Top Ten Christmas Films of the Decade

The countdown to Christmas is only ever complete with a steady serving of festive films.

While 2011 may have been the year of sequels and serious Oscar contenders, it sadly suffered a shortage in good ol’ Christmas crackers.

Fear not, for here at Front Row Reviews, we’re hoping to get you in the holiday spirit by counting down the top ten highest grossing Christmas films of the past decade.

According to worldwide Box Office gross:

10)      Bad Santa (2003) $76,057,639  

The Coen brothers’ black comedy stars Billy Bob Thornton as the conman running riot in a Phoenix department store. Disguised as Santa and aided by a criminal Elf, the planned robbery doesn’t play out exactly as expected.


9)      Christmas with the Kranks (2004) $96,572,480

Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen star in this family comedy about skipping Christmas and discovering the wonders of last-minute celebrations. With their daughter away in Peru, the Kranks opt out of festive rituals, only to find their Christmas plans are once again altered when she unexpectedly returns.



8)     Fred Claus(2007) $97,838,349

Sibling rivalry takes centre stage as Vince Vaughn stars as the disgruntled older brother of Santa Claus.  The incompatible duo must join forces and put their differences behind them for the sake of saving Christmas.



7)      Four Christmases (2008) $163,733,697 

Vince Vaughn once again stars in another Christmas fave, this time joined by Academy-Award winning actress Reese Witherspoon. The couple crack under the Christmas pressure to visit all four of their divorced parents in one day.



6)      The Santa Clause 2 (2002) $172,855,065  

Tim Allen portrays Santa Claus in this sequel to the highly successful 1994 comedy The Santa Claus. Centred around Santa’s quest to find a Mrs Claus, the movie raked in less than its predecessor but the franchise went on include a third and final instalment in 2006.


5)      The Holiday (2006) $205,135,175 

Hollywood royalty Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet both star in this romantic comedy about heartbreak during the holiday season. Hoping that a change of scenery will help them deal with their struggles, both women temporarily house-swap and find love across the Atlantic. Funny man Jack Black and Jude Law shine in their supporting roles.


4)      Elf (2003) $220,443,451 

Will Ferrell stars in this Christmas comedy as the Elf who discovers his human identity and heads to New York City to meet his biological father. Playing the idiot abroad, this Elf is finding than Manhattan is a world away from the familiar festivities of the North Pole.


3)      Love Actually (2003) $246,942,017 

Notting Hill director Richard Curtis brings together a fine ensemble cast for this British romantic comedy, which follows the love-lives of eight different couples during the run up to Christmas. Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and Keira Knightley are just a few of the stars in this hit comedy set in London.


2)      The Polar Express (2004) $306,431,864 

The runner-up goes to computer-animated flick The Polar Express.  Narrated by Tom Hanks, the story centres around a young boy’s quest for self-discovery upon a midnight train to the North Pole. The magical journey helps turn his cynical Christmas myth into a reality.




1)   A Christmas Carol (2009) $325,286,646 

The 3D adaption of a Charles Dickens classic remains the highest grossing Christmas film of the past decade. The Walt Disney animation stars Jim Carey as the miserable Ebenezer Scrooge who is greeted by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.  This ground-breaking motion picture boasted technical precision among its years, including imagery from live-action performers which helps secure its ultimate number one position.


This year’s additions:

1)     A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas 

Since its U.S release this month, the third instalment in the franchise has already raked in $33,986,208.

2)     Arthur Christmas

This year’s highest grossing Christmas film is the 3D animation hit, which follows the story of Santa’s youngest son on his urgent Christmas mission. Featuring the voice of James McAvoy, the festive flick has already grossed $111,347,000 since its November release.

About The Author

Manleen is currently studying Journalism (BA) at London’s elite City University. As an avid movie fanatic, she is combining the skills taught within her degree to kick-start her career as a movie critic. She’s worked with some media heavyweights in the past, such as the BBC, CNN and Orange Film Club. Manleen has joined the team and takes on the role of news and reviews writer and social media promoter.

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