Why aren’t there as many Thanksgiving movies as other holidays?

Go to Google and search for movies based on Halloween, and you’ll spend all day browsing through the various movies dealing with the night of tricks and treats. Do the same for Christmas movies and you could spend an entire year browsing through different movies of all genres dealing with this holiday. But sandwiched between those two holidays is Thanksgiving. There are few films dealing with this holiday, Planes, trains and automobiles, Hannah and her sistersand free birds are the few that come to mind. Movies just haven’t been very interested in one of the tenets of the holiday season. Why is that? Hollywood has exploited the holidays as an easy way to make money and grab the attention of moviegoers for decades. With so much attention on Halloween, why is Thanksgiving being left out when it comes to movies?

This is partly due to something simple: planning. Christmas movies, starting in the 1990s, are regularly released in early or mid-November. Some titles like Surviving Christmas even bowed at the end of October. This early release gives Christmas-themed movies plenty of scope to make money at the box office for as long as possible before they’re deemed out of season. What’s good for titles like Elf, however, leaves no room for Thanksgiving movies. There’s nowhere on the calendar they can open. After all, October is dedicated to Halloween, dropping a Thanksgiving movie there would be madness. These programming standards already make it difficult to launch a Thanksgiving-themed feature.

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On another level of marketing, there’s not as much merchandise incentive for studios to make Thanksgiving movies compared to Halloween or Christmas fare. Any toy, costume, food, or other item associated with these last two holidays is bound to be lucrative. When you deliver The Polar Express, you’re not just making a movie, you’re creating something that can generate merchandise for years to come. The majority of stores, meanwhile, are avoiding even selling Thanksgiving staples, like plates, in favor of getting Christmas orders ready earlier. Additionally, several key international territories for American films, such as the United Kingdom and other European territories, do not celebrate Thanksgiving, making it nearly impossible for potential Thanksgiving films to be profitable overseas.

Image via Paramount Pictures

There’s also the fact that Hollywood often operates in a cyclical fashion when it comes to the type of films it produces. If something manages to break Hollywood standards, you can be sure there will be plenty of imitators. But if there’s no track record of success in making movies about a certain topic, Hollywood is much less inclined to produce movies in that mold. So it is with Thanksgiving movies. While there aren’t many examples of this subgenre, to begin with, this rarity is reason enough for Hollywood studios to largely shun opportunities to make more movies centered on this time period. ‘year. There are no famous megahits based around Thanksgiving, so there never will be. any famous megahits based around Thanksgiving, so goes typical Hollywood logic. Without these essential monetary incentives, major studios, when it comes to Thanksgiving movies, typically quote Inside Llewyn Davis saying “I don’t see a lot of money here.”

More fundamentally, though, there just aren’t as many varied social scenarios for Thanksgiving to base the movies on. The party is limited to a single day where a large number of family members come together to eat lots and lots of food. There are no gigantic shopping traditions associated with the holidays, and it’s not common for there to be Thanksgiving parties with friends. There’s also a dearth of unique lore associated with the holidays that can be twisted into horror movies or R-rated comedies. How on earth could you make, say, a Bad Santa equivalent to Thanksgiving?

On the other hand, for Halloween, you can extract endless movies from rowdy high school/college parties. Plus, the festivities that take place at night make it a prime backdrop for horror movies. As for Christmas or other holidays at the end of December, they are an inexhaustible source of possibilities for films. This holiday has weeks of construction and countless traditions to inspire locals for the movies. Meanwhile, the cute, family-friendly nature of Christmas makes it perfect for turning into adult fodder like Krampus Where The night before. It’s not just marketing demands that keep Thanksgiving movies from hitting theater screens, there’s also just more creative opportunity with the other holidays.

And then there’s the elephant in the room when it comes to Thanksgiving which makes basing movies on the holiday a trickier prospect. Thanksgiving is a compassionate holiday to a 1621 feast between Plymouth Pilgrims and the native American population of the Wampanoag people. Once upon a time, this reason for the season was seen as a cutesy ode to the possibility of everyone getting along. Of course, in reality, the relationship between these two populations was not so comfortable. The modern world has provided opportunities for Indigenous people like Tommy Orange to raise their voices and raise awareness of how celebrating this holiday while ignoring the ongoing struggles for Indigenous rights is, as Orange puts it, “scary”. .

The greater awareness of these difficulties makes it difficult to make frivolous Thanksgiving movies. This problem is compounded by the fact that there are no fantastical mythological figures associated with the holidays that can distract from these spooky undercurrents. Santa Claus and the various inhabitants of the North Pole, for example, can make Christmas movies remind people of joyful good cheer, not the suffering of the real world. Easter has the Easter Bunny, a cuddly creature known for bringing chocolate that can appeal to anyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Halloween, meanwhile, has managed to turn even Chucky and Freddy Krueger into cuddly icons in Funko Pops that herald the imminent arrival of Halloween.

Thanksgiving has no such individuals. There’s never even really been an attempt to do the equivalent of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny for this holiday and it’s hard to imagine that being possible (certainly a turkey mascot would just be weird since they would advocate holidays centered on the devouring of animals). The absence of a big fantasy character who can root a holiday in the fantasy world makes it harder for Thanksgiving movies to distance themselves from the angst of the native people the holiday is built on.

Additionally, Thanksgiving traditions lack a specific religious connection that can help give potential films an embedded audience that ensures some level of financial success. Releasing a film aimed at Christian moviegoers over Easter, for example, is often a guaranteed path to varying degrees of box office success. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, doesn’t have that kind of fanbase that reassures studio executives and financiers that there’s a built-in audience for those kinds of features. Without that demographic to help, Thanksgiving movies seem like an added risk for those in charge of mainstream movie production.

Considering all of these qualities that hold back Thanksgiving cinema, it’s worth noting that TV shows don’t have this same problem. On the contrary, TV shows do Thanksgiving episodes all the time. Programs ranging from Seinfeld at The west wing at Friends all have iconic installments involving familiar characters carving up the turkey or trying to grit their teeth and look after extended families on that food-obsessed vacation. How come the small screen can make Thanksgiving fuss, but big-screen exploits have a harder time cracking that nut?

TV shows, especially those on broadcast networks, tend to feel like you’re hanging out with friends or even family. You know their routines, their catchphrases, how they will react to certain scenarios. In other words, they’re like the people you invite into your home for Thanksgiving. The familiar nature of television characters may allow for a better approximation of the Thanksgiving experience. Plus, it can also be fun to watch your favorite fictional characters go through misfortunes like having to repeatedly return to a local grocery store to get a new turkey.

It’s harder for feature films to capture that feeling, especially ones that introduce new people to audiences. Much like how TV shows don’t usually start with a very special Thanksgiving episode, it can also be difficult to simply get audiences to get to know people on a hectic Thanksgiving day. It’s not impossible to pull off, especially if you’re a small-scale indie that can afford to dwell on long conversations that allow us to step into the lives of individual characters. Something like Stephen Karamit is Humansfor example, derives a lot of benefit from introducing people to a fractured family falling apart during one of the first Thanksgivings after 9/11.

However, this is an exception that proves the rule, since Jhe humans adopts a dark tone and a morally complicated nature for its characters to justify why we are introduced to these people on Thanksgiving. The same qualities that make this movie work as a Thanksgiving story are also the same elements that would put off mainstream moviegoers. More mainstream films settle for more ordinary, schmaltzy forms of conflict that never feel as fun or exciting as seeing beloved sitcom characters navigate the trials and tribulations of Thanksgiving success. Unless you’re willing to go brutally dark in a way that an NBC sitcom can’t, for the most part, conventional mainstream cinema just can’t use Thanksgiving properly the way established sitcoms with characters can. equally recognizable.

If you’re looking for some Thanksgiving pop culture this year, chances are you’re in for yet another viewing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Or maybe you’ll enjoy our favorite Thanksgiving episode of Office. What is certain is that you will not be shoot a Thanksgiving movie. It’s not that these titles are non-existent, it’s just that there are countless reasons why Hollywood continues to avoid these holidays for cinematic exploits. Considering how heavy some of these reasons are, maybe that’s for the best. However, if someone wants to make a quirky feature film for Turkey Day, it’s unlikely anyone will object. Crusher the team finally shoots the parody trailer Thanksgiving in a slasher feature!

Why aren’t there as many Thanksgiving movies as other holidays? – CNET