Which Christmas Movie Was The Biggest Money Maker?

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The metrics used to measure a successful Christmas movie vary. Some are cultural touchstones that feel like necessary viewing – see How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Others are as quotable as the pledge, like Elf‘s Code of the Elves. But which, in a huge and ever-growing catalog of Christmas movies, made the most money?

From there, even this metric requires some specifications. What was that film’s budget? Does this consider the ongoing fame and money it rakes in from getting aired decades later? Do Christmas films with a strong opening carry that momentum to the bank? How does factoring in franchises change this? Here are how some of the numbers play out. Some of the titles may surprise you. Are any of your all-time favorites on the list?

The list of most profitable franchises looks pretty different from individual films

The original Santa Clause made the most money of the highest-grossing Christmas franchise
The original Santa Clause made the most money of the highest-grossing Christmas franchise / © Buena Vista/courtesy Everett Collection

Christmas is so nice, it’s celebrated twice, sometimes thrice. Franchises mean more chances to bring in more money for the team and Christmas comes with a profitable excitement rivaled only by the summer blockbuster. But the number of entries doesn’t always mean more money brought in, and that’s especially evident looking at the biggest-grossing Christmas movie franchises. After all, The Santa Clause films only have three main entries but it tops that list, while the fourth-highest-grossing franchise is Silent Night, Deadly Night, comprised of a whopping six films.

HOME ALONE, Macaulay Culkin
HOME ALONE, Macaulay Culkin, 1990. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection

RELATED: Studies Prove Major Health Benefits For People Who Watch Christmas Movies All Year

Nestled in between those franchises is Bad Santa at number two, and Britain’s Nativity series at number three. Looking at franchises, this list has everything from a classic holiday comedy to a literal slasher horror, to black comedy. It’s also a testament to how strong first entries tend to be, with the first Santa Clause standing as the highest-grossing Christmas film in the series, raking in $189,800,000. Now, looking at individual movies, the list gets a lot more family-friendly.

These Christmas movies made the most money on their own

DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, Jim Carrey
DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, Jim Carrey, 2000 / Everett Collection

Looking at just which Christmas movies made the most money, it’s a sign that profit does not always equate to cultural impact. Look at 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, whose success is cited as the vehicle enabling more film entires in Snoopy’s story. But it’s 2009’s A Christmas Carol that netted much higher profits; it grossed $325,286,646. Just above it as the fourth highest-grossing Christmas film, bringing in $345,823,032, is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas – but again, not the 1966 version, but the Jim Carey one released in 2000.

A more recent version of The Grinch actually made the most money as a standalone Christmas movie
A more recent version of The Grinch actually made the most money as a standalone Christmas movie / © Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Then in the ranking is the third-highest is another familiar title: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. This 1992 entry proved that sequels can reach the majesty of their predecessor; its $358,994,850 profits don’t hurt much either. With numbers that high, watch out for the Wet Bandits! But wait, also keep an eye out for their former identities, the Sticky Bandits, because of course only the original Home Alone could beat the sequel. The original netted $476,684,675. Finally, time to unwrap the final present, the highest-grossing Christmas film: 2018’s The Grinch, which netted $511,595,957.

Are any of these profitable holiday films also your favorite to watch? Which are your favorite? Take a walk down memory lane for a holiday full of nostalgia with the Christmas movie video below!

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The post Which Christmas Movie Was The Biggest Money Maker? appeared first on DoYouRemember? – The Home of Nostalgia. Author, Dana Daly

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