A Star-Studded Christmas Movie Is Taking Over Netflix's Top 10 Chart

A new Netflix original film is taking the streaming service by storm this week, but it is a bit early for the holidays. Netflix released Father Christmas Is Back on Sunday, Nov. 7 in the U.S., and at the time of this writing, it is at number 8 on the Top 10 movies chart. Whether it will be able to hold that position until after Thanksgiving remains to be seen.

Father Christmas Is Back is a British holiday comedy starring Kelsey Grammer, Elizabeth Hurley, John Cleese, Nathalie Cox and others. It is directed by Mick Davis and Philippe Martinez, and written by Martinez, Hannah Davis and David Conolly. It tells the story of four sisters reuniting for Christmas at a lavish mansion in Yorkshire, England where they uncover a secret that tore their family apart when they were young.

The sisters have the surname "Christmas," so the title is quite literal. Grammer plays their father, James Christmas, who abandoned the family and disappeared nearly three decades ago, while Caroline Quentin plays their mother, Elizabeth Christmas. She is now having an affair with Uncle John Christmas (Cleese), at least until the title takes effect.

The movie blends slapstick comedy with family melodrama and feel-good holiday spirit all in one neat package. For some reviewers, this mixture is simply too much for one production. Others have found it to be a perfect fit. Clearly, enough casual viewers out there are enjoying it since it remains one of Netflix's biggest hits days after its premiere.

Christmas has become a major part of Netflix's branding in recent years, with major holiday hits under the "Netflix original film" banner. Somehow, the streamer has pushed through the preference for older material and has made an industry out of releasing Christmas specials each year that seem to leave an immense impact.

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This year will be no different — Father Christmas Is Back is actually the third Christmas-themed release of the year for Netflix, following The Claus Family and Love Hard. The next is Christmas Flow, an original series premiering on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Thanksgiving weekend will see a big push with The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star on Thursday and Blown Away Christmas on Friday.

Of course, those who need a bit more time to get in the holiday spirit can always wait until December. For the early birds, Father Christmas Is Back is streaming now.