In 1994, no one expected The Santa Clause to do all that well at the box office. its reluctant Santa Claus Tim Allen, a firmly established TV star thanks to Home Improvement, had never lead a movie before. And, hello, it was a Christmas movie that killed Santa and dealt realistically with divorce. And Disney almost didn't even release the film under the Disney Films banner. But then a Christmas miracle happened: It made almost $200 million dollars, certified Allen as one of comedy's top leading man and The Santa Clause became one of the most beloved holiday movies of all-time.
25 years later, the movie has cemented its status as Christmas classic, spawning two hit sequels and earning an eternal spot on TV come December. But the film almost didn't star Allen, as producers were nervous he wasn't a big enough draw at the box office. And the original script was much darker, involving a violent death for Santa Claus.