Some Nerd Did A Data-Driven Dive To Determine If ‘Die Hard’ Is An Xmas Movie

Die Hard. Is it a Christmas movie? Is it not a Christmas movie? Is it all just a waste of time? The debate has raged on seemingly endlessly since virtually the dawn of time, with little hope for any sort of resolution in sight. Because movie arguments like this are largely subjective, any “definitive” answer one way or the other can quite easily be trumped by another and so on and so forth. But now things might actually be a little bit clearer, thanks to a researcher on the big, bad internet who has a) too much spare time, and b) a burning desire to put this whole shebang to bed.

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Film industry researcher Stephen Follows analysed actual, quantifiable data surrounding not only Die Hard by itself, but action movies and “traditional” Christmas movies on the whole, comparing findings to determine whether or not Die Hard belongs on the shelf next to Predator, or whether you can file it away on the festive shelf alongside Jingle All The Way.

In short, the study presents its argument in three parts: The first, Creative, argues that Die Hard features a raft of Christmas-related songs in it, making it more more Christmassy than 99.2% of films released between 1988 and 2017, at least as far as soundtrack goes.

Where it really gets interesting is in parts 2 and 3, Commercial and Culture respectively.

In part 2, Follows argues that due to Die Hard‘s original July release date, and all its accompanying promotional material, 20th Century Fox definitely didn’t originally intend for the film to be positioned as a holiday favourite.

However, in part 3, Follows details how, over time, the film has come to be viewed as a Christmas favourite, largely through spikes in Wikipedia page views and Google searches in December, which is atypical for a standard action movie.

So the conclusion here? The data shows that Die Hard was not originally a Christmas movie. But over time, mostly thanks to the debate, it has become one. And the only thing that’ll change is that it’ll become even more intrinsically linked to Christmas over time.

It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it turns out.

So there you bloody well go.

The full report can be read via this link. It’s an interesting read if you, like me, are a big nerd for stats.

Ho ho ho, folks. Ho ho ho indeed.