Elf was the top performing movie in the UK and US digital retail charts this Christmas, but the 'Christmas effect'—whereby films with a Christmas theme shoot up the charts during the festive season—seems to be limited to English-speaking markets. The ranking of Christmas movies in non-English speaking European charts is considerably worse than those in the UK and US. This can be seen with the most popular Christmas movie in the UK and US, Elf, only reaching the low hundreds in Germany and not appearing in the equivalent Spanish or French charts for 2017. Die Hard, which Ampere identified last year as a 'Christmas movie', continues to perform well, qualifying as the joint-fifth Christmas movie for the US and UK on Christmas day.
Christmas movies overall in the UK and US have done better in 2017 than 2016, and it is the older films (that is, movies released more than five years ago) that are the major cause for this growth. Elf (released in 2003) and Home Alone (released in 1990) maintain their 2016 position as the top two Christmas-themed movies and Love Actually (released in 2003) has been revived in consumer’s hearts, rising from 51 to 25 overall and falling seventh among Christmas-themed movies. Few newer Christmas movies make it into the charts, however; Office Christmas Party (released in 2016) is the highest-ranked new Christmas feature length film, but only reaches position 96. With the increased ranking of Christmas movies this year the UK and US consumer demand for Christmas movies shows no sign of slowing down, meaning holiday films have plenty of ‘elf life left.