The 15 Most Valuable Christmas Movies🎄
The most wonderful time of year... to compare who's streaming what and winning
Chances are right now you might be listening to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, a song recorded in 1994 whose enduring popularity resulted in $6.16 million in global revenue and publishing royalties in 2021.
Turns out (duh!) that Christmas is a big business not just for Black Friday retailers and airlines, but also for entertainment. Ever since Home Alone brought in almost $500 million in box office in 1990, the holiday has only multiplied as a tentpole event for movies and TV. Add to that streaming, and there is a full-fledged separate economy of Christmas entertainment supporting production companies, a sea of actors and an annual influx of residual payments.
From the BBC last December:
More than 200 new feature films and TV movies with the word Christmas in the title are listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) for release in 2021.
That number has doubled since 2016 and is four times more than in 2011.
Channels and streamers have discovered festive films are big ratings winners.
Today, in the Christmas spirit, I’m going to look at “classic” Christmas films, then see which entertainment company streams or airs the most, and then contextualize what it says about Hollywood and all of its various, shifting business models.
For example, the major studios have mostly stopped releasing Christmas films in theaters. Conversely, the DVD and Blu-ray sales for classic holiday films may surprise you with just how much money they still make. (Back in 2020, I wrote a piece for Decider arguing that you could tell the economic history of Hollywood through Christmas films.)
In this issue, I will...
Tell you the highest-performing Christmas movies of all time.
Show who has the top Christmas films on streaming AND linear television.
Declare some winners and losers.
Share thoughts on what all this says about the entertainment industry.