8. Die Hard
Box office gross: $83 million
No words better encapsulate what the past 25 years have meant to this film's Christmas legacy than those read off by terrorist/bank robber Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). While walking out of a second-run theater in Portland that was showing Die Hard as part of its holiday lineup, we overheard one bit of consensus from the moviegoers around us: "I don't remember this movie being this funny."
From the cocaine-and-finance stereotypes, to the bad German accents and translation to the scenery-gobbling drama and big-budget blowups, Die Hard has grown into a holiday favorite for its faults as much as its strengths.
A soundtrack that features Run D.M.C.'s Christmas in Hollis played during a limo ride, Vaughn Monroe's Let It Snow playing over the charred remains of Nakatomi Plaza and Beethoven's Ode To Joy throughout certainly has the holiday spirit, but the unrestrained, over-the-top '80s audaciousness of this film gives it the feel-good holiday vibe that contemporaries like Lethal Weapon lack. When you can build around a NSFW catchphrase and still serve as a growing swath of the country's favorite holiday film, you're getting something about Christmas that candy-coated "traditional" holiday films just don't.