Take A Look At The Highest-Grossing Christmas Movies Ever

Nothing better than watching a cheesy Christmas movie with your family on a cold winter evening with a cup of hot chocolate, right? Here are some of the funniest holiday movies you can’t miss this year and all of them have one thing in common: they’ve all been major box-office successes. Some of them may not be the best films ever, but they’ll give you a laugh, that’s for sure! If you haven’t watched them yet, now is a perfect time to do it!

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#25. A Madea Christmas

This movie was released in 2013, and it had earned $52,543,354 in the domestic box office and $853,000 in the international box! This Christmas comedy was directed, written and starred by Tyler Perry (in drag) in the role of Madea.

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All of Madea’s0 movies were inspired by Tyler Perry’s shows. This particular Madea iteration didn’t manage well with critics — in fact, it gained a Razzie and currently has a 10% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On this movie, Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on a rural town when she’s coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas. When the filming finished, the prop was donated to charity.

#24. Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party was released in 2016, though in some places it was sold on DVD and blue-ray with the title Dirty Office Party. It has earned an amount of $144.501.299 around the world. Starring Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller, the movie is about an office holiday party.

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If you don’t want to see it, I’ll tell you what it’s about… When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big clientele and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has an approval rating of 41% on Rotten Tomatoes.

#23. The Nutcracker And The Four Realms

This magical film is based on the Christmas-themed ballet, The Nutcracker. During the movie, there are references to other films and stories. For example, the opening scene references Disney’s classic Fantasia. It was released in 2018 and earned almost $200,000,000.

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The fantasy adventure film in which a young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice was directed by Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston based on a screenplay by Ashleigh Powell and Tom McCarthy. It actually has an enviable cast, starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and Eugenio Derbez.

#22. Bad Santa

Bad Santa is a 2003 American Christmas black comedy film directed by Terry Zwigoff and written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, John Ritter, and Bernie Mac.

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The movie was filmed in various parts of California during the summer of 2002 and released on November 26, 2003. To everyone’s surprise, the film grossed over $60 million domestically and more than $76 million worldwide, and has also been well-received by the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 78% rating. Give me a reason not to watch it!

#21. Scrooged

Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film directed by Richard Donner and written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue. Based on the 1843 novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Scrooged is a modern retelling that follows Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a cynical and selfish television executive, who is visited by a succession of ghosts on Christmas Eve, who are keen on helping him regain his Christmas spirit. The film also stars Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Carol Kane.

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Clearly, Americans loved this film because it was the 13th highest-grossing movie in 1988 at the U.S. box office, earning $60,328,558. During the following years, the film became a constant feature on television during Christmas week, becoming a popular alternative to more conventional Christmas films. Many commentators argued that it was ahead of its time, mirrored in the fact that it is still widely popular to this day.

#20. Jingle All The Way

Jingle All the Way is a 1996 American Christmas family comedy film directed by Brian Levant. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad as two rival fathers, Howard Langston (Schwarzenegger) and stressed out Myron Larabee (Sinbad), both desperately trying to purchase a Turbo-Man action figure for their respective sons on a last-minute shopping before Christmas.

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Sinbad was chosen for the role of Myron partly because he was taller than producer Chris Columbus’ first choice, Joe Pesci. Interestingly, the film got into legal trouble since a Detroit biology teacher claimed he had already come up with the exact same plot, denouncing his script had been ripped off by 20th Century Fox. Because of this, the studio had to give up $19 million. However, it rocked the box office, earning almost $70,000,000 in the U.S. alone.

#19. The Best Man Holiday

The Best Man Holiday is a 2013 comedy-drama film written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. A sequel to The Best Man (1999), it stars Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, and Melissa De Sousa.

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In this film, the Mia and Lance try to get the whole gang back together by inviting their friends over for a Christmas dinner, being the first time they’re together in a room after a decade. The film received positive reviews and managed to earn double its production budget, grossing $71 million worldwide.

#18. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Griswold family had plans for a big Christmas party, but things don’t quite work out the way they planned. For example, patriarch Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) has trouble getting Christmas lights to work and then takes out his anger by punching on a plastic Santa Claus decoration (which led to actor Chevy Chase breaking his pinkie in real-life!).

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Since its release, Christmas Vacation has often been labeled as a modern Christmas classic. It is widely regarded as the best sequel of the Vacation series and is the only Christmas film to have its own direct sequel. The movie reached the second place at the box-office in no time, grossing $11,750,203 during the opening weekend, only after Back to the Future Part II.

#17. Fred Claus

No, it’s not Santa, but Fred Claus, Santa’s brother! Vince Vaughn plays Fred who needs to borrow $50,000 from his brother Nick, who agreed to give him the money only if he agreed to help him in the North Pole. The film was based on the poem A Legend of Santa and His Brother Fred by Donald Henkel.

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Fred Claus was poorly received by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, for instance, it has an approval rating of 20%. However, the film grossed $18,515,473 in its first weekend and closed on February 14, 2008, with a final gross of $97,838,349 worldwide, becoming the number 1 film in the UK in its first week.

#16. A Bad Moms Christmas

A Bad Moms Christmas is a 2017 American Christmas comedy film written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It is a sequel to the 2016 film, Bad Moms. The plot follows the three moms from the first film (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn) who must deal with their own mothers (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon), who come for a visit on Christmas Eve. Fun fact: to get Susan Sarandon on set, Hahn wrote her a letter!

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A Bad Moms Christmas was released on November 1, 2017. It was originally scheduled for 2 days later, but it was postponed for two days to avoid direct competition with Thor: Ragnarok. A Bad Moms Christmas grossed $72.1 million in the United States and Canada, earning $130.6 million around the globe.

#15. Christmas With The Kranks

Do you have that next-door-neighbor who brims his house with way too many Christmas ornaments? The Kranks are exactly those people. Originally they were planning on skipping Christmas, but their daughter decides to come home for Christmas Eve with her new boyfriend, forcing the Kranks to improvise a last-minute Christmas party. It was directed by Joe Roth and written and produced by Chris Columbus and stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.

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The film was destroyed by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 5%, and its critical agreement reads “A mirthless movie as fresh as last year’s fruit cake, Christmas with the Kranks is a coarse, garish comedy that promotes conformity. Ouch! Despite the critics, on its opening weekend, the film earned $21,570,867 on 3,393 screens, ranking #3 behind National Treasure and The Incredibles. It eventually grossed $96,572,480 worldwide.

#14. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton is the mastermind behind this classic stop-motion animation film. You probably all know what it’s about, right? Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, finds out about Christmas Town and decides to celebrate Christmas in his home town. What you probably didn’t know is that the film originated in a poem written by Burton in 1982 while he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation.

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It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, a first for an animated film. The film was re-released annually in Disney Digital 3-D from 2006 until 2009, making it the first stop-motion animated feature to be entirely converted to 3D. It also achieved both critical and financial success, grossing over $76 million during its initial run.

#13. Die Hard

Considering Die Hard as a Christmas movie is kind of controversial, but to be fair, it is about an NYPD officer that tries to save his wife and others from being taken hostage during a Christmas party. For the starring role, Bruce Willis was paid a mountainous $5 million, which was unheard of at that time.

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The premiere took place on July 12, 1988, in Los Angeles, and it earned millions in a matter of days. By the time Die Hard ended its theatrical run, it had earned $83 million in North America and a further $57.7 million from markets elsewhere, totaling $140.7 million.

#12. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause is a 2006 American Christmas fantasy comedy-adventure film directed by Michael Lembeck. It is the third and final film of the Santa Clause series, and Tim Allen is back to play the part of Scott Calvin (Santa Claus). Not only must Mr. Claus keep his new family happy, but he also has to stop evil Jack Frost from taking over Christmas.

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Its production was completed in February 2006 and it was released in theaters on November 3, 2006. The first two films had become box-office successes during their opening weekends, but The Santa Clause 3 was beaten by Borat, which stole the No. 1 spot. In spite of that, the film made a worldwide gross of $110,768,122.

#11. Daddy’s Home 2

Daddy’s Home 2 is a 2017 American Christmas comedy film directed by Sean Anders and written by Anders and John Morris. A sequel to Daddy’s Home, it stars Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, John Cena, with John Lithgow and Mel Gibson. The plot follows fathers Brad and Dusty, who are both co-parenting Dusty’s kids, and who must deal with their own father visiting for the holidays.

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It was released in the United States by Paramount Pictures on November 10, 2017. The film received generally negative reviews from critics, but in spite of that, it grossed over $180 million worldwide on a $70 million initial budget.

#10. Four Christmases

Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn star as Kate and Brad — a couple rushing to visit all of their divorced parents … at Christmas. On the way, Brad and Kate learn about each other’s past, and Kate comes to the awareness that her life could be greater than it actually is. The film is director Seth Gordon’s first studio feature film and was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on November 26, 2008, the day before Thanksgiving.

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The film has an approval rating of 24% and an average rating of 5.1/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. The website’s critical consensus reads: “Despite a strong cast, this sour holiday comedy suffers from a hackneyed script.” In spite of the negative critics, the film had a worldwide gross of $163,733,697.

#9. A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated dark fantasy film written, co-produced and directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Charles Dickens‘s 1843 story of the same name and stars Jim Carrey playing another Christmas hater (Scrooge) after starring as The Grinch.

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As we all know, in this movie, Scrooge receives help from Tiny Tim and the ghosts of the past, present, and future. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its visuals and the performances of Carrey and Oldman but criticized its dark tone. It earned $325.3 million on a $200 million budget.

#8. The Santa Clause 2

The Santa Clause 2 is a 2002 American Christmas comedy film directed by Michael Lembeck. It is a sequel to The Santa Clause (1994), featuring the same actors than the first film, including Tim Allen, Eric Lloyd, Wendy Crewson and Judge Reinhold.

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In this second installment, Scott Calvin needs to find his Mrs. Claus, or else his reign as Santa Claus will come to an end. While it has an approval rating of only 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was nominated for Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film and it earned $172.8 million, against a production budget of $65 million.

#7. The Santa Clause

The Santa Clause is a 1994 American Christmas fantasy family comedy film written by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick, and directed by John Pasquin. The first film in the Santa Clause film series, it stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, an ordinary man who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his young son, Charlie, finish St. Nick’s deliveries, they go to the North Pole where Scott learns that he must become the new Santa and convince those he loves that he is indeed Santa Claus.

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The Santa Clause grossed over $144 million in the United States and Canada, and over $189 million worldwide, making it a major box-office hit. The film has since gone on to become one of the greatest Christmas classics ever, and Freeform and AMC have played the film during the holiday season with record ratings. The film received generally positive reviews from the critics, and it has a “Certified Fresh” approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

#6. Home Alone 2

The second installment of the Home Alone series, this film stars Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Tim Curry, Brenda Fricker, and Catherine O’Hara. n the film, taking place one year after the events of Home Alone, Kevin and his family decide to take a trip to Florida, but Kevin accidentally boards the wrong plane and instead ends up in New York City.

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The film became the second most financially successful film of 1992, earning over $173 million in revenue in the United States and $359 million worldwide. Along with the original Home Alone film, Home Alone 2 was filmed in Chicago and used a green screen to show images of iconic New York City buildings, including the Statue of Liberty, the Rockefeller Center, the original World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building.

#5. Elf

Directed and written by John Favreau and David Berenbaum and starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Ed Asner, and Bob Newhart, the film centers on Buddy, a human who was adopted and raised by Santa’s elves. He learns about this and heads to New York City to meet his biological father while also spreading Christmas spirits in a world of cynics along the way.

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Elf was released in the United States on November 7, 2003, and became both a critical and commercial success, grossing $220 million worldwide. Ferrell’s performance as Buddy the Elf was praised by audiences and critics alike, many calling it one of his best performances. It inspired the 2010 Broadway show Elf: The Musical and NBC’s 2014 stop-motion animated television special Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas.

#4. The Polar Express

The Polar Express is a 2004 film listed in Guinness World Records 2006 as the “first all-digital capture” film, and it’s based on the 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The film tells the story of a young boy who, on Christmas Eve, sees a strange train bound for the North Pole stop outside his window. The boy decides to get in and joins several other children as they leave on a journey to meet Santa Claus.

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The film was made with a production budget of $165 million, a record-breaking sum for an animated feature at the time and it was released in both conventional and IMAX 3D theaters on November 10, 2004. The film reached a total worldwide gross of $311,365,072 and it was also well-received by the audience.

#3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (simply known as The Grinch in the UK) is a 2000 American Christmas fantasy comedy film directed by Ron Howard and written by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman. Based on Dr. Seuss’s book of the same name, it was his first work to be adapted into a full-length feature film. The film stars Jim Carrey in the title role, along with Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, Bill Irwin, Molly Shannon, and Taylor Momsen.

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The story centers around a grumpy green creature called the Grinch that lives above the idyllic town of Whoville. He plans to ruin their Christmas but doesn’t succeed. The film grossed over $345 million worldwide, becoming the sixth-highest grossing film of 2000 and was originally the second highest-grossing holiday film of all-time behind Home Alone (1990). It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup as was nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

#2. The Grinch

The Grinch (also known as Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch) is a 2018 American 3D computer-animated Christmas film produced by Illumination. Based on the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, it is the third screen adaptation of the story, following the television special from 1966 starring Boris Karloff and the live-action feature-length film from 2000 starring Jim Carrey.

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Benedict Cumberbatch is the voice of the Grinch. Originally, the studio wanted him to perform with his natural British accent. However, Cumberbatch thought it would be better if he adopted an American accent. It grossed over $511 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing holiday film of all-time, as well as the highest-grossing Dr. Seuss film adaptation. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animation and the vocal performances but said: “the film added little to nothing new to the source material”.

#1. Home Alone

Home Alone is a 1990 American comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The story follows eight-year-old Kevin McCallister who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. Kevin initially enjoys being home alone, but he soon has to fight with two criminals.

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Culkin was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Musical or Comedy, and the film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Original Score and Best Original Song. For nearly three decades, the film was also the highest-grossing Christmas film of all time until it was surpassed by The Grinch in 2018. Despite the mixed critical reception upon its initial release, Home Alone has been hailed as a holiday classic among audiences and is often ranked as one of the best Christmas films of all time.

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