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Our first goal in determining which terrible Christmas movies Americans love to hate was to determine the lowest-rated Christmas films of all time. To do this, we compiled a master list of the lowest rated Christmas movies from the International Movie Database (IMDB) and Rotten Tomatoes.
Once we discovered what the worst Christmas movies of all time were, we used Google Trends to determine where search data for those movies was highest. We sorted these data by state and then used them to compile a list of the most popular bad Christmas movies throughout the country.
The Most Popular BAD Christmas Movie in Every State
First, we wanted to know the bad-Christmas-movie guilty pleasure of residents in each state. We compared statistics from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes to Google Trends data from different states to determine which cringe-worthy Christmas flick would likely be on the most screens in the area.
The list is quite varied and includes just 25 movies total, meaning many of the films are holiday favorites across multiple states. This is kind of incredible when we consider that the list consists of movies like Santa’s Slay and Christmas With the Kranks, which is a 2004 snooze fest that may or may not have ended Tim Allen’s career.
In California, the most populated state in the country, the 1959 rendition of Santa Claus was most popular. This “film,” in which Santa fights the devil who tries to ruin Christmas — inspiration for the Grinch, perhaps? — scored an impressive 2.7 stars out of 10 on IMDB.
Amazingly, the same movie was also most favored in the next most populated state, Texas.
Floridians prefer a slightly more elevated and refined bad Christmas movie: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, there was a Part 1, but it scored “too high” on Rotten Tomatoes to make our list of bad Christmas movies. There were also parts 3, 4, and 5, so you’ve got plenty to binge-watch if you want to know how Floridians get in the holiday spirit.
New York is next in population, and they top the list with one of the most popular bad Christmas movies in the Country: Jingle All the Way. With 17% on Rotten Tomatoes and a story that’s oddly touching at times, uncomfortably cringey at others, and a poor satirization of commercialism and materialism around the holidays for most of the movie, this one is a real treasure and a must-watch for everyone. Maybe just not a must-watch-again!
Finally, Pennsylvania, the fifth most populated state, prefers Christmas Evil, the story of a deranged boy who becomes a murderer. How is this a holiday movie, you ask? Well, he dresses as Santa. This movie incredibly scored 75% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but with an audience score of just 33%, it’s no surprise that some of the highest praise on the movie review site includes: “…well done for what it was, but it’s just not something I’ll watch again.”
The Most Popular BAD Christmas Movies in the US
Next, we wanted to determine which bad Christmas movies are closest to becoming national treasures. Basically, which dusty DVD box is most likely to end up in the National Museum of American History?
There were 25 bad Christmas movies total that were shared among all of the states as the most beloved.
The most popular terrible holiday movie overall was Jingle All the Way. Only in America will a Christmas movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad that scored a whopping 17% on Rotten Tomatoes be acceptable, let alone one of the most popular Christmas films. This slap-stick, semi-touching movie was most popular in an incredible eight states:
- New Mexico
- New York
Unfortunately, this box office flop is most popular in all areas of the country, from coast to coast and the north to the south; we can’t even blame this one on limited selection in a particular region!
The next popular bad Christmas movie was Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, coming in as the most-watched bad film in four states:
At least for this one, we can blame it on the southern region; maybe, just maybe, this Christmas movie that scored an embarrassing 20% on Rotten Tomatoes was the only one available to stream for holiday movie lovers in the south? We can hope!
Two more movies — Christmas Evil and Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 — tied for third place, being most popular in three states each. Evidently, residents of Kansas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Massachusetts, and North Carolina all prefer bad Christmas horror movies. The only thing scary about these films, though, is the acting. Oh…and the writing, directing, and everything else.
Three states didn’t have a most popular bad Christmas movie: Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Either the residents there are more sophisticated than the rest of us and only enjoy quality movies, or they have yet to be introduced to the instant classic, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman.
Wrapping Up: Major Insights & Conclusions
We had a lot of fun completing this study, which ended in a company-wide holiday movie binge, where we got to see just how bad some of the movies really are. As uncomfortable as we were watching some of these, there were some insights we gained into the trends of bad holiday movies in America.
First, anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably bad, but because he takes his roles seriously, they sometimes have an oddly redeeming quality about them. Kind of. Second, a surprising number of states prefer bad Christmas horror movies. The horror genre is one that has always been popular for poor writing, acting, and directing.
And finally, we think it’s safe to say: while trees might not have been harmed in the making of some of these movies, the audience certainly was.