Ahead Of The Santa Clauses’ Disney+ Premiere, Tim Allen Admits The Santa Clause 3 Was ‘Infected’ By Previous Success

Tim Allen's Santa Claus and Martin Short's Jack Frost in The Santa Clause 3
(Image credit: Disney)

Christmas season is right around the corner, but there’s only another week to go until we reunite with Santa Claus… well, a specific version of Santa Claus. Tim Allen is back as the bearded gift-giver in The Santa Clauses, the miniseries that will stream exclusively to Disney+ subscribers. Allen last played Scott Calvin in 2006’s The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, which earned significantly more negative critical reception compared to the first two movies. In fact, Allen has admitted that the reason for the threequel’s failure to hit with audiences was because it was “infected” by the success of its predecessors.

While talking about why he agreed to put the red suit back on for The Santa Clauses and working with Last Man Standing writer Jack Burditt on figuring out the miniseries’ story, Tim Allen mentioned hoe he wanted to “rein it in” on this project because “we overshot the runway on number three.” The THR interviewer later noted how The Santa Clause 3 had a “different tone” compared to the previous movies, to which Allen said:

What happened was that we became infected by our own success. [1994’s The Santa Clause] was huge, but we had about $11 for special effects. [2002’s The Santa Clause 2] was an extension of that but now we could put lights in the window because we had more production money. By number three, all we had was money. The story kind of just got bigger and bigger. And the fact that Marty Short and I never did a scene together that was funny, I’m still going huh. That’s the funniest human being I’ve ever been around, other than me, and we never got a shot to do a real big scene together.

While 1994’s The Santa Clause had a production budget of around $22 million and 2002’s The Santa Clause 2 had a production budget of around $65 million, there are different amounts for how much it cost to put The Santa Clause 3 together, with some sources saying it was as low as $12 million. That seems unlikely if Tim Allen is correct that the threequel had a lot more money to work with, though the downside is that he believes having that extra green available to increase the scale came to the detriment of the story. Whether The Santa Clause 3 had a decently-sizes budget or not, Allen made it clear that it wasn’t the movie’s only issue, as he was also displeased that he and Martin Short, who played main antagonist Jack Frost, didn’t share a lot of screen time together.

Financially speaking, The Santa Clause 3 did quite well for itself, raking in over $110 million worldwide, but because it was received so poorly by the public, that marked the end of the Santa Clause film series. So when The Santa Clauses came along, Tim Allen told the people he was working with that somehow they need to “explain that one away and bring it back down to magic.” It remains to be seen how the miniseries will compare to the movies, but it sounds like Allen had a more positive experience this time around.

The Santa Clauses, which dropped its first trailer last month, sees Scott Calvin deciding right before 65 that he wants to retire from being Santa Claus, so he sets out to find his replacement. Other actors who returned for the miniseries with Tim Allen include Elizabeth Mitchell, Eric Lloyd and David Krumholtz (a lot of people are especially excited to see him back), while the lineup of newcomers includes Kat Penn, Austin Kane, Elizabeth Allen-Dick, Matilda Lawler and Laura San Giacomo. The first two Santa Clauses episodes premiere November 16 on Disney+.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.