Why Do So Many Movies Release On Christmas Day (And Why Are They Never Actual Christmas Movies)?
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For many, the holidays are associated with going to the movies. For example, I first saw the hyper-violent martial arts film The Raid 2 on Easter Sunday in 2014. It was a highly religious experience.
That's probably a bit atypical, but, yeah, for some reason movies are constantly released on or around Christmas Day—but notably NOT Christmas movies. That is, actual yuletide films like Elf or The Santa Clause typically release way in early November. By contrast, Christmas week releases can be truly anything. In the past we've gotten blood-soaked, R-rated gorefests like Django Unchained and straight-up horror films like the freaking Exorcist. That feels backwards right? Like who is loading up the car the day after Christmas to take the kids to see a girl puke all over a priest? Well, in many ways, it actually makes sense.
Okay let's start with the more obvious part of this. Movies—in general—release around Christmas because not only are people not working as much, basically everything else is closed. It's the same reason many American families often eat Chinese food on Christmas. There's nothing else open, everybody hates each other, and they need to get out of the house ASAP. If that means forcing little Timmy to watch Quentin Tarantino say the n-word, then so be it.
But why aren't these movies Christmas movies? Well, because the Christmas spirit dies the second you open your gifts. In fact, Christmas movies like Elf are actually pulled from theaters on December 26th. The whole purpose of the Christmas season is building anticipation to the big day. As soon as it's here, BOOM no more Christmas for you! Go watch a Star War or something. Maybe next November we'll remake Love, Actually with even MORE nudity for your grandparents to yell at you about.
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