Following its recent 30th-anniversary re-release in theaters, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas has now crossed a significant box office threshold by surpassing $100 million in earnings. As per Box Office Mojo, this beloved holiday season classic gathered an additional $9.8 million in domestic revenue (including $889,000 from its latest weekend), pushing the North American total to $87.2 million. On the international front, the re-release contributed $13.8 million to The Nightmare Before Christmas‘ box office takings, propelling the film over the $100 million milestone.
Arriving in theaters on October 29, 1993, the stop-motion musical was released under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, initially considered too frightening for children. Frequently misattributed as one of Tim Burton’s directorial works (an understandable mistake due to his prominent name placement on the film’s poster), The Nightmare Before Christmas marked the directorial debut of Henry Selick from a story penned by Burton. Additionally, Burton assumed a producer role alongside Denise Di Novi.
The storyline of The Nightmare Before Christmas revolves around Jack Skellington, the ruler of Halloweentown, who stumbles upon a portal leading to various holiday-themed realms. One of these realms is Christmas Town, a vibrant and contrasting world to the eerie and somber Halloweentown. Intrigued, the Pumpkin King endeavors to introduce Christmas to his home, which results in bewilderment and chaos. Assisted by his friends and through personal experiences, he eventually rekindles his affection for Halloween.
A Truly Unique Box Office Journey
During its initial theatrical run, The Nightmare Before Christmas accumulated $50 million in the United States. Over the years, subsequent re-releases and its establishment as a holiday essential among loyal fans have significantly bolstered the film’s commercial triumph, more so in recent times. Garnering critical acclaim, the movie made history by being the first animated feature to secure an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Additionally, Danny Elfman, responsible for the film’s score and the voice behind Skellington’s songs, received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score.
Joining Elfman, the primary voice cast features Chris Sarandon portraying Jack Skellington, Catherine O’Hara as Jack’s romantic interest Sally, William Hickey embodying the mad scientist Dr. Finkelstein, Ken Page voicing the villain Oogie Boogie, Paul Reubens as trick-or-treater Lock, Glenn Shadix portraying the Mayor of Halloweentown, and Ed Ivory as Santa Claus.
Burton commenced his cinematic journey with 1985’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Throughout his extensive career spanning decades, he’s been behind the creation of several cherished films, such as Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and Beetlejuice. Recently, Burton reunited with Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder for Beetlejuice 2, slated for release next year, marking 36 years since the original film’s debut. Despite Beetlejuice‘s return, Burton enthusiasts might want to temper their expectations for a continuation of Jack and Sally’s narrative. While Selick has expressed his view that a prequel might hold more fascination than a sequel, he’s also disclosed Burton’s lack of enthusiasm for the idea. In a recent interview, he stated:
“I think Tim in particular feels like, why mess with that? He certainly doesn’t need to make more money from a sequel. He has had so many other successes, and so far nobody’s come up with a great idea for a sequel. And I still think that Tim gets to decide. I don’t think there’s any idea that would convince him.”
The Nightmare Before Christmas is available for streaming on Disney+ and is being shown in specific theaters.