June 22, 2018

Top Christmas movies

The highest box office earners

Sharon Naylor


Part of what makes the holiday season extra-fun are all of the Christmas movies that are played on television during the weeks before Christmas. Everyone has their favorites, but when it comes to which feature films made the most money when they were originally released in theaters, the results can be surprising.

Box Office Mojo, a website reporting the all-important box-office receipts for current and past major motion pictures made after 1980, reports the top earners at the box office when it comes to Christmas movies are the following:

1) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,”  $260,044,825

2) “The Polar Express,” $183,373,735

3) “Elf,” $173,398,518

4) “The Santa Clause,” $144,833,357

5) “The Santa Clause 2,” $139,236,327

6) “A Christmas Carol” (2009), $137,855,863

7) “Four Christmases,” $120,146,040

8) “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause,” $84,500,122

9) “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas,” $75,082,668

10) “Christmas with the Kranks,” $73,780,539

11) “Fred Claus,” $72,006,777

12) “Christmas Vacation,” $71,319,526

13) “Jingle All the Way,” $60,592,389

14) “Scrooged,” $60,328,558

15) “Bad Santa,” $60,060,328

16) “This Christmas,” $49,121,934

17) “The Preacher’s Wife,” $48,102,795

18) “Arthur Christmas,” $46,462,469

19) “The Nativity Story,” $37,629,831

20) “Deck the Halls,” $35,093,569

21) “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” $35,061,031

22) “Jack Frost,” $34,562,556

23) “Ernest Saves Christmas,” $28,202,109

24) “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” $27,281,507

25) “Santa Claus: The Movie,” $23,717,291

Many people are surprised that their favorite, classic movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” aren’t on the list, but that film was made in 1946, and it wasn’t a big hit in its theatrical release. Films made many decades ago, including 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street” and 1954’s “White Christmas” cost far, far less than the $12 or so it costs for a moviegoer to head to the theater now. So for those films’ box office earnings to reach the over $260 million that “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” made, it would be quite difficult.

The total for all Christmas movies in the Box Office Mojo report adds up to $2,242,046,321—that’s $2 billion, with a “b.” That’s for just the in-theater ticket sales, not DVDs or merchandising. So if you’re at a Christmas party and want to have some fun with a quick trivia question, ask which recent Christmas movie is a higher-earner in box office sales.

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