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15 Top-Grossing Holiday Movies of All Time

Add these Christmas classics and new holiday films to your December binge-watch list

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The Nightmare Before Christmas / Touchstone Pictures

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December 19, 2018

The top money-making holiday film ever has stuffed more than $285 million into its stocking at the U.S. box office since it came out in 1990. Any guesses? We won’t ruin the suspense of scrolling to the end of this list of 15 top-grossing holiday movies, but the top one is definitely yelling “keep the change, ya filthy animal” to the rest of the flicks.


Fun fact: Of the 15 movies, only one made its theatrical debut in the 1980s (Die Hard), four came in the 1990s, eight were released in the 2000s and two are representing the 2010s, based on domestic earnings stats we compiled from Box Office Mojo.

15. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

  1. Lifetime gross: $73,780,539
  2. Memorable quote: “Look at us, we kind of look like uncooked chicken.” — Tim Allen as Luther Krank

14. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  1. Lifetime gross: $75,082,668
  2. Memorable quote: “Jack, please, I'm only an elected official here, I can't make decisions by myself.” — Mayor, voiced by Glenn Shadix

13. Die Hard (1988)

  1. Lifetime gross: $83,519,093
  2. Memorable quote: “Now I know what a TV dinner feels like.” — Bruce Willis as John McClane

12. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)

  1. Lifetime gross: $84,500,122
  2. Memorable quote: “I'm gonna kick the coal out of whoever did that.” — Martin Short as Jack Frost

11. Daddy’s Home 2 (2017)

  1. Lifetime gross: $104,029,443
  2. Memorable quote: “Why does a duck have feathers? To cover up his butt quack.” — John Lithgow as Don Whitaker

10. Four Christmases (2008)

  1. Lifetime gross: $120,146,040
  2. Memorable quote: “That marker in your mouth, I peed on it.” — Reese Witherspoon as Kate

9. A Christmas Carol (2009)

  1. Lifetime gross: $137,855,863
  2. Memorable quote: “Ghost of the Future, I fear you more than any spectre I have seen.” — Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge

8. The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

  1. Lifetime gross: $139,236,327
  2. Memorable quote: “Ready, set! Seven swans-a-swimming! Six geese-a-laying! … Hike!” — Jamal Allen as Elf quarterback

7. The Santa Clause (1994)

  1. Lifetime gross: $144,833,357
  2. Memorable quote: “Here we are. Denny's. Always open.” Tim Allen as Scott Calvin

6. Elf (2003)

  1. Lifetime gross: $173,398,518
  2. Memorable quote: “You sit on a throne of lies. … You’re a fake.” — Will Ferrell as Buddy

5. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

  1. Lifetime gross: $173,585,516
  2. Memorable quote: “If you need somebody to trust, it can be me. I won't forget to remember you.” — Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister

4. The Polar Express (2004)

  1. Lifetime gross: $186,493,472
  2. Memorable quote: “There's no greater gift than friendship.” — Tom Hanks as Santa

3. The Grinch (2018)

  1. Lifetime gross: $223,324,225
  2. Memorable quote: “Today we will do mean things and we will do them in style.” — Benedict Cumberbatch as The Grinch

2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

  1. Lifetime gross: $260,044,825
  2. Memorable quote: “Oh, the Who-manity.” — Jim Carrey

1. Home Alone (1990)

  1. Lifetime gross: $285,761,243
  2. Memorable quote: “This is my house, I have to defend it.” — Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister
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