The Most-Hated (and Loved) Holiday Movies in America

We're on a mission to find out which holiday movies make us Grinchy.
Map of America's Most-Hated Holiday Films

Which holiday movies do Americans hate—no, loathe entirely? We asked folks which holiday flicks turned them into the Grinch and which ones made their hearts grow three sizes bigger.

Other than marathons of Hallmark movies, here’s what America is tuning into this holiday season.

America’s most-hated holiday films by state

Map of America's Most-Hated Holiday Films

The hatred that folks harbor for holiday flicks spreads from coast to coast, but a few places show higher concentrations of hatred for particular movies:

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol is the most-hated holiday movie in the US, enraging people in 10 different states. And the western and southern regions especially had a firm Scrooge stance toward Kermit and his Christmas crew.
  • Eight states don’t find any joy in Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians, which features the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny battling alongside a tattooed Santa to protect the children of the world.
  • Arthur, the youngest son of Santa Claus, can’t quite compete with his father when bringing cheer to the movie-watchers of winter. Arthur Christmas was the least-liked holiday movie in seven states.
  • The romance hit Love Actually is hated from as far west as Alaska and Oregon all the way to Connecticut. Maybe love isn’t actually all you need when it comes to finding the perfect holiday flick?
  • North Dakota couldn’t ever be bothered to spend Christmas with the Kranks. (Luckily, Tim Allen’s Santa Claus saga carries plenty of weight in the hearts of fans and the box office).
  • Kentucky had a hard time thinking It’s A Wonderful Life, but maybe those blues will get washed away when they watch Chevy Chase in their favorite Christmas show, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

The most-hated holiday movies overall

List of America's Most-Hated Holiday Films

The Muppet Christmas Carol and Rise of the Guardians claim the top two spots on the throne of holiday hatred. Elf, the most-hated film in four states, takes the number three spot for the entire US. (Sorry, Buddy! Don’t worry. We’ve got great news for you later.)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation wasn’t any state’s least-favorite movie (but it is the favorite of seven states). Still, a more subtle hatred spread throughout the nation—enough to land the Griswold family at number six on the naughty list.

Although The Grinch (2018) didn’t steal the love of America this time around, it won big at the box office, bringing in over $511 million worldwide since its release, making it the highest-grossing holiday movie to date.1

Ready to retire it? It seems like people have seen enough of Ralphie shooting his eye out in A Christmas Story, which finishes off America’s top 10 most-hated holiday movies.

The most-loved holiday movies in America

We can’t bring up the worst of holiday movies without also mentioning the best. These are the merry-bringing movies that won America’s holiday hearts.

List of America's Most-Loved Holiday Films

Here are some stocking-stuffer tidbits on these festive flick favorites:

  • Home Alone and Elf each picked up 14 state wins for the most-loved holiday movie, followed by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with seven state wins and A Christmas Story with six state wins.
  • The oldest films have staying power, and we love to see the traditions stick around. The oldest film on the list, It’s A Wonderful Life, came out in 1946, followed by Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).
  • The most recent film on the list is 2018’s The Grinch, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the green and grumpy, Christmas-stealing pseudo-Santa who gave it all back.
  • Nearly thirty years later, Kevin McCallister still wishes all the filthy animals of the world a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. The absolute Christmas classic Home Alone grossed over $476 million—now that’s something worth screaming about!
  • Buddy the Elf is not only highly quotable but also highly profitable. We’re not sitting on a throne of lies when we say Elf brought in over $220 million worth of cheer to people worldwide since the film’s release.
  • A Christmas Story came out in 1983, but generations later, it’s still a fan favorite. Whether it’s the leg lamp, the bunny suit, or saying “fudge” without saying fudge, Ralphie and his family gave us the present of some truly unforgettable scenes.

Here’s the full state-by-state breakdown of this year’s most loathed and loved holiday films.

America’s Most-Loved and Most-Hated Holiday Movies by State
StateFavoriteLeast favorite
AlabamaHome AloneRise of the Guardians
AlaskaA Christmas StoryLove Actually
ArizonaElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol
ArkansasHome AloneRise of the Guardians
CaliforniaHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
ColoradoElfRise of the Guardians
ConnecticutElfRise of the Guardians
DelawareHome AloneLove Actually
District of ColumbiaHome AloneRise of the Guardians
FloridaHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
GeorgiaA Christmas StoryRise of the Guardians
HawaiiElfRise of the Guardians
IdahoElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol
IllinoisHome AloneArthur Christmas
IndianaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationLove Actually
IowaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationArthur Christmas
KansasElfLove Actually
KentuckyNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationIt's a Wonderful Life
LouisianaHome AloneElf
MaineA Christmas StoryRise of the Guardians
MarylandHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
MassachusettsElfLove Actually
MichiganHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
MinnesotaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationRise of the Guardians
MississippiHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
MissouriElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol
MontanaA Christmas StoryArthur Christmas
NebraskaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationRise of the Guardians
NevadaHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
New HampshireElfRise of the Guardians
New JerseyHome AloneRise of the Guardians
New MexicoHome AloneElf
New YorkHome AloneArthur Christmas
North CarolinaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationLove Actually
North DakotaElfChristmas with the Kranks
OhioA Christmas StoryThe Muppet Christmas Carol
OklahomaElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol
OregonElfLove Actually
PennsylvaniaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationRise of the Guardians
Rhode IslandElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol
South CarolinaHome AloneArthur Christmas
South DakotaNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationElf
TennesseeHome AloneRise of the Guardians
TexasHome AloneThe Muppet Christmas Carol
UtahElfArthur Christmas
VermontNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationArthur Christmas
VirginiaA Christmas StoryElf
WashingtonElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol
West VirginiaA Christmas StoryLove Actually
WisconsinHome AloneRise of the Guardians
WyomingElfThe Muppet Christmas Carol

After reading through the naughty and nice list of fan favorites, do you agree with your state’s spirit? Feel free to drop this article in the social-media stockings of your friends and family to spread some fun film discussion—or at least find out which Scrooge isn’t allowed to stream movies for everyone on Christmas morning.

Methodology

Reviews.org surveyed 215,416 Americans and asked them to share their sentiments toward various holiday movies, specifically which holiday film was their favorite and least favorite.

Using this survey data, we determined which 10 holiday films were the most liked and disliked to create the overall top and bottom ten lists. We then segmented this data by state to find each state’s favorite and least favorite holiday films.

Sources

  1. Izak Bulten, Screenrant, “The 10 Highest-Grossing Christmas Movies Of All Time, According to Box Office Mojo” December 18, 2019. Accessed December 2, 2020.

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