10 Highest-Grossing Thanksgiving Movies of All Time

What scored big at the Thanksgiving box office?

Turkey. Cranberry Sauce. Stuffing. And... Cinema?

While it may not have the multiplex appeal of some higher-profile holidays (Halloween and Christmas), Thanksgiving still has plenty to offer on the big screen. 

From decades-old classics to more recent fare, this list includes some of the best and worst Thanksgiving movies ever. Quality and profit have very little to do with each other, and some of these are real stinkers!

If football just isn't really your thing, here are the 10 highest-grossing Thanksgiving movies of all time, according to Box Office Mojo!

1. Jack and Jill (2011)

 

It's appropriate that Adam Sandler has the highest-grossing Thanksgiving movie of all time, given his beloved "Thanksgiving Song." Other than that, this thing is an abomination. The Sandman plays his own twin sister. Enough said.

2. Scent of a Woman (1992)

 

Hoo-ah! This Thanksgiving movie is probably best-remembered for Al Pacino's performance, which finally nabbed the actor an Academy Award for Best Actor. He plays a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who went blind by drunkenly juggling hand grenades. Pass the gravy!

3. Free Birds (2013)

 

Hang onto your nuggets! Featuring the voice talents of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, Free Birds tells the story of time-traveling turkeys trying to save their kind from the pilgrims' first feast.

4. Don't Say a Word (2001)

 

If you think Thanksgiving might be a weird time for a thriller, you're in great company. Despite being a box office success, Don't Say a Word is hardly remembered today. Michael Douglas plays a psychiatrist who has to coax a patient into giving him the location of secret gemstones.

5. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

 

If we're being totally honest, we thought this one would be #1. It's certainly the most iconic Thanksgiving movie, but it's only the fifth highest-grossing. John Candy and Steve Martin deftly balance laughs with warmth in this holiday classic.

6. Nobody's Fool (1995)

 

With a career and legacy like Paul Newman's, it's easy to see how some movies would be more readily remembered than others. However, Nobody's Fool remains an underrated gem, both in Newman's filmography and in the Thanksgiving movie pantheon.

7. Son in Law (1993)

 

Time for another clunker: Son in Law was the first true starring vehicle for ultimate nepo-baby Pauly Shore. The insufferable Shore stars alongside a criminally underrated Carla Gugino in this Thanksgiving critical flop.

8. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

 

Hannah and Her Sisters boasts an ensemble cast that includes Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Max Von Sydow, and Michael Caine. It even won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay!

9. Home for the Holidays (1995)

 

Jodie Foster is a once-in-a-generation talent. Not only is she an incredibly talented actor, but she also directed a bona fide Thanksgiving classic with Home for the Holidays. It's a feel-good family story, featuring a great performance by a pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.

10. The Ice Storm (1997)

 

Dark and depressing for the holidays, this one's directed by the guy who made Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and that one Hulk movie that didn't have Mark Ruffalo or Edward Norton. This one's absolutely no fun at all!

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31 Comments

Bullitt2019 4 months ago
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the best. I won’t watch any Adam Sandler movie except Spanglish, and Fifty First Dates, but I have to fast forward though the Rob Schneider scenes.
JHP 6 months ago
#5 is in my top 10 flicks

I could watch it now and 2mrrw and a month from now and still laugh so hard - John Candy I miss you:(

Now let's talk about ROI
15 mil budget - box office 45 mil....
jgclark1962 6 months ago
I hate Gilligan's Island. It's comedy is actually stupid. Where is Emergency. I've got to go hunt it on another station. And why not include episodes of After-Mash. I'm sort of tired of Mash. I like them idea of Metcalf+. But METV could use some polishing.
Cougar90 6 months ago
On the history side of Thanksgiving you can add "Plymouth Adventure", Spencer Tracy, 1952, MGM.
SparkleMotion 6 months ago
I've never even heard of a lot of these. And even then, I'm still sure Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the best of these.
BenSobeleone 7 months ago
"Do you have 17 dollars and a really nice watch?"
"I have 2 dollars and a Casio!"
JHP BenSobeleone 6 months ago
there we go - such a great line from Candy (aka Del Griffith). Thanks for the line:):)
WilliamJorns 7 months ago
Out of all those films listed, the only one I've seen is "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." The rest, well, eh!
327053 WilliamJorns 7 months ago
Same 😄
RobertK 327053 6 months ago
Yup, One of the best! Pillows? THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS!!!
Runeshaper 7 months ago
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is hilarious! A must see!
cperrynaples Runeshaper 7 months ago
Of course, we can't even quote Steve Martin's car rental scene on this board...LOL!
Runeshaper cperrynaples 7 months ago
HAHAHAHA true!
Mob39 7 months ago
Planes, trains, and automobiles, son-in-law, and Jack and Jill! my all-time favorite Thanksgiving movies. I watch these all year long, and I also watch Christmas movies all your long. Why wait to enjoy classic movies once a year.
cperrynaples Mob39 7 months ago
REALLY? Jack & Jill is horrible! Even thinking about the Pacino-Sandler kiss makes me ill!
dazeofwine 7 months ago
To me no other film about Thanksgiving will ever be better than Planes, Trains And Automobiles. It reeks of Thanksgiving as the backdrop to one of my favorite comedies of all time.
CrumblyCrunchies 7 months ago
Also, Down And Out In Beverly Hills covers Thanksgiving thru New Years Eve.
KJExpress 7 months ago
I'm pretty sure that Hannah and Her Sisters can't be from 1996. I saw it with my mom long before she was ill and she passed away in January 1996. Somebody's finger must have slipped.
MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
Planes, Trains & Automobiles is funny movie but has some really touching, poignant scenes with John Candy.
Bapa1 MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
He played a very sad, lonely man. Remember seeing it with my wife.
JHP MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
If it doesnt make you tear up then whoever needs to go to Pluto
MrsPhilHarris JHP 6 months ago
When John Candy says “You wanna hurt me? Go ahead and hurt me…” and “my wife likes me” gets me every time.
JHP MrsPhilHarris 6 months ago
bingo and bulls eye fer sure - cannot understand why people cant state that this is a great movie - it's a roller coaster of deep emotions. Better than the crap that is on the screen right now (and for awhile now)
MrsPhilHarris JHP 6 months ago
Love that movie. Definitely a rollercoaster.
harlow1313 7 months ago
It might not be a Thanksgiving turkey, but they carve some sort of bird in "Eraserhead."
MrsPhilHarris harlow1313 7 months ago
I saw Eraserhead in the 80s at a Greenwich Village movie house. It was interesting.
Peter_Falk_Fan 7 months ago
"Planes, Trains and Automobiles" - Good movie. John Candy is great.
"Son in Law" - Okay movie. Liked Pauly Shore better in "Encino Man".
The rest I haven't watched.
Snickers 7 months ago
I have never seen one of these movies.
KJExpress Snickers 7 months ago
I'm nearly with you, Snickers. I've only seen one of them. 🤷‍♀️
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