Where have all the great Christmas films gone?

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While the likes of Paul Feig’s Last Christmas and the 2018 reboot of Dr Seuss’s The Grinch may have performed well at the UK box office, critics largely turned their noses up at both (the latter has a score of just 59% on Rotten Tomatoes). So where have all the great Christmas films gone?

One answer could be the big streaming platforms. Netflix, in particular, has launched seven Christmas films in November and December of this year. Features like The Knight Before Christmas and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby would be unlikely to garner much in the way of cinema support, but their starry casts and glossy marketing – and free-to-watch appeal for subscribers – will likely translate into solid viewing figures over the Christmas period.

Film critic Nicholas Barber says those films are an example of a wider strategy for streaming services. “What [Netflix] do is pump it out,” Barber says. “They’re behind some really great films, but essentially they’re about quantity over quality. That’s not just about Christmas films, that’s everything. They put out this massive number of films, which has never been done before. They’ve got so much money and it’s all about just getting tons and tons of content out there.”

Courtesy of Betway Sports, here’s a rundown of the biggest Christmas movies of all time.


As you can see, with a collective $1.45 billion taken between them, Home Alone’s Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and The Grinch are the undisputed commercial kings of Christmas movies, with standalone films such as the oft-lampooned Love Actually, Elf and The Santa Claus perennially rolled out back into cinemas and onto TV channels come December-time.

So what is likely to be the big Christmas hit of 2019? Next week, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Tom Hooper’s Cats will duke it out for festive bragging rights, with Greta Gerwig’s Little Women waiting in the wings. The final chapter in the latest trilogy, and carrying in tow a budget of approximately $300 million, The Rise of Skywalker looks almost certain to take the global crown – and all without a snowman in sight.


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