time blending in with humans than with elves.
The film’s popularity was due to its focus on feeling like an outsider or discovering family during the holiday season. In either case, “Elf’s” triumph cannot be denied, and the evidence speaks for itself.
“Elf” placed third among the ten highest-grossing holiday films, with $173 garnered at the box office, more than Tim Allen’s three Santa Clause films combined.
In comparison, “Polar Express” by Tom Hanks earned $182 million, and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Jim Carrey topped the list. If “Elf 2” had ever been released, it would have undoubtedly landed on the same high-grossing film list. However, the intended sequel to “Elf” was never produced.
Officially, Ferrell’s schedule was too packed for him to commit to a second “Elf.” In addition, he claimed he did not want to create a weapon that would tarnish “Elf’s” well-earned reputation.
There are allegations, however, that Favreau and Ferrell did not get along, so Ferrell refused to film a sequel. James Caan, Ferrell’s co-star, was reportedly disappointed, as he was anticipating a hefty paycheck from “Elf 2.”
Buddy, portrayed by Will Ferrell, stated that a sequel to the low-budget PG comedy had been written. Ferrell said he was offered $29 million for participating in the film. Still, he declined the offer because it would have been inauthentic for him to participate in a film whose premise he didn’t enjoy.
“I would have had to advertise the film from an honest perspective, which would have been, ‘Oh no, it’s terrible. I could not refuse that amount of money,'” Ferrell told the outlet. “And I wondered, ‘Can I actually utter those words? I don’t believe I can, so I can’t do the movie.”
Despite taking on more serious roles later in his career, in films such as “Stranger Than Fiction” and “Everything Must Go” and the Lifetime drama-thriller “A Deadly Adoption,” Ferrell said he wishes to continue to rely on pure comedy for emotional relief. “There’s just so much going on in the world, and it’s sometimes nice to turn your brain off,“ said Ferrell.
Although “Elf” was a worldwide box office success, Ferrell expressed reservations about the film’s impact on his career. He shared that he remembers running around New York in his silly yellow tights, thinking, “‘Boy, this could be the end.'”