It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for those of us who like to get into the Christmas spirit as early as possible by snuggling up in front of the TV with a festive movie. And whether you’re a bit of a Grinch or consider yourself an enthusiastic elf, everyone has a Christmas movie they turn to every year to celebrate the holiday season. But which popular movie is actually the best, and which one would you be better off leaving for another year?
The Festive Film Franchises study, from CasinoGuardian, analyzes figures for fan reception, box office revenue and fan interest, to reveal which Christmas films really stand the test of time. On top of that, the study also looks at the availability of each festive movie on streaming platforms (Prime Video, Disney+ and Netflix) in the UK and US, to see which provider is best for those looking to be stuck in the cinema this Christmas. .
The best Christmas movies
How do you crown the best Christmas movie? Well, while you can’t go wrong with a Christmas movie – especially if you’re looking for a cozy afternoon – it turns out that some seasonal titles fare better than others in terms of quality. The study analyzed fan reception – based on critic ratings from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes – box office revenue (budget vs. overall profit) and seasonal interest (search data throughout of Winter) to reveal which festive flick is the ultimate Christmas watch.
And it turns out that the highest-scoring film in all three categories was Miracle on 34th Street (1994), starring Mara Wilson, Richard Attenborough and Elizabeth Perkins. The American fantasy comedy-drama tells the story of a little girl and a lawyer who try to prove that an old man named “Kris Kringle” is the real Santa Claus. The film scored pretty well with fans, earning a reception score of 6.4/10 on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, and made an absolute fortune at the box office, earning 73 times its production budget.
Macauley Culkin’s 1990 classic Home Alone, which has a best fan reception score of 7.9/10, and recouped more than 25 times its budget at the worldwide box office, also scores high in the study. . A high proportion of fans also end up looking for the movie as Christmas approaches, despite the franchise taking a bit of a dive after the second installment (Home Alone 2: Lost in New York). Things then slowed down for the Home Alone series, with four more films (Home Alone 3, Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist and Home Sweet Home Alone) struggling to get an impact on the fans.
It’s no surprise, then, that at the other end of the scale, the three most recent Home Alone movies rank among the worst Christmas movies, alongside Jingle All The Way 2. This American Christmas comedy in direct had a much more successful first film. which starred Arnold Schwarznegger, but the second installment featuring Larry the Cable Guy fell flat and as a result has a very low critic score of 3.5/10.
Interestingly, some really “good” Christmas movies show up in the bottom 10 when box office revenue, fan reception, and seasonal interest are taken into account. Christmas with the Kranks – starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis – fared poorly in the study due to a low critical score (4.6/10) and low box office earnings (twice the budget), while Jack Frost with Jack Nicholson also appeared in the last 10 films.
But different movies have different strengths, and fans who don’t hold box office earnings in high regard may be more interested in the best-received party movies. According to cumulative critic ratings and audience scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, the highest-rated film was It’s a Wonderful Life, while Die Hard, Home Alone, and The Muppet Christmas Carol also did well with fans.
Favorite Movie Franchises
While there are classic stand-alone movies like The Grinch, The Holiday, and Love Actually, a key part of the holiday season is navigating your way through an entire movie franchise, like Home Alone. And while we know the latter is disappointed with its later installments, many of us will insist on diligently watching every film in a franchise as a tradition. So, for those who enjoy browsing through a series, which festive franchise is worth it?
The study found that – based on fan reception, box office revenue, and fan interest – the best franchise is Home Alone, even despite the latest installments. The franchise boasts an average fan reception score of 4/10 and a low interest score of 2 – but the success of the first two films starring Macauley Culkin means the series’ profits exceeded its production budget 14 time. Among the best franchises are also The Santa Clause (with Tim Allen and Eric Lloyd) and Nativity!
Seasonal streaming platforms
So that’s great to crown the ultimate Christmas movie, but every TV and movie buff these days knows that half the battle in watching anything is figuring out which streaming platform has the content. . Although many platforms are increasing their festive offerings at this time of year, there are still clear differences between the big three providers – Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. Worse still, some territories have to wait even longer to access their party content, subject to when the platforms make it available in the UK or US.
The study found that when it came to the platform delivering the most festive content, Disney+ was the top performer, delivering an average of 15 festive movies in the UK and US, including Muppets Christmas Carol and Home Alone. The worst performer so far is Netflix, offering an average of 4 festive movies in the UK and US. As of this writing, these party movies include Klaus, Jack Frost, and Deck the Halls.
In general, the UK is also much better off for party content than the US, with 32 films available at the time of writing, compared to 29 in the US. However, this does not take into account programming schedules on cable or satellite. For example, fans in the UK can access a 24/7 Christmas TV channel – which launched earlier this year on September 8 – to get their festive fix, while those in the States States may have to wait to access this content until Thanksgiving is over.
For many of us, streaming Christmas movies is a key part of cheering us up during the winter, as we conducted a quick survey to reveal how people feel about watching festive movies. The results showed that for the majority of people (49%) watching festive movies markedly improves their mood, while 1 in 10 people (9%) don’t feel like it’s really Christmas until they have watched his favorite party movie.
Whether you like to put up your Christmas tree and start streaming festive movies from November 2 hits, or you’re a traditionalist who prefers to wait until December, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to seasonal content.