1. Sherlock Holmes
Excuse me? Released on Christmas Day in 2009, Sherlock Holmes, starring a post-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. riding the crest of film stardom that had eluded him for over a decade, is the titleholder of “the most successful movie shown in theaters on Christmas.” No, it wouldn’t have been my first guess either. No, there’s no championship belt.
Sherlock Holmes, starring Jude Law and Rachael McAddams as well as the aforementioned Downey Jr., was helmed by Guy Ritchie, famous for directing fast-talking plot-twisters like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and produced by Silver Pictures, who have produced a large number of American action films over the last twenty-plus years from Road House to The Matrix to Die Hard. It was distributed by Warner Bros, and grossed a record holding $24,608,941 on its Christmas debut, almost twelve percent of it’s total domestic intake.
In addition to being the most lucrative Christmas Day film ever, Sherlock Holmes garnered one Golden Globe award, a nod to Downey Jr. for Best Actor, as well as a pair of Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction. It was positively received by critics and holds a 70 percent Fresh Rating on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomato-meter.
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