The Action Movie That Almost Ruined Bruce Willis’ Career

More than 30 years after its original theatrical release, “Die Hard” continues to hold down its spot among the greatest action films ever produced. Whether you consider it a holiday movie or not — there’s no denying that it takes place on Christmas Eve and begins with a season-specific office party — the battle of wits, guns, and C4 explosions between John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) is a good time for all.

While Willis was already well-known at the time of the film’s production from his work alongside Cybill Shepherd on the ABC dramedy “Moonlighting,” there’s no doubting that “Die Hard” catapulted the Carneys Point, New Jersey, product into a new stratosphere as a Hollywood star. Per Box Office Mojo, the 1988 movie grossed more than $141 million at the international box office against a production budget of just $28 million. And within a handful of years of its release, Willis was making waves with projects like “Look Who’s Talking” and “Die Hard 2.” 

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