Each year, Thanksgiving at the movies rakes in millions of dollars for major Hollywood studios. After all the stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, thousands of moviegoers trek to their local theater for the latest holiday film.
Whether it's for escaping the Black Friday madness, or killing time before the next football game (on TV or at the park), going to the movies serves as a nice Thanksgiving treat for everyone.
This year's Thanksgiving releases is led by an Academy Award winning director, some beloved puppets, a tale of Santa Clause's kind young son, a struggling family man and some vampires.
Here are five movies to watch this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving, and happy movie watching!
The Muppets (Nov. 23)
With all the parody trailers (“Twilight,” “Paranormal Activity,” “Happy Feet 2”) and recent media appearances (SNL), it’s hard not to notice that The Muppets are back. With help from Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and a slew of cameos from the likes of Lady Gaga, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Jack Black and some 30 other celebrities, “The Muppets” returns to the big screen for the first time in 12 years. This time, the gang is on a mission to raise money to save the Muppet Theater.
Hugo (Nov. 23)
If the names Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee aren’t enough to draw you into “Hugo,” perhaps this name will: Martin Scorsese. “Hugo” is not only Scorsese’s first family film -- it's his first 3D film. Based on “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick, “Hugo” follows the adventure of a young orphan (Asa Butterfield) who lives in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. Chloe Grace Moretz, Emily Mortimer and Jude Law also star in the film.
The Descendants (Nov. 18)
George Clooney and director Alexander Payne team up for one of the year’s most talked about films. “The Descendants” is already earning Clooney Oscar buzz for playing a man who tries to reconnect with his children after his wife falls into a coma. Set in Hawaii, the comedy-drama also stars Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard and Beau Bridges.
Arthur Christmas (Nov. 23)
“Operation Santa Clause is coming to town,” someone says in the trailer for “Arthur Christmas,” one of the first Christmas films to arrive in theaters this season. James McAvoy provides the voice for Arthur (the younger son of Santa), who tries to save Christmas by delivering one last present to a forgotten child. “Arthur Christmas” features the voices of a star-studded group, including Hugh Laurie (Santa’s eldest son), Jim Broadbent (Santa), Bill Nighy (Grandsanta), Will Sasso (American James), Joan Cusack (Mission Control Elf) and Andy Serkis (General Elf).
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Nov. 18)
The latest vampire film is already breaking records in America and beyond, thanks to its big weekend opening of $138.1 million at the box office. In “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” Bella and Edward get married. Bella gets pregnant. Jacob the wolf continues to “protect” Bella. Go on, give the teenage vampire love story a try (and maybe watch the first three before going to the fourth).