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Which Film Did Better: Jim Carrey’s ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ or the 2018 Animated Release of ‘The Grinch?’

Dr. Seuss' 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' was such a beloved book that it was adapted into a film three different times. The 2000 and 2018 releases were the most popular with one faring better with critics and the other generating more revenue.

Gearing up for the Christmas season, it’s only natural to want to watch your favorite feel-good holiday movies. Whether you opt for Hallmark Channel originals or try out one of Oprah Winfrey Network’s new Christmas films, you’ll be sure to find something you love. While new movies are great to add to your collection of favorites, there’s nothing like the classics and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch is just that. The book was turned into a film on three different occasions but two of them made the biggest mark. The 2000 live-action film and the 2018 animated release competed side by side and were successful for varying reasons.

The Grinch
Jim Carrey as The Grinch in ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’, 2000 | Universal/Getty Images

How well did the film ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ starring Jim Carrey do?

The Grinch was a huge commercial success. It hit number one opening day, bringing in over $15.6 million. The film stayed at the top of the box office for four weekends and held the record for the highest opening weekend for a Christmas-themed film for 18 years. 

Source: YouTube

Critics’ response to The Grinch was mixed. The positive reviews focused on Carrey’s performance and the overall costume and set design. The set design was loved so much that the film won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.

Film critic Peter Stack of the San Francisco Gate praised Carrey, writing, “Nobody could play the Grinch better than Jim Carrey, whose rubbery antics and maniacal sense of mischief are so well suited to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dr. Seuss himself might have turned to Carrey as a model for the classic curmudgeon had the actor been around in 1957.”

By the end of its run, The Grinch grossed $345 million worldwide, becoming the sixth-highest grossing film of 2000. 

How well did the 2018 animated movie ‘The Grinch’ do?

The Grinch is the third film adaptation of the story, following the television special from 1966 which starred Boris Karloff and the live-action feature-length film released in 2000. The film was narrated by rapper and producer, Pharrell Williams.

Source: YouTube

With an original budget of $75 million, The Grinch grossed $270.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $241 million in other countries, totaling $511.6 million. 

Like the 2000 release, the film received mixed reviews. The positive reviews focused on the performances of its stars. Movie critic Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, calling it “full of warmth and wit.”

Which ‘Grinch’ film did better?

Both films had mixed reviews but the 2000 version fared better with critics. Owen Gleiberman of Variety compared the film favorably to the 2000 live-action version, writing, “For anyone who grew up with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Grinch won’t replace it, yet it’s nimble and affectionate in a way that can hook today’s children, and more than a few adults, by conjuring a feeling that comes close enough.”

The Grinch
Jim Carrey as The Grinch | Universal/Getty Images

Box office numbers proved that the 2018 release was more of a financial success. It was originally the second highest-grossing holiday film of all-time behind Home Alone that was released in 1990. Both movies were surpassed in 2018 by the animated version of The Grinch. 

Both films are lauded as great family-friendly films to watch during the holiday season so deck the halls this year and enjoy.