In going to watch a movie the other day, I noticed a distinct lack of holiday/Christmas movies in theaters. There are about two that I know of (Arthur Christmas and A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas), but other than that there’s nothing. In the end, I wound up seeing The Muppet Movie – pleasant, but not really holiday fare. Has it always been this way or is it only recently that the film industry has run out of ideas for holiday movies, or perhaps just the motivation for producing them?
In fact, going by the numbers of Christmas movies theatrically released in the U.S., this is fairly recent. I don’t really think that every screenwriter alive has run out of original ideas for holiday movies. Nor do I believe that there is a shift toward a greater diversity of representation that diminishes the market for Christmas films. It isn’t as though we have seen a burst of Hanukah and Kwanzaa films, after all. And there almost isn’t such a thing as a Thanksgiving movie. Finally, the idea that the greater cultural influence of secular belief systems has lessened the demand for these films is unlikely, given that religious affiliation/dependence tends to increase during times of war and/or economic strife. Not that there aren’t tons of old Christmas movies out there to watch (again and again and again), but the last one I really liked was made back in the early 1990s and I want to see some new ones – that don’t suck. So, what’s going on here?
My best guess is that the diminishing quality of Christmas movies over recent years (as with most of cinema in general) caused less people to go and see them in theaters (or as rentals), which made the studios think there was less demand for Christmas movies, which influenced them to make fewer Christmas movies. Now, normally I would be all too happy to do extensive research and a long-winded analysis of this to support this theory (as I should), but it is Christmas night so I’m much to lazy and preoccupied with holiday-related stuff. Suffice it to say that filmmakers, myself included, need to make more holiday movies.