Gremlins caroling Joe Dante

Gremlins, Batman Returns, and more genre classics top list for most popular Christmas movies in U.S.

Contributed by
Dec 11, 2018

Sure, there's no denying that It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street are true classics of the holiday season, but — believe it or not — they're not the most popular to watch around Christmastime. Not by a long shot, folks. 

According to a new study undertaken by the Streaming Observer, it's the "unconventional Christmas movies ... that subvert your expectations of what to expect from a typical holiday film," which really have a foothold in America during the most wonderful time of the year. The results were broken down by the most popular Christmas movies in each state in America. 

favorite-christmas-movies-by-state

Credit: Streaming Observers

Obviously, John McTiernan's Die Hard is one of the big heavy hitters, but Joe Dante's Gremlins (the horror/comedy that helped create the PG-13 rating) is the top pick in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Arkansas. Ironically, it is not the most beloved holiday film in New York, the state in which Gremlins takes place.

Some of the other big genre favorites are Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (New Mexico), Edward Scissorhands (Nevada, Arizona), Scrooged (Oregon, Wyoming, and Kansas), and Batman Returns (Florida, Louisiana, and California). Impressively, that's three Burton movies on the list, and here we were, thinking that Shane Black (The Predator) had a monopoly on Christmas. 

Batman Returns Catwoman The Penguin

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Funnily enough, It's A Wonderful Life didn't even rank among the states, despite being one of those definitive holiday classics. Miracle on 34th Street made it just under the wire in Maryland. Elf and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the 1966 TV special) popped up in Kentucky and Idaho respectively, but they're pretty cut and dry holiday offerings that don't necessarily subvert one's expectations about what a Christmas-based movie should be. 

The favorite wintry movie of Maine (Stephen King's home state) is The Snowman. No, not the Michael Fassbender crime thriller from last year. We're talking about the 1982 animated short based on the book by Raymond Riggs. David Bowie lent his voice to a later release of the film. 

What's your favorite unconventional Christmas movie? Sound off in the comments below!


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