12/21/2012 04:48 pm ET Updated Dec 25, 2012

Christmas Day Movies: 'Les Miserables,' 'Django Unchained,' 'This Is 40' & More

Christmas Day movie releases have become quite a tradition in the last decade. The 10 highest-grossing Christmases at the box office have occurred in the last 10 years ("Sherlock Holmes," "Avatar," "Meet the Fockers," "Marley and Me," "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "National Treasure: Book of Secrets," "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"). This year, "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" will hope to crack that list.

Why the sudden influx of Christmas Day content? It's likely an assortment of things: Awards season demands that high-profile movies come out before the end of the year, meaning filmmakers sometimes need as much time as possible to finish their work. (Directors Tom Hooper and Quentin Tarantino both can attest to that.) Christmas Day is also a national day of rest, meaning everyone is off even if they don't observe the religious holiday.

"Like other annual holidays, Memorial Day weekend and Thanksgiving notably, there is more leisure time that drives an appetite for movies, and Christmas moviegoing is the quintessential shared entertainment experience," Howard Ballon of Networked Insights, a research firm that focuses on real-time consumer data, told HuffPost Entertainment via email. According to Networked Insights, audiences are most excited about "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained."

Below, a look at "Les Mis," "Django" and 11 other movies families and friends can enjoy this Christmas.

Christmas Day Movies