Cam's Blog

December 17, 2010

A short history of the Christmas boxing film

Filed under: Movies — cfranc @ 10:59 pm

I just got back from watching “The Fighter” with Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg, which is amazing. You should stop reading this right now, go to the theater and hand over your money, enjoy the film, and then return and continue reading.

Done? Good.

Have you ever noticed a tendency for boxing movies to be released around Christmas time? I have:

The Fighter
Release Date: December 10, 2010
Tomatometer: 89%
Awards: Academy Award to Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor (predicted).

Rocky Balboa
Release Date: December 20, 2006
Tomatometer: 76%
Awards: None?

Million Dollar Baby
Release Date: December 15, 2004 (Limited), January 28, 2005 (Wide)
Tomatometer: 91%
Awards: Lots and lots. See here.

Ali
Release Date: December 25, 2001
Tomatometer: 67%
Awards: None?

The Hurricane
Release Date: December 29, 1999 (Limited), January 14, 2000 (Wide)
Tomatometer: 83%
Awards: Golden Globe for Best Actor to Denzel Washington. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Play it to the Bone
Release Date: December 25, 1999
Tomatometer: 12%
Awards: None?

The Boxer
Release Date: December 31, 1997
Tomatometer: 76%
Awards: Nominated for three Golden Globes

Rocky IV
Release Date: November 27, 1985
Tomatometer: 44%
Awards: None?

Raging Bull
Release Date: December 19, 1980
Tomatometer: 98%
Awards: Academy award for Best actor to Rober De Niro, and Academy Award for Best Editing. Probably many others.

Rocky
Release Date: December 3, 1976
Tomatometer: 93%
Awards: Academy Awards for Best Picture, Actor and Editing. Nominated for several other Academy Awards, probably won a bunch of others too.

I’ve probably missed a bunch as I’m not a professional boxing movie historian. It seems like a disproportionate number of boxing movies appearing around Christmas, though. Is this an attempt to get the movies out before award season, or does the film industry believe that North American’s love themselves a good-old Christmas boxing match? Maybe take out some of the pent-up holiday frustration with family and friends in a healthy cinematic scuffle? I dunno.

(The Tomatometer readings were taken on Friday December 17, 2010.)

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