Now that it’s December, we can finally crank up the holiday movie machine! And just like we did a few weeks ago, it’s time to break down this year’s schedule for Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas.
Once again, we’ve crunched the numbers of the past four years of scheduling, and come up with a handy dandy graph to show which films get played more than others. For the most part, it’s exactly the ones you’d expect. Christmas is not a holiday known for disrupting traditions.
While the Halloween chart represents the entire broadcast day, this time around I’m only going to be counting what Freeform airs in prime time (think 5pm thru midnight). The easiest way to do that was to compare all four schedules published to Freeform’s social media pages.
Here’s this year’s schedule for reference. Now here’s this year’s breakdown:
- The reigning champ of Freeform’s schedule is, for some reason, the 2000 live-action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, airing 23 times over the last four years. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are tied for second place with 16 airings each.
- 2018 saw five showings each for The Santa Clause and The Santa Clause 3, while The Santa Clause 2 was completely absent.
- This year will see more Santa Clause 2 airings than ever before, at 4. That also means it will get more airtime than either SC1 or SC3 this year, which are only airing 3 times this year.
- Only 7 films have appeared all four years: Grinch 2000, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 3, Toy Story and Toy Story 2
- 2019 is the only year that saw marathons of Simpsons Christmas episodes, all airing after midnight for some reason. After the rollout of Disney+, I guess they decided anyone who really wanted to watch The Simpsons after midnight would just stream it like the good lord intended.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas has only ever aired once per season, when it has historically aired anywhere from 3 to 10 times during the Halloween season. Those of you who consider Nightmare a Halloween movie might be onto something after all…
- 2020 saw the most one-off airings, meaning the most instances of a film or special only airing once per season, at 11.
Now, what does any of this really mean? I’m not sure, but the apparent continued popularity of Grinch 2000 and the Santa Clause trilogy feels like more of a forced obligation than anything else. They’re the most recent big budget, non-Elf Christmas films around, and at least in the case of The Santa Clause, I guess someone at Disney just gave up and said “That’s what we got! We don’t need anything else.”
Home Alone‘s continued popularity, at this point, has entered the realm of holiday tradition. It’s been that way for a long time, and it’s clearly not going anywhere any time soon. Now, whether or not Disney plans on keeping it that way, or if they’ll phase it out in years to come to make room for new reboot, Home Sweet Home Alone, remains to be seen.
What do you think of all this? Any data points we might have overlooked? Let us know in the comments!