Industry News

The Christmas Movie That Became a Classic Because of a Mistake

22 December, 2022

The movie had every ingredient of a hit when it opened right before Christmas. By the new year, it was a flop. In fact, when the copyright on this film expired, nobody even bothered to renew it. It was so forgettable that it was quite literally forgotten. This is also the reason that people are still watching “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It might very well be the most iconic Christmas movie. It became that way by accident. 

“It’s a Wonderful Life” fell into the public domain once the copyright lapsed 28 years after its release, and television stations began running the film around the clock because it didn’t cost a penny. It wasn’t Frank Capra or Jimmy Stewart or the enduring power of cinema that made it a lasting success. It was neglect. “The damnedest thing I’ve ever seen,” Capra himself once said. 

Visit Wall Street Journal to read this article.


Other insights you may enjoy


Get a glimpse into the future of global audience demand measurement for TV shows, movies and talent and learn from consolidated insights and strategic thinking focused on the entertainment industry.

Exclusive global, regional and market-specific content and talent analyses
Rank 15,000+ talent in 50+ markets across all platforms
Rank 20k+ TV shows and 12k+ movies in 50+ markets across all platforms

The Global Television Demand Report

  • Truly understand the global SVOD originals landscape
  • Comprehensive platform market share benchmarks
  • Released each quarter covering 10 global markets
  • Get exclusive access to our comprehensive reports
  • Available for FREE with a DEMAND360LITE subscription