Most popular Christmas movie by state

According to our findings, the most popular Christmas movie from the past year was A Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001). With many adaptations of the classic novel by Charles Dickens being created over the years, it appears that this animated version, featuring voiceovers from Simon Callow, Kate Winslet, and Nicolas Cage, is a firm favorite. It came out on top in Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

While some states prefer to tune into the old classics, others can’t get enough of the latest releases. Netflix’s Best. Christmas. Ever. is the most popular choice from 2023, despite its rather dire IMDb rating of 4.4 (the lowest overall!). And, as ever, there’s the controversial appearance of the Christmas-movie-that-technically-isn’t-a-Christmas-movie (or is it?), Die Hard.

Which Christmas movie is most popular in your state

Which states favor the old classics and which prefer a modern rom-com?

As you can see from the above table, there’s a huge variation in the age of the movies chosen with the oldest being from 1938 and the most recent being from 2023. In fact, only 16 states opted for something from the last two years, suggesting that the majority of us can’t wait to dip back into our old-time favorites during the festive period.

Some of the oldest movies featured were:

  • A Christmas Carol (1938): One of the very first movie adaptations of Charles Dickens’s novel, A Christmas Carol. Despite being released 85 years ago, this movie still contains all of the festive magic needed for the people of Illinois and Maine.
  • Frosty the Snowman (1969): This animated holiday special tells the heartwarming story of a magical snowman brought to life by a top hat with magical powers. Accompanied by a group of school children, Frosty embarks on a quest to find a sub-zero climate to avoid the threat of melting.
  • A Christmas Story (1983): Set in the 1940s, this nostalgic comedy follows the story of Ralphie Parker, humorously depicting the challenges and misadventures that he encounters while seeking his most prized Christmas gift– a Red Ryder BB gun.
  • Die Hard (1988): The film that will forever divide families as to whether or not it really is a Christmas movie. Bruce Willis stars as NYPD officer, John McClane, who battles with terrorists that have taken a Los Angeles skyscraper hostage during a Christmas party.

Other pre-2000 movies included National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), The Santa Clause (1994), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1998), and Jack Frost (1998).

2023 movies that are already proving popular:

  • A Biltmore Christmas: Screenwriter Lucy is tasked with re-writing a script for the beloved holiday movie His Merry Wife. When she travels to the historic Biltmore House (where the film was originally set) for further research, Lucy gets more than she bargained for when she knocks over an hourglass. Finding herself being transported back to 1947 when the film was first recorded, can she set things right before the future is changed forever? Ohio, North, and South Carolina can’t get enough of this festive movie.
  • Dashing Through the Snow: After a series of traumatic events, social worker, Eddie Garrick, no longer believes in the spirit of Christmas. His estranged wife persuades his daughter Charlotte to spend Christmas working with Eddie where a magical adventure unfolds for the dad-and-daughter duo. A must-watch for the people of Mississippi.
  • Best. Christmas. Ever.: Friendships are put to the ultimate test over a boastful holiday newsletter that Jackie sends out without fail every year. When Jackie’s college friend, Charlotte, tries to expose Jackie’s ‘real’ life, she nearly ruins Christmas for both families. The pair must rekindle their friendship to put Christmas back together. A popular choice for the likes of California, Florida, New York, and Texas.

Other recently released movies include Christmas at the Greenbrier, Scrooge: A Christmas Carol, Something from Tiffany’s, Spirited, The Noel Diary, and Violent Night (all released in 2022).

Which states have the best and worst taste in Christmas movies?

The average IMDb rating of all the top movies featured in our Christmas list is 6.3. But some states appear to have a more discerning taste.

The top IMDb rating of 8.2 goes to one of our classics (Die Hard) and one of the hottest new releases, A Biltmore Christmas. With such a high IMDb score (at the moment!), could the latter be in with a chance of joining some of the all-time Christmas movies in years to come?

Other high-rated choices include The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). With an IMDb score of 7.7, the biggest fans of the Muppets are found in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. A Christmas Carol (1938) and the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) both scored 7.5. The former was a must-watch for residents in Illinois and Maine and the latter in Hawaii and Vermont.

At the other end of the scale with the lowest IMDb rating was Best. Christmas. Ever. (a new release for 2023) with a score of just 4.4. However, Florida, New York, and Texas all had this movie as their top choice this year, showing that IMDb ratings aren’t all that when it comes to choosing a festive film. Other low-scorers include A Madea Christmas (IMDb rating of 5 and popular in Indiana) and Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) (IMDb score of 5.3 and popular in Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).

Please note: As they are based on user reviews, IMDb scores frequently change (especially for newer releases).  


Using Google Trends to search for the term “Christmas movie” in each state, we looked to see which movie was a rising topic in the related topics section. Rising topics are the top related search terms users looking at Christmas movies also searched for over the past year and saw the biggest influx in searches during that period. The top result for each state was the designated movie for that state. In some cases, a movie franchise may have appeared on top, e.g. “Christmas Chronicles series” but we only noted the title when it was a specific film. And, as mentioned previously, some non-Christmas films also appeared but were not included.