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November 22, 1996

Jingle All the Way is a 1996 American Christmas family comedy film directed by Brian Levant. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad as two rival fathers, workaholic Howard Langston (Schwarzenegger) and stressed out postal worker Myron Larabee (Sinbad), both desperately trying to purchase a Turbo-Man action figure for their respective sons on a last-minute shopping spree on Christmas Eve.

Inspired by real-life Christmas toy sell-outs for such items as Cabbage Patch Kids, the film was written by Randy Kornfield. Producer Chris Columbus rewrote the script, adding in elements of satire about the commercialization of Christmas, and the project was picked up by 20th Century Fox. Delays to Fox's reboot of Planet of the Apes allowed Schwarzenegger to come on board the film, while Columbus opted to cast Sinbad ahead of Joe Pesci as Myron. Jingle All the Way was set and filmed in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul at a variety of locations, including the Mall of America. After five weeks filming, production moved to California where scenes such as the end parade were shot. The film's swift production meant merchandising was limited to a replica of the Turbo-Man action figure used in the film.

The film has a 16% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, citing its "uneven tone" that does not balance slapstick and satire well. It grossed $129 million worldwide, and it receives regular broadcasts on television during the Christmas season. In 2001, Fox was ordered to pay $19 million to Murray Hill Publishing for stealing the idea for the film; the verdict was overturned three years later. Jingle All the Way is also the third and final collaboration between Sinbad and Phil Hartman after Coneheads and Houseguest, and the last film featuring Hartman to be released during his lifetime. Despite the negative critical reception, it is very popular during Christmas and is often shown on TV throughout the holiday season.


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