All we want for Christmas is a really good movie to watch in theaters when we need a break from wining, dining and non-stop chatting with our families over the holidays! Christmas has been one of the biggest days of the year at the box office — like back in 2009 when "Sherlock Holmes" debuted. The Guy Ritchie-directed mystery broke records for its Christmas Day box office haul of around $25 million. (Christmas was on a Friday that year, by the way!) Wonderwall.com rounded up more of the biggest Christmas Day movie debuts over the years — keep reading to see which films had cause to celebrate over the holidays…
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The star-studded Tom Hooper-directed adaptation of "Les Misérables" — the first of three musicals to appear on this list — banked more than $18M when it opened on Christmas Day in 2012.
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The Angelina Jolie-directed WWII POW biopic "Unbroken" made $15.4M when it debuted on Christmas Day in 2014.
The competition was stiff for Christmas Day openings in 2014: The big-screen adaptation of the musical "Into the Woods," in which Meryl Streep starred as the witch, banked a little more than $15M, which was just a little less than Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken."
Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" had a solid opening on Christmas Day in 2012: The Western — in which Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz starred — banked a little more than $15M, which was just $3M shy of what "Les Misérables" made on the same day.
"Lone Survivor" — the film based on the 2007 non-fiction novel of the same name written by Marcus Luttrell — took in $14.4M when it debuted on Dec. 25, 2013. The movie, which starred Mark Wahlberg, went on to make $38.2 million by the end of its opening weekend, taking the No. 1 spot at the North American box office.
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston were likely thrilled after their tearjerker "Marley & Me" hauled in $14M when it opened on Christmas Day back in 2008.
Christmas 2008 was a big day at the box office: The Adam Sandler comedy "Bedtime Stories" opened to the tune of $10.5M. (Keep an eye out for the fourth movie that debuted that day, which is further down this list!)
The Muhammad Ali biopic "Ali," in which Will Smith starred, took home $10M when it debuted on Christmas Day in 2001.
The Steven Spielberg-directed biopic "Catch Me If You Can" — the second of three films starring Leonardo DiCaprio to appear on this list — made $9.8M when it opened on Christmas Day in 2002.
Not every movie that debuted on Christmas and made a bunch of money is a solid film. "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem" opened on Christmas Day in 2007 — and banked $9.5M right out of the gate.
Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" — the third film starring Leonardo DiCaprio on this list — hauled in $9.1M when it debuted on Christmas Day in 2013.
Musicals sure perform well at the box office over the holidays! The star-studded big-screen adaptation of the musical "Dreamgirls" banked $8.7M when it opened on Christmas Day in 2006.
The divisive Bryan Singer-directed Nazi drama "Valkyrie," in which Tom Cruise starred, is the fourth major movie that debuted on Christmas Day in 2008. It opened to the tune of $8.4M.
Ben Stiller sure knows how to generate some big bucks! His adventure dramedy "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which came out on Dec. 25, 2013, earned $7.8 million that day.
The August Wilson-written period drama "Fences" starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis made a box office bang when it went into wide release on Christmas Day in 2016, earning $6.7 million that day.
The Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy "Holmes & Watson" was a critical dud but it still made $6.4 million when it debuted on Dec. 25, 2018 — landing in fourth place at the box office on the holiday ("Aquaman," which had opened earlier in the month, reigned superior: It took in $22M on that day alone).
"American Sniper" didn't make millions on its opening day but it did break an earnings record. The Clint Eastwood-directed war drama starring Bradley Cooper made history when it debuted on Christmas Day in 2014 and raked in around $240K at just four venues (one in Los Angeles, one in Dallas and two in New York City) — smashing the record for a limited release under 10 screens on Dec. 25. The film ultimately grossed $547 million worldwide.