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Where have all the great Christmas films gone?

Another year, and once again time to settle down in front of the television to feast upon those tasty festive films. One year on though, and we still find ourselves playing the same old flicks with next to nothing new to get our teeth into. With Christmas being in higher demand than ever before, largely thanks to the streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. There are more and more being churned out than ever before, but why aren’t they as good as they used to be?

Take Last Christmas, the Paul Feig-directed romantic comedy starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, which was released in November. Now, we gave that a pretty decent review (4 stars) but it was largely panned by the critics. However, due to the audience’s hunger for an early Yuletide treat, and the George Michael-inspired soundtrack, the movie has been a huge success at the box office, grossing $69.7m worldwide in less than a month.

There’s also The Grinch, the 2018 reboot of the Dr Seuss Christmas classic. The animation, which features the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character received mixed reviews – but it took a whopping $500m + at the global box office, making it the second-most successful Christmas film ever behind the festive classic Home Alone.

In fact, none of the 10 highest-rated Christmas movies on IMDB were released after 2005. The biggies on the list include the likes of Home Alone and its sequel ‘Lost In New York’, as we as the classic Elf and everyone’s favourite Christmastime romantic comedy, Love, Actually.

There is definitely a distinct lack of movies produced certainly in the last 15 years, but there might be good reason.

Netflix, a relatively new company to the fold who wouldn’t have their releases show on any top-grossing lists for obvious reasons, are leading the charge with newly produced, original holiday movies though, releasing seven Christmas films in November and December this year, five of which were rom-coms.

There are the likes of The Knight Before Christmas and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, as well as Holiday in the Wild. They also have a big Christmas movie set for Christmas 2020, a follow up to The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. We’re definitely looking forward to that one.

They have the money, are easily accessible and very watchable.

The folks at Betway have done some extensive research into the Christmas movie generally, including listing which ones have been the most successful films over the years.

There are also the critics’ choices, topped by arguably the best Christmas film of all time (well, except for Die Hard), It’s A Wonderful Life.

You can check out their findings on the graphic below.


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