With the Fourth of July taking place on Saturday, Americans will have ample time to celebrate freedom. They can spend part of this time by revisiting a trio of popular karate films on Netflix. The streaming service is adding The Karate Kid, The Karate Kid Part II and The Karate Kid Part III just in time for the weekend.
The trio of movies will hit Netflix on July 1 along with several other famous films. The Ryan Reynolds-Isla Fisher romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe is among this group, as is Airplane! The list of additions also includes the John Travolta thriller Swordfish and the Mel Brooks comedy Spaceballs. These films will set the stage for a packed month of content, which includes Netflix originals and classics alike.
The Karate Kid tells the tale of Daniel (Ralph Macchio), a teenager who moves from New Jersey to California. He runs afoul of a group of bullies, but janitor Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) rescues him. Miyagi promises to teach Daniel how to properly use karate, which sets the stage for a bout with the villainous Johnny (William Zabka). Daniel ultimately uses the special "Crane Kick" move against his rival to secure victory.
The Karate Kid drew positive reviews at the time and inspired multitudes of children to enroll in karate classes. The $91,077,276 gross easily surpassed the $8 million budget and made The Karate Kid a commercial success. The film is still Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and holds an 88-percent score.
While the sequels did not receive as positive reviews, the series still continued to bring in revenue. The Karate Kid Part II grossed more than $115 million while The Karate Kid Part III reached more than $38 million. The trio of films also inspired a reboot and a series.
In 2010, Will Smith's son, Jaden Smith, starred in a reimagining of The Karate Kid alongside Jackie Chan. This film took place in China as opposed to the United States, but Jaden still faces off with a bully in a Kung Fu tournament after learning under Chan. This new version of the classic story grossed more than $176 million in the United States and more than $359 million worldwide.
Macchio and Zabka ultimately returned to their iconic roles in 2018 for a series called Cobra Kai. In this continuation of the original film, Zabka reopens the Cobra Kai Dojo while Macchio runs a successful auto dealership. Once again, the two karate aficionados become rivals on the mat.