The summer of 1984 got off to a big start at the box office with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom on Memorial Day weekend, followed by blockbusters like Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock. Up against that competition, it’s not surprising that The Karate Kid opened up in fifth place in its opening weekend. But as word of mouth about the movie spread, it kept people coming to theaters and, although it never ranked higher than fourth in any given weekend, it finished the year as 1984’s fifth-biggest movie. It also had its own legendary catchphrase: “Wax on, wax off!” Those words, of course, represented the training advice of the sage Mr. Miyagi, played in the film by veteran actor Pat Morita. While Morita passed away in 2005, his spirit lives on in Cobra Kai, the Karate Kid sequel series that’s currently in its second season (with a third already announced). Ralph Macchio, who starred in the movies as well as Cobra Kai, says he doesn’t think the film would have had such an enduring legacy without Morita’s contributions. (Click on the media bar below to hear Ralph Macchio)
Cobra Kai is currently streaming on YouTube Premium.