The Most Popular Christmas Movie in Each State

Not every state loves 'A Christmas Story.'
'Tis the season to watch your favorite Christmas movie.
'Tis the season to watch your favorite Christmas movie. / valentinrussanov/E+/Getty Images

Everyone has a favorite classic holiday movie, from 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life to 1983’s A Christmas Story to 1988’s Die Hard, which may or may not fit the criteria for a festive film depending on who you ask. Recently, entertainment news site Looper decided to see if those favorites varied by state. To find out, the site used’s list of favorite Christmas films and then examined Google Trends data to see which were among the most-searched by state.

A map of the most popular Christmas movies by state is pictured
Click to open full-size. / Looper

Surprisingly, 2004’s Christmas With the Kranks ranks as the most-searched movie in seven states. The comedy stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis as holiday misers who “cancel” Christmas to go on a cruise. Though not critically adored, it’s clearly an audience favorite. (Allen’s other holiday movie, 1994’s The Santa Clause, is the top choice in four states.)

A Christmas Story (1983) trails behind a bit, perhaps because it’s easy enough to find on cable and doesn't require a lot of detective work to view. People may also be a bit jaded by It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), which also seems to be everywhere. Only Iowa has been looking for it.

Given IMDb’s data, not all “popular Christmas movies” are movies. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) are all television specials.

Some states stood alone in their choices. Florida appears to be big on Scrooged (1988), the dark Bill Murray comedy.; North Carolina appears to have a soft spot for Jingle All the Way (1997), with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a dad desperately seeking the hot holiday toy for his son. Only Rhode Island searched for Home Alone (1990) with any real frequency. But it’s still the highest-grossing Christmas-themed film of all time domestically.

[h/t Looper]

A version of this story originally ran in 2019; it has been updated for 2023.