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Weekly Nerd Chat: What are the Best Nerdy Holiday Movie Releases of All Time?

Us nerds like nothing more than to banter back and forth on nerdy topics in Slack. Here is one of those chats, very lightly edited.

[divider] What are the Best Nerdy Holiday Movie Releases of All Time? [/divider]

Adkins (Co-founder of Nerds on Earth and occasional anti-hero):The topic of this week’s Slack Chat: Best Nerdy Holiday Movie Releases of All Time. I’ve long thought December to be a risky month for movies; what with the busyness inherent in the shopping and family hosting. But box office numbers don’t lie: December is a consistently strong month for theaters.

So let’s talk about our favorite December releases. They don’t necessarily have to be Christmas movies, but they do have to be good. We’ll circle around to the not-so-good a little later in the discussion, but what say ye, Nash and Morgan?

Nash (Our resident Master Builder) I certainly agree with you that December is a strong month and some of the box office hauls have shocked me. My initial thought is that Peter Jackson owns December… and my favorite December release of all time is easily the Adventures of Tin Tin…

JK…the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (However, I hope not for long…)

Morgan (Cosplaying right now): I was just about to say the same thing about Peter Jackson having some kind of hook up with the month of December. Good movies and bad.

And I was also just about to say Return of the King. Great minds.

Adkins Let’s talk about the good for a second. 2001-2003 = LOTR all the way. 2012-2014 = The Hobbit. All with Peter Jackson’s name in the byline. That’s definitely an impressive feat.

Nash #YouKnowThatsRight

Morgan The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was definitely a great holiday release. It started of the series well.

Adkins  Do you guys think that a December release worked for any or all of these films in a way that, say, a May-June release would not have? I mean, did Peter Jackson best the box office for lack of competition?

Nash That’s a good question. I think that we can see a few solid flops in December that would tell you that it isn’t an easy month to have a release.

Like people aren’t just lining up to see anything that comes out in December. Ghost Protocol came out in between those and didn’t net quite as much as the lower end.

Morgan I don’t know, a lot of times I feel like with the Christmas holidays I see more families going to movies, what with all the traveling and reuniting. i-am-legend

Nash I think that you need to generate hype in the right way for a good December release. So the LOTR and Hobbit are just legendary books and once Jackson nailed the first one he had the street cred to put butts in the seats. You had the huge hype build up for Avatar, I Am Legend, and Sherlock Holmes. And while Avatar and I Am Legend were “one and dones,” they all grossed a terrific amount.

Adkins I Am Legend = my favorite December release, so I’m glad you brought it up. It is an interesting case, too. Tis the season to be merry, not scary. And yet with it we have a sci-fi horror (of sorts) that kills in the month of December. In fact, it was the highest grossing non-Christmas movie released in December until 2012 when The Hobbit hit the silver screen.

Nash The Hobbit may hold that spot for…IDK like 4 more days.

I agree with Morgan that families might be more apt to go to a movie all together in December. Which means I also agree with Adkins that scary movies can be very hit or miss in that month.

Morgan I am Legend also had a huge name actor too. With The Hobbit, I just remember not only was I really into fantasy and LOTR but my dad was also. So The Hobbit can reach out to any age and still touch base on every thing that makes a “good” movie.

Nash So explain We Bought a Zoo. :stuck_out_tongue:

Morgan I definitely think scary movies can be a hit or miss for sure. I am Legend was such a shock to me. It was so good, one of my favorite movies in general.

I didn’t see We bought a zoo. Haha just knew it had good music.

Adkins Can’t say as I’ve seen it either, which may be explanation enough.

Also, I had high hopes I could drop a Jingle All the Way joke in this chat, but alas…it was a November release (wa waaaaa).

Nash So you definitely can’t just take a cute story and big time actor and just roll into a large box office weekend in December. It is a month that you have to be intentional about.

Adkins Agreed. And apparently Peter Jackson is the guy you need to consult on such things.

Nash Ok, ready for my actually all time favorite December release?

Adkins Go ahead, Nash.  Let it fly! best nerdy holiday movie releases

Nash Jumanji!! JUMANJI WAS FREAKING SCARY BACK IN THE DAY aaaaand a good family movie!

Adkins A classic! So does it actually best the LOTR in your book?

Morgan Wait was Jumanji a Christmas release?! I completely forgot.

Adkins December 15, 1995.

Morgan That is hands down a favorite.

Nash Love LOTR and made it to all those opening weekends…but man…Jumanji…

Morgan Well then, that changes my mind. Jumanji, hands down.

Nash Anyway…shall we move on to the movie that is probably going to trump all movies in December releases ever?

Adkins Let’s.


I even watched 60 minutes this week because JJ Abrams was on.

Adkins Dang. #committed.

Nash So to the notion that you have to have a couple keys ingredients: iconic story, big time actor, and a really good hype machine. Will Star Wars make good on all this and meet expectation?

Adkins You seem to be of the former opinion. Morgan?

Morgan Well I think this movie is far from doomed. If anything Help us Force Awakens, you’re our only hope to making this the best Christmas movie release.

Nash #wellplayed

Morgan #domybest

Adkins I don’t think there’s a nerd among us that isn’t hyped for the release AND also doesn’t already have tickets. As jaded as some of us are with the new canon, we still love us the Star Wars universe and will likely continuing shelling out our money to experience it.

Nash Final thought: I certainly don’t think they are going to have any trouble breaking the box office. I also don’t think we are going have another Episode 1 fiasco. However part of me stresses for JJ Abrams and company in that they have like Cloud City high expectations of their movie and next trilogy, especially considering they have revamped the old canon that everyone loved.  So I am excited, yet pensive, to see exactly what we get.

Morgan Oh they definitely aren’t. For starters: Star Wars has such a HUGE fan base. There is absolutely no way they would struggle with that. And even if you were oblivious to Star Wars, the trailers showed off such dynamic characters and content and I love it so much. I’m way too excited!

Nash I already have plans to see it twice before Monday.

Morgan And thanks for reminding me of Jumanji, which I’ll now be watching this week.

Obviously, we’d love to have you weigh in in the comments. What is your favorite nerdy holiday movie releases?

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