The Perfect Christmas Film Recipe

25 Highest Grossing Christmas Films Of All Time

Title Gross

The Process

We’ve ranked 80 festive films using a unique formula to learn what makes critics and audiences tick.

We’ve collected grossing figures, budgets, genres, lead actors, supporting actors, directors, composers and much more to get the fullest possible picture of what makes a perfect Christmas film.

The research for these films came from BoxOfficeMojo, IMDB and

How To Use This Page

On the tab above you’ll find the top 25 highest grossing Christmas films of all time ranked by their grossing figure. This is accurate as of December 2017 so before you comment that we’ve missed the latest blockbuster, please give us a chance to update it!

On the second tab you can filter Christmas films by profits, first weekend takings, critic score and audience score. The two latter have been sourced from Rotten Tomatoes.

The third tab is our exploration into what the perfect film recipe is, and what the film might look like. Click through and scroll to the bottom to read what that film might be about.

Explore Data

Title Rating Year Genre Profit
Title Rating Genre Profit
Title Rating Genre Profit
Title Rating Genre Score
Title Rating Genre Score

Explore Data

The database above displays the best bits of over 100 top Christmas films. Filter them by profit, total gross, audience score or critic score to see how your favourite festive film performed.

The data shows a snapshot (albeit a large snapshot!) of total data and if you’d like access to the rest then feel free to get in touch.

Our Perfect Christmas Film Recipe

Using our formula of combining a film's profits, critic score and audience score, we discovered the recipe for the perfect Christmas film. By taking the most successful elements for each category (Director, actor etc…) we were able to piece together these key ingredients for success:
Here are the key ingredients:

Director: Sharon Maguire
Lead Actress: Renée Zellweger
Supporting Actors: Tim Allen, Bruce Willis, Macauley Culkin and Danny Glover
Setting: The North Pole
Genre: Action
Misc: Not themed around Christmas

The Prefect Film Recipe Poster

What would the film be about?

Helen (Zellweger) is alone at Christmas writing her diary when suddenly her friends Harry (Allen) and Marv (Glover) break in and announce that the holiday is cancelled.

The three band together and head to the North Pole to save the season where they find Santa (Willis) and his Chief Elf (Culkin) have turned the festive factory into a fortress of solitude.

The trio’s action-packed journey sees them fight the forces of darkness in multiple dimensions such as a mountaintop inside a snowflake, Gotham City, and a tower in Los Angeles controlled by a man with a bad German accent.

Will they take the North Pole back? Will Elf teach his dad to embrace Christmas? Will Santa be convinced to turn away from the dark side? Discover the answers and more in this year’s blockbuster: Christmas Is Cancelled.