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Thanksgiving Weekend Movies: Past Hits and Delayed Releases

The holiday season is finally here, and with it comes a flurry of new movie releases. However, this year’s Thanksgiving weekend will look a little different due to the ongoing pandemic, causing some releases to be postponed or even canceled.

Despite this, Hollywood has a long history of successful box-office hits during this time, especially with animated movies and family-friendly films.

Postponed and Cancelled Releases

One of the most notable releases that has been postponed due to COVID-19 is the latest installment in the James Bond film franchise, “No Time to Die.” The movie was originally set to premiere in April 2020 but has since been pushed back multiple times, with its current release date set for April 2, 2021. Similarly, Disney has delayed the release of “Raya and the Last Dragon” from its original release date of November 25 to March 5, 2021, allowing for more time to promote the movie worldwide.

Past Successful Thanksgiving Weekend Releases

Despite the changes in this year’s release schedules, Thanksgiving weekend has historically been a profitable time for Hollywood. Animated movies and family-friendly films have been particularly successful during this time, bringing in high box-office numbers.

DreamWorks’ “Rise of the Guardians,” released in 2012, grossed over $300 million worldwide and featured an all-star cast including Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, and Isla Fisher. Similarly, “The Haunted Mansion” starring Eddie Murphy, released in 2003, was a hit with families, bringing in over $182 million globally.

Other successful animated movies that have made their debut on Thanksgiving weekend include “Penguins of Madagascar” in 2014, a spin-off of the popular “Madagascar” film franchise, and Pixar’s “Toy Story” in 1995, which launched a beloved set of movies. “A Bug’s Life” starring Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hayden Panettiere, and Phyllis Diller also made its debut during this time in 1998, bringing in $363 million worldwide.

In addition to animated movies, sequels and action films have also done well on Thanksgiving weekends. “Creed,” a spinoff of the “Rocky” franchise, was released in 2015 and grossed over $173 million globally.

“Back to the Future Part II,” released in 1989, was a sci-fi comedy sequel that brought in $332 million worldwide and featured Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.


In conclusion, while some movie releases have been postponed or canceled this Thanksgiving weekend due to the pandemic, Hollywood has a long history of successful box-office hits during this time. Animated movies and family-friendly films have been particularly successful, bringing in high box-office numbers for studios and keeping families entertained during the holiday season.

Whether it’s revisiting classic films like “Toy Story” or exploring new movies like “Raya and the Last Dragon” in March 2021, there is always something for everyone during Thanksgiving weekend at the movies. In conclusion, while some Thanksgiving weekend film releases have been postponed or canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, Hollywood has a successful history of box-office hits during the holiday season.

Animated movies and family-friendly films have been particularly popular and profitable, with movies like “Toy Story,” “The Haunted Mansion,” and “Rise of the Guardians” grossing high box-office numbers. As we navigate through the 2020 holiday season, it’s important to remember the joy and entertainment that films can bring during this time.

Whether it’s revisiting classic movies or exploring new releases, the movies are a perfect way to spend time with loved ones during the holiday season and beyond.

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