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Die Hard joins Disney+ Xmas lineup, amidst debate

December 3, 2021

By Nik Roseveare

To celebrate Die Hard launching on Disney+, YouGov has conducted a nationwide survey answering the question that family and friends debate each festive season, “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” Over 2,000 adults (18+) from across the UK took part in the survey.

The 1988 Oscar nominated movie stars Bruce Willis as a New York City police detective John McClane who is caught up in a terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles skyscraper while visiting his estranged wife. For the past 30 years, the movie has caused much debate over whether or not it is a Christmas movie.

The results of the survey demonstrates that the debate continues, with only a fraction more people voting that it is not a Christmas movie (47 per cent) compared to those voting that it is (44 per cent). There is also some disagreement between the sexes with 50 per cent of men who have seen Die Hard voting that it is a Christmas movie, compared with just 37 per cent of women who have watched the film.

The survey found that people around the UK debate over the genre of Die Hard as much as they do about whether or not to serve sprouts or whether to watch the Queen’s speech or not.

Why can’t people agree?

The main reason people believe the movie should be a part of the Christmas catalogue is because the movie is set at a Christmas party (72 per cent).

On the other side of the argument, almost half of those who said Die Hard wasn’t a Christmas movie, voted that just because it is set at Christmas doesn’t mean it counts as a Christmas film. Some 37 per cent of those who voted said the reason they didn’t believe it was a Christmas movie is because it is an action genre.

James King, film critic said: “Die Hard is a Christmas movie now but it didn’t start out as one. Back in 1988 when it was released in the summer, I don’t think anyone thought it was a festive film. Sure it had a seasonal setting but it was hardly warm and cuddly. But over time the fans have embraced its Christmas background and reinterpreted it as a yuletide classic. That’s what’s great about brilliant films: they don’t just have to be one thing”.

The biggest Christmas debates

Christmas raises some big questions every year. According to the survey, people debate over whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie as much as they do about having sprouts or not on Christmas day, or whether to watch the Queen’s speech.

Top Ten debates that people have at Christmas (ranked):

  1. What time to open presents (30 per cent)
  2. What movies to watch (28 per cent)
  3. Who’s doing the washing up (23 per cent)
  4. Who is hosting Christmas dinner/ lunch (19 per cent)
  5. What time to eat the turkey (16 per cent)
  6. = Whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not (12 per cent)
  7. = Sprouts or no sprouts? (12 per cent)
  8. = Whether to watch the Queen’s speech or not (12 per cent)
  9. Getting glammed up vs wearing pyjamas all day (9 per cent)
  10. What time the in-laws are coming (7 per cent)

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