Movies | December 4, 2021 3:09 pm

New Study Reveals the Nation’s Favorite Christmas Movies

Plenty to ponder when considering your holiday viewing

Christmas tree
Where do you stand on the great Christmas movie debates of our time?
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Christmas is only a few weeks away, and with it comes one of the year’s most enduring pastimes: arguing about Christmas movies. Some of these perennial debates can be divisive, including “So, is Love Actually actually good?” and “Is Die Hard really a Christmas movie?” All of which can make for a challenging season of trying to figure out just what to bring up for seasonal viewing with family and friends.

If you’ve ever wondered what Christmas movies are most popular around the country — and around the world — a new study has some surprising results, as well as some that are a bit less shocking. The study comes from Preply, who analyzed box office data and critical and audience reviews, and then explored those results state by state and internationally. According to the study, the country’s favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone, followed by Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Elf, Edward Scissorhands and Happiest Season.

It’s certainly a wide-ranging top five, and a deeper dive into the data reveals even more. Here are some of the top takeaways from it we noticed.

The nation’s top 25 blended classics with newer films. The top five wasn’t the only place where old and new films coexisted. The 2015 film Krampus placed seventh, while The Christmas Chronicles and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (both 2018) placed at 19th and 24th, respectively.

Certain films dominated in certain regions. The study offered some state-by-state results (Jingle All the Way is huge in Minnesota, apparently), but some of the most interesting data gleaned from this were the films most popular by region. Elf is big in the Midwest, while Home Alone was most popular in the Northeastern U.S. The Polar Express had its strongest showing in the South, while The Nightmare Before Christmas fared best out west.

Krampus is big in Germany. A look at how these films fared internationally found substantial international audiences for Home Alone and Love Actually. One data point that’s both surprising and less so? Germans really liked Krampus.

There’s plenty more to look over in the study, which could also make for a good source of information to throw into the conversation at holiday parties and dinners. There also some interesting omissions — notably, a certain Bruce Willis-led action classic. And, sadly, my own holiday film of choice — Rare Exports — also didn’t make the list. Well, there’s always next year.