When Annie was released in 1982, it was a big deal. This was a big budget film based on the hit Broadway musical and long running comic. My sisters were both big fans of Annie. Not only did they see the film, but followed along with the production, a lot of which was in New Jersey.
The film might not have been the hit that Hollywood hoped, but memories of its release and hype would float around my family home for decades. One piece of Annie-mania that my sisters missed was Absolutely Annie Clothing from Sears.
This was a clothing line based on the Annie character in the film, not really fashions represented in the film, save for Annie’s signature dress. The rest of the goods they sold were simply Annie-themed. Stuff like Annie dolls, sheets and bedding. If you want to see some specific Annie Merchandise from that year, you should check out Wishbookwebs 1982 Sears Catalog.
What was released is mostly Annie branded clothing and a few toys. This seems like a missed opportunity. Perhaps if they had gone with the other period specific fashions choices from the film, orphan-chic could have become a trend.
The advertising is so optimistic. It states right at the top that, “Annie opens to rave reviews.” Then it goes on to explain a little bit about the film and its star. So you better be ready for the Absolutely Annie collection coming in June.
Now if the film had already opened to rave reviews and it opened in June. How is the Absolutely Annie collection, which is also premiering in June, not yet available? I am guessing they are just assuming Annie is going to be a hit and open to rave reviews.
Neither of those things were true. It opened to mixed reviews from critics and made just $57 million dollars on a $50 million dollar budget. It was a top 10 film for 1982, but nowhere near what was expected.
Still, I enjoyed the film a lot and I imagine if I was a little curly-headed redhead, I would have leaned hard into this release. That would have been my moment to shine.