1. Sherlock Holmes
Year released: 2009
Christmas Day take: $24.6 million That's right: One of the largest grossing films of all time wasn't even America's most popular Christmas Day movies the year it was released. That honor goes to Guy Ritchie's take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic London detective. America had just rediscovered its love of Robert Downey Jr. a year before during his turns in Iron Man and Tropic Thunder and had months to go before the next Iron Man sequel. With Sherlock Holmes opening with the magic PG-13 rating on Christmas Day, the holiday falling on a Friday and Avatar costing a bit more for the privilege of 3-D glasses, seeing Downey play an eccentric with Jude Law and Rachel McAdams in tow seemed like a viable alternative. Though Sherlock Holmes became the highest-grossing Christmas Day movie and opening of all time, its final $209 million take at the U.S. box office wouldn't come close to the nearly $750 million Avatar brought in by the end of its U.S. run. On Christmas Day, however, Holmes had the 3-D powerhouse solved. -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.