There’s Snowplace Like Home: California Tops The List For Winter Movie Settings

Crystal Ski Holidays analysed the most popular settings, actors/actresses and best performing months in new Winter Movies study.

  • Nearly half of the most popular Christmas and winter films have been set in the USA, with California being the most popular setting.
  • Four actors and actresses lead the way in appearances in winter movies – most notably Jude Law and Kate Beckinsale.
  • Movies released in winter boast an impressive average of 5.67 Oscar wins, compared to non-winter film releases, which average at just 1.78.

From the iconic scene of Hugh Grant dancing in Love Actually, to the noise of the Polar Express train, winter movies capture our hearts each year. World-leading ski tour operator, Crystal Ski Holidays, have designed an interactive tool that focuses on over 200 winter movies, their actors and actresses as well as addressing the best months for movie releases.

To view the full extensive research and to see the winning winter movies, click here.

I Want To Be A Part Of It, New York, New York”

For many of us, when it comes to thinking about winter and Christmas films, we jump straight to a white New York setting with dazzling lights and a snow-capped Central Park. But is it the most popular city to shoot in? Our study sheds light on the topic, highlighting some interesting findings:

  • Country front runners: The USA has nearly four times the amount of winter films compared to its closest rival Canada, with 98.
  • Battle of the states: California holds the highest number of winter and Christmas films set in a single state/city with 18, just one more than New York.
  • Britain behind: The UK comes in at 4th, with 11 films, 7 of which have been shot in the capital

Actors And Actresses With The Most Appearances

The same talented actors and actresses are beginning to make an appearance more than once in Christmas themed movies. Ranging from comedians to superheroes, which actors and actresses top the list?

  • Number of top-rated Winter films – Jude Law, Charlize Theron, Kate Beckinsale, Colin Farrell and John Cusack have all appeared in three winter-themed movies
  • Christmas movie tally – Ben Affleck, Eddie Murphy and Karen Allen share the top spot with two holiday-themed movies.
  • Directors cut – Two names stand-alone in directing Christmas movies; Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., famous for directing Frosty The Snowman and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

And The Oscar Goes To…

The final part of Crystal Ski’s research looked into the success of movies throughout the calendar months.

Studying average box office gross, highest-grossing individual films and number of Oscar wins, the results may seem a surprise. January is revealed as the best month to win an Oscar, with winter-released movies scoring three times as many awards than the rest of the seasons.

The data also shows that December takes the crown with the highest average box office gross at $1.01 billion. These are the months with the top three highest-grossing films:




Gross Figure



Star Wars: The Force Awakens




Avengers: Endgame




Black Panther


For more information on Winter Movies research, please visit Crystal Ski Holidays.