Last night, like every other year, I stayed up to watch The Sound of Music on network TV while I wrapped Christmas presents and waxed poetic about my watching this same movie as a kid. I sang all the songs with enthusiasm despite being totally tone deaf and I went to bed with visions of Nazi escapes and giant family singalongs dancing in my head.
This got me thinking, how did a movie like The Sound of Music that takes place during spring and summer months and has literally nothing to do with the holidays end up being a TV tradition alongside the likes of Frosty The Snowman and It’s A Wonderful Life?
The answer may surprise you.
The Sound of Music was debuted as a movie release by 20th Century Fox in 1965. It was met with rave reviews and became one of the highest-grossing films of all time; when adjusted for inflation, the movie had earned $2.3 billion dollars. That’s with a B. Billion. With the economic success of this musical movie, TV took a keen interest and in 1976, ABC bought the rights to air the movie as a one-time broadcast for an impressive $15 million dollars. The ratings went wild and in 1979, NBC bought the rights to air the movie for the next 20 years.
So, why during Christmas? Well, it could be because the movie has actually been broadcast during both Easter and Christmas and has performed well with ratings during both seasons, however, it is during Christmas time that viewers are actively seeking family-centered movies to enjoy. We could chalk this up to the spirit of the season.
And there you have it. The Sound of Music was an insanely successful movie that families love to watch and through a series of economic decisions ended up being a holiday classic despite not having anything to do with Christmas.
Which song in the film is your favorite? Leave a comment below!