The holidays are a time for family traditions, where people gather together with loved ones, bake cookies, sing carols, and exchange gifts. Holiday movies have also become an essential part of the season, as people look forward to viewing their old favorites, in addition to taking in the new festive films.
People look forward to seeing how filmmakers will integrate fresh ideas with classic traditions to create new movies for the holidays each year. This year is no different, as a spokesperson from Rotten Tomatoes, a site dedicated to movie reviews, information, and updates, cites A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Arthur Christmas, and New Year's Eve, as new holiday movies hitting the theaters.
New holiday movies have tough competition as many old favorites are considered timeless classics. Films such as Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and White Christmas have been passed down through generations as family traditions since the 1940s and 50s.
The Relationship Between Movies and the Holidays
“Studios have traditionally capitalized on the holidays to release holiday-themed movies, almost since the beginning of cinema,” says Rotten Tomatoes’ spokesperson. “As early as 1901, there is a British adaptation of A Christmas Carol called Scrooge or Marley’s Ghost.”
Rotten Tomatoes’ spokesperson says that holiday movies are a great way to draw in audiences who are in a holiday frame of mind, and to use the holiday as a sort of pre-branding.
“For example, the movie Valentine’s Day wasn’t adapted from a pre-existing property, but some moviegoers could be expected to attend it just because of its affiliation with the holiday, and their expectations of what they would see,” says Rotten Tomatoes’ spokesperson.
Despite the ever-expanding list of holiday movies on the market, Rotten Tomatoes’ spokesperson says that summer is historically the most profitable time of the year for the movie industry, as that is when most big-budget films are released.
The Top 15 Most Popular Holiday Movies
Many people can easily name their favorite movie to watch over the holidays, while others have a hard time deciding on just one since there are so many great options.
Rotten Tomatoes’ spokesperson said the site came up with a list of the top 15 most popular holiday movies last year. The results, including both timeless classics and newer favorites, are as follows:
1. Holiday Inn (1942)
2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
3. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
4. Die Hard (1988)
5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
6. Trading Places (1983)
7. A Christmas Story (1984)
8. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
9. Elf (2003)
10. The Santa Clause (1994)
11. Bad Santa (2003)
12. White Christmas (1954)
13. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
14. Love Actually (2003)
15. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Author: Laura Jerpi