Thanksgiving – the five-day mini blockbuster weekend – beckons in some of the best movies of the year. These movies also make up some of our most successful silent auction items to date!

For more than three decades, since the extreme success of Rocky IV in 1985, many families and friends have spent part of their thanksgiving weekend going to the movies.

And when we say “many families and friends” we mean it! In recent years, the top-grossing movie for that thanksgiving weekend produces 8%-16% of the total box-office take for the entire season.

What’s the reason for this? What makes these movies so successful?

The top-grossing thanksgiving movie statistics explain a lot of the trend.

There are three types of movies that have proven again and again as the winners during the thanksgiving weekend.

  1. Family Movies
  2. Book-to-Movie Series
  3. Fun Movies

The reasons these types of movies do well are the same reasons they will help your nonprofit if you incorporate them into your silent auctions.

After all, the holiday season and your cause are both centered around giving.

1. Family Movies

This weekend kicks off the holiday season – a time when we gather around and become family centric.

The holiday season is for the kids – or, at any rate, it brings out the “kid” in all of us.

Regardless of how commercialized one might see the holiday season, it still is a time of extreme giving. (Many small Nonprofits receive more than half of their donations during this two month period!)

It’s a time we all remember our blessings and take time to give to friends, family, and the causes we believe in.

I think there is a childlike innocence that comes with a perspective centered around giving.

That may be a reason why family movies – especially from Disney – have swept the competition year after year. We turn our attention to the simple and to the joyous. The childlike attitudes of good tidings and great joy are accepted and celebrated.

Movies like Frozen ($93.6M), Moana ($81.M), Toy Story 2 ($80.1M), Monsters Inc. ($32.5M), and Aladdin ($25.1M) have made tens of millions each during the thanksgiving five-day weekend.


And they still are making an impact today. Why not add one of these autographed movie posters to your upcoming charity silent auction?

2. Book-to-Movie Series

From Harry Potter to Twilight to The Hunger Games, book-to-movie series contend with Disney movies as being the most watched box-office hits for the thanksgiving weekend.


Because we love stories, especially fantastical ones!

As we gather together, we want to hear stories of adventures in the impossible and of good overcoming evil. We want these stories to be about the characters we have come to know and love.

Movie series, especially when first originating from a book, fulfill those desires for story.


Stories are at the bedrock of our humanity. No one can pass up a good story. Their impact surpasses trend. Incorporating these stories within your nonprofit silent auction only carries on their impact.

3. Fun Movies

Last but not least, fun movies!

There is something to be said for sitting down to watch a wild and entertaining movie.

And the Bond series is the kind of action-flick we can all get behind.

Car chases. Cool gadgets. Espionage. British accents.

What’s not to love?

Skyfall ($50.5M), Quantum of Solace($27.5M), and Spectre ($18.1M) have all been fan favorites over the recent thanksgiving years.

How many of us wanted to be secret agents as kids? Who wanted to go to the moon as an astronaut?

James Bond movies are so successful during this time of year because we all want to believe in something greater than ourselves. We want to be apart of something big.


What’s bigger than stopping a sinister plot to take over the world?

A nonprofit is in the business of change! The Bond series is just one example of helping your donors remember what it’s like to be apart of something bigger than themselves. They can be apart of bringing change. And you can supply them with reminders of that through awesome silent auction items.