The classic action film, Die Hard, made a return to theaters this weekend, just in time for the holiday season. The audience’s demand to see Bruce Willis’ John McClane take on Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber at Nakatomi Plaza remains strong, with the limited release bringing in nearly $1 million.
This recent showing brings the film’s total worldwide earnings to $142,526,197, 35 years after its initial release in 1988. Despite having a budget of $28 million, the movie exceeded expectations, grossing around $140 million at the box office. Die Hard earned the title of the highest-grossing action film of the year and secured the tenth spot among the highest-grossing films, along with four Oscar nominations.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, the story unfolds on Christmas Eve when John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, visits his estranged wife, Holly Gennero, portrayed by Bonnie Bedelia, at Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. The festive atmosphere takes a drastic turn when terrorists led by Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman, seize control of the building, aiming to steal millions in bearer bonds. McClane embarks on a one-man mission with radio support from a street cop played by Reginald VelJohnson, seeking to eliminate the terrorists, free the hostages, and reunite with his wife in time for Christmas.
The film is celebrated for various reasons, including the standout performances of the two leads. Die Hard catapulted Bruce Willis into action star status, portraying an ordinary cop facing an extraordinary situation. Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Gruber is hailed as one of the best villain performances in film history. The movie spawned four sequels, with varying critical reviews despite being financial successes. There has also been an ongoing debate about whether Die Hard qualifies as a Christmas movie.