An elf? Alone at home? Which holiday movie is the most watched this season?

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Which holiday movies are moving in the ratings? It’s a mixed bag of Santa from Ghost of Christmas Past and Ghost of Christmas Present, according to data shared exclusively with USA TODAY.

Samba TV, which analyzes household viewing habits collected via smart TVs, compiled a list of the most watched movies on TV and streaming services in the US between November 10 and December 10. (For the survey, a view means a household watched at least five minutes of a feature.)

Smiling along with “Elf” proved to be a crowd favorite. So far, 9 million households have seen the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell as the quirky Buddy, the tall elf who leaves the North Pole in search of his biological father. Nearly 8 million households have found “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” since 1989 to be as enjoyable as a year’s worth of membership in the Jelly of the Month Club. Who doesn’t sympathize with Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) during his obsessive quest to provide a perfect Christmas for his extended family? And this stat might make you make Macaulay Culkin’s famous “Home Alone” face: The 33-year-old film, in which a son, forgotten by his family on vacation, fights thieves, collected 7.1 million views.

“Santa Claus! I know him!’ How to watch ‘Elf’ this holiday: TV listings, streaming and more

By comparison, only three original holiday movies released on streaming platforms this year managed to catch more than 1 million households. The “Best” of Netflix. Christmas. Ever!” starring Jason Biggs, Heather Graham and Brandi Norwood, drew 2.3 million households. “The Family Switch,” Netflix’s holiday spin on “Freaky Friday” starring Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms, drew 1.9 million, tying it with Amazon Prime Video’s “Candy Cane Lane,” starring Eddie Murphy.

Murphy told USA TODAY that he had longed to make his first Christmas movie and decided on “Candy Cane Lane” — akin to “Jumanji” and “The Santa Clause” — after considering a remake of a classic. “‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ we were going through them all,” Murphy said. “But then this script came along and it was like, ‘Hey, this has all the elements and this is unique. So we can make our own little modern classic instead of remaking an old one.”

The 15 most watched movies between November 10 and December 10:

You’ll notice that the much talked about Die Hard with Bruce Willis makes the list. As Ashwin Navin, CEO of Samba TV, sees it: “There’s no arguing that ‘Die Hard’ is, in fact, a Christmas movie and one of the greatest of all time,” he said in a statement.

  1. “Elf” (2003, Max Streaming), 9 million household views
  2. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, Max), 7.9
  3. Home Alone (1990, Disney+), 7.1
  4. “Santa Claus” (1994, Disney+), 4.3
  5. “Four Christmases” (2008, Max), 3.5
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, on the Peacock 20‒31 December), 2.5
  7. “Best. Christmas. Ever!” (2023, Netflix Original), 2.3
  8. The Holiday (2006, for rent on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV), 2.3
  9. “Family Switch” (2023, Netflix Original), 1.9
  10. A Christmas Story (1983, Max), 1.9
  11. “Candy Cane Lane” (2023, Amazon Original), 1.9
  12. It’s a Wonderful Life (1947, Amazon Prime), 1.7
  13. Die Hard (1988, Disney+), 1.4
  14. Love Actually (2003, Netflix), 1.4
  15. “Polar Express” (2004, Max), 1.1

Chevy Chase falls offstage in New York City at a screening of the movie “Christmas Vacation.”

The casting director for “Elf” would cast this other “SNL” alum to star in a remake

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