We don’t need to work out whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie, right? After years of tedious social media debate, we know it counts. But interestingly, Die Hard is a long way from being the most popular Christmas film in the USA. In fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10. Brutal.
Die Hard is right up there with the best action movies of all time, but the prospect of Bruce Willis in a vest saving the day clearly doesn’t tickle people’s fancy when the holidays come around. There’s no accounting for taste, it seems. According to December 2022 research into the best Christmas movies by Statista and YouGov, Die Hard ranks 13th when it comes to the most watched festive films.
It might be one of the best Bruce Willis movies ever, but Die Hard is way down the list. It’s only just ahead of Edward Scissorhands, which is another contentious pick for any list of the best movies to watch over the holidays. Though we’d like to point out that the final act is very much a Christmas story.
As for the top of the list, it’s Home Alone at the summit, followed by How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Frosty the Snowman completes the top five, which is heavily skewed towards the best family movies.
Perhaps this explains why Die Hard is so far down the list. It’s not as if you can sit the kids down in front of an R-rated action movie on Christmas Eve while you prep for the next day’s cooking. You don’t want them running around the house loudly declaring that they “have a machine gun, ho ho ho”.
Mostly though, we think the problem here is that Die Hard is a Christmas movie that doesn’t feel Christmassy. You want to be bathed in festive spirit with a holiday classic, whereas Die Hard is the sort of movie you can just as comfortably watch in the summer. It doesn’t have the same magic.
What’s most shocking, actually, is the lack of new movies on the list. The freshest release in the top 20 is Frozen, which is now a decade old. There are very few other films from this side of the millennium on there, except for the usual exceptions like Elf and the uncanny nightmare of The Polar Express.
We just don’t make Christmas classics like we used to, it seems. Charlie Brown and Rudolph again this year? Probably. At least until the Frozen 3 release date comes around.
For more on Willis’ action escapades, find out about what the Die Hard cast did next and learn why Die Hard was set at Christmas to deceive studio executives. Finally, get some more festive fun as we give you some ideas for a Harry Potter Christmas special.