Christmas is fast approaching, with only three weeks to go until Santa and his reindeer make their departure from the North Pole. Little boys and girls all over the world are busy writing their wish lists, and shops are in high-gear selling seasonal gifts. Getting the tree up, writing to-do lists, and planning family activities are probably on the top of your list, but don’t forget to tune into a classic Christmas movie during the season!
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Christmas films have been an integral part of the holiday season for decades, and for good reason. These classics bring humor, tradition, and a heavy dose of the Christmas spirit into our homes. For those who don’t feel the joy of Christmas this year, these movies can help you get there. With mass success at the theatres, these Christmas films are the highest-grossing of all time.
10 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006): $110 Million
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, is the third film in the Santa Clause series, released in 2006. Starring Tim Allen and Martin Short, the film was the least popular of the series, but still racked in over $110 million at the box office. Though true fans of the series were happy to have a final chapter for the 2006 holiday season, the general ratings were quite grim.
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Film review website Rotten Tomatoes gave it only a 17% approval rating, and critics argued that the final chapter of the series was full of mediocre humor and a weak storyline. Either way, it is the 10th most successful Christmas film, so that counts for something!
9 Four Christmases (2008): $163.7 Million
Four Christmases was the star-studded holiday film of 2008, with lead roles played by Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. The classic meeting-the-parents-during-the-holiday-season formula really worked with this hilarious rom-com.
In the style of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, this is one of the best Christmas movies on the list. Despite receiving lukewarm reviews, the film is still one of the top-grossing Christmas movies of all time. It earned a total of $163 million worldwide at the box office.
8 The Santa Clause 2 (2002): $172 Million
The Santa Clause 2 was the much-anticipated sequel to the class 1994 Tim Allen film. Released in 2002, it was considered a box office success, bringing in $172 million on a $65 million filming budget. The film continues the story of Scott Calvin (Tim Allen), who has turned into Santa Claus.
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Heavy focus is put on both Santa and Scott’s personal lives, with a few romantic twists along the way. Despite mixed reviews, the film has become a staple Christmas movie, with fans tuning into the trilogy on replay each season.
7 The Santa Clause (1994): $189 Million
When it was released in 1994, the film was an instant hit, due in part to the popularity of Tim Allen at the time. The sitcom of the decade, Home Improvement, was in its peak glory in ’94, and director John Pasquin already had a solid working relationship with Allen. The magic translated to the screen, and the film earned an impressive $189 million at the box office.
6 Elf (2003): $220 Million
For fans of Will Ferrell, Elf is one of the funniest Christmas movies ever released. The classic, directed by Jon Favreau, follows the life of Buddy, a human child who was adopted by Santa’s elves to work in the North Pole. When he finds out about his non-elf origins, he travels to NYC in search of his biological father.
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The comedy inspired the Broadway version, Elf: The Musical, which debuted in 2010. Critically acclaimed as one of the best Christmas movies of all time, the film made $220 million at the box office.
5 The Polar Express (2004): $311 Million
The Polar Express was released during the 2004 holiday season to mass acclaim. Based on the 1985 children’s book by the same name, The Polar Express offers a computer-animated adventure that is sure to please children and adults alike. The film was praised for its realistic graphics and beautiful scenes. It was also produced by industry pioneer Robert Zemeckis.
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Tom Hanks is cast in several scenes, with several of the other main characters digitally-produced. The film did phenomenally at the box office, bringing in a total of $311 million worldwide.
4 A Christmas Carol (2009): $325 Million
A Christmas Carol is another Christmas classic directed by Robert Zemeckis. Based on the 1843 Charles Dickens story, the film is computer-animated, and stars Jim Carrey in several roles, namely that of Christmas grump Ebenezer Scrooge.
Released by Walt Disney Studios, the film did exceptionally well at the box office, amassing a total of $325 million dollars worldwide. Jim Carrey won a Kids’ Choice Award in 2010 for his voice work in the film. As the fourth most successful Christmas movie of all time, A Christmas Carol is one to watch every season.
3 How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000): $345 Million
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is one of the best-loved Christmas films of all time. Based on the popular Dr. Suess book, released in 1957, the classic tale recounts the story of Christmas grouch extraordinaire, Grinch.
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Loosely based on Ebenezer Scrooge, the Ron Howard film stars Jim Carrey in the lead role. Grossing over $345 million at the worldwide box office, the film is the third most successful Christmas movie of all time.
2 Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992): $359 Million
The most famous Christmas movie of all time, Home Alone released its sequel in 1992, just two years after the first came out.
This time on the loose in New York City, Macaulay Culkin, cast as the unforgettable Kevin, treats us to an action-packed adventure. Starring Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as Harry and Marv, the film was extremely well received at the box office, grossing $359 million internationally.
1 Home Alone (1990): $476 Million
Home Alone is in a league of its own when it comes to Christmas movies. , It’s release in 1990 gave holiday movie-goers something to talk about. Almost 30 years later, the film is still regarded at the best Christmas movie of all time, and fans faithfully watch it every holiday season.
Grossing $476 million at the box office, internationally, Home Alone is the most successful Christmas movie, and for many, hands down the best one.
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