7 Wildly Profitable Kids Movies That Had No Cultural Impact

There are a lot of movies that I saw as a kid that have really stuck with me. Not because they haunted me or something, but simply because they were really good. Some of those movies weren’t even financially successful, but they still meant a lot to me. Those aren’t the movies that I’m here to talk about, though. We’re here to discuss the opposite — huge financial successes that had absolutely no impact on any kid’s life. Let’s get down to it.

The Entire Ice Age Franchise


There are like four Ice Age movies, and I have never heard a child recall any of them without being prompted by someone saying “Literally, do you remember the Ice Age movies?” Then the kid will give a half-hearted “Yeah, I think so?” But this franchise has made almost three billion dollars worldwide. So do foreign markets just really love the adventures of now extinct animals? Don’t they know the story has an unhappy ending?! The animals are extinct, for god’s sake!

Shrek The Third

TOTAL GROSS: $799 Million

Shout out to diminishing returns. Boy, I don’t know anyone who saw Shrek The Third out of anything but obligation (which is extra strange, considering people didn’t really love the second one.)

The Polar Express

TOTAL GROSS: $307 Million

If you were looking for the perfect unsettling Christmas movie that fails to cross the uncanny valley, well… here you go. The Polar Express made a bunch of movie as a holiday movie, and today it’s essentially never shown during the holidays! How do you fail to crack that lineup? Christmas is desperate for some new iconic movies.

Rio 2

TOTAL GROSS: $500 Million

I originally had this spot dedicated to the first Rio, but then I discovered something that blew me away — Rio got a sequel. So it goes here! I honestly had no idea that the adventures of a talking bird demanded a sequel, and if that description seems vague, well, it’s because Rio could not have left less of a mark on myself and the general populace.

Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2

TOTAL GROSS: $832 Million

I’m including the Hotel Transylvania franchise as well, because the sequel just came out and the most noteworthy thing about it was the demonstration of how much harder women in Hollywood must work than men. But these movies are classic examples of how almost everything Adam Sandler does feels incredibly lazy; it’s one of the three voices he uses in every movie, and has zero story moments that stick in your brain.

The Santa Clause

TOTAL GROSS: $145 Million

There was a period of time where Tim Allen was, straight up, a movie star. It was a strange time for America, but one we cannot ignore. Like The Polar Express, you’d think any movie that was as successful financially as The Santa Clause would be run over and over again at Christmas, but alas, it is not. It even got two sequels, each of which suffered badly from both diminishing plot and diminishing box office returns.

Gnomeo & Juliet

TOTAL GROSS: $194 Million

I’m with you; what the hell is Gnomeo & Juliet?! APPARENTLY it only cost 36 million dollars to make, and then it hauled in all that cash, making it incredibly successful. So there you go — the next time you feel like you can’t accomplish something, know that a garden gnome adaptation of one of the world’s most famous stories was an enormous box office success.

Can you believe how much cash some of these things have hauled in? What are you doing with YOUR life? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!

Will Weldon
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