With COVID having thrown the proverbial spanner in the works for 2022, both Hollywood studios and cinema theatres are frantically trying to recreate the previous years with full theatres and increasing box office revenues. However, with streaming movie services like HBO Max and Netflix producing their own content, the stakes for 2023 are higher than ever. After some amazing box office numbers from blockbusters like “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Top Gun: Maverick” in 2022, along with some flops best forgotten like “Morbius,” “Amsterdam,” and “Moonfall,” this year holds a renewed promise of movie goodness.
The Most Successful Movies in 2022
Though cinema-goers were not back to pre-pandemic levels, 2022 still enjoyed some big hits. Below are the highest-grossing movies of 2022 by worldwide box office receipts. Considering that the top three pulled in over $1 billion each, then 2023 will need to come up with some big hitters to compete.
- Avatar: The Way of Water
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Jurassic World: Dominion
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- Minions: The Rise of Gru
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
- The Batman
- Thor: Love and Thunder
In many ways, the movie industry is similar to the online casino gambling business. With their eye-watering investments, movies are like playing casino games at online casinos for real money, whilst keeping your fingers crossed for more free spins. Even if you have all your ducks in order, having a winning project still involves a large element of luck.
A Slow Start to the Movie Year
In the movie industry, January and February are known as “dump months” with much smaller audiences. This gives studios a chance to dump movies that have little chance of success. As such, the media campaigns promoting these efforts are much smaller. Having said that, it’s possible that social media buzz can propel a dump movie into the financial stratosphere. This happened with “M3gan,” a tongue-in-cheek horror film that came out on 13th January 2023.
Franchises Still Rule Hollywood
Thanks to streaming audiences are becoming weary of some franchises and remakes. Nevertheless, 2023 does offer some evergreen titles that will hopefully continue to produce high box office receipts, with new takes on tried and trusted formulas like John Wick and Ant-Man. Below we’ve listed some of the major offerings from the big studios for 2023.
As you can see, eight of these are franchises, with Indiana Jones being the oldest. Consider for a moment that his first of five outings was Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981.
|Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania||February 17||Peyton Reed||Paul Rudd,
|Shazam: Fury of the Gods||March 17||David F. Sandburg||Zachary Levi,
|John Wick: Chapter 4||March 24||Chad Stahelski||Keanu Reeves,
|Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3||May 5||James Gunn||Chris Pratt,
Zoe Saldana, Will Poulter
|Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse||June 2||Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson||Miles Morales,
|Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny||June 30||James Mangold||Harrison Ford,
|Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning-Part 1||July 14||Christopher McQuarrie||Tom Cruise,
|Barbie||July 21||Greta Gerwig||Margot Robbie,
|Oppenheimer||July 21||Christopher Nolan||Cillian Murphy,
|Dune: Part Two||November 3||Denis Villeneuve||Timothée Chalamet,
|Wonka||December 15||Paul King||Timothée Chalamet|
In no particular order, let’s have a look at the movies we are most excited about.
Dune: Part Two
Being fans of the Frank Herbert novels, and after seeing how well Denis Villeneuve interpreted them, we have our fingers crossed for the second instalment. Though the original sci-fi epic only grossed $108.3 million at the box office due to being simultaneously released on HBO Max, it still won six Oscars out of the ten nominations. Timothee Chalamet and his cheekbones are playing Paul Atreides who will avenge the death of his father and go on to save the universe.
John Wick: Chapter Four
After taking out the entire Russian mob as payback for the death of a puppy, Keanu Reeves’ John Wick has gone on to create his own R-rated ultra-violent movie franchise, peopled by assassins from the High Table.
With the capable Chad Stalhelski taking the helm, expect to see an endless supply of thugs meeting a painful demise. With all of the John Wick movies doing increasingly spectacular box office without being released in China, we feel Chinese martial arts superstar Donnie Yen has been brought on board to change China’s mind.
Christopher Nolan has Cillian Murphy in the title role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. After Nolan’s cerebral Tenet bagged a massive $363 million worldwide box office take, the British filmmaker has turned his lens towards making a biographical movie about the “father of the atom bomb.” A complex subject due to Oppenheimer being conflicted about his terrible invention, this should be a fascinating investigation of a brilliant man who later became a vocal opponent of nuclear weapons. Though this high-brow movie is filmed in the IMAX format, it’s sharing the release date with Greta Gerwig’s campy “Barbie,” which might prove to be an interesting competition.
It’s about time that Mattel’s most famous toy doll has her name written big across cinema posters. Judging from the leaked photos from the film set, it looks as goofy as it does absurdly. With Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, we think this is going to be a box office smash. Directed by Great Gerwig, who has a hand in the script with her partner Noah Baumbach, we think the roller skating photos of the two stars in their hot pink outfits are enough of a reason to buy movie tickets.
Based on the children’s book by Ronald Dahl, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory tells the story of a boy, Charlie Bucket, who finds a golden ticket and goes to visit the factory, only to later become its owner. The movie is a prequel to the book, with Timothee Chalamet taking the mantle of Willy before he became the most famous chocolate maker in the world. We’re excited to see it’s a musical. Even better, the director is Paul King, whose previous work includes the timeless live-action comedy Paddington movies.
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One
Action director Christopher McQuarrie returns with another outing for top agent Ethan Hunt. With Tom Cruise in the titular role and performing his own stunts at 60 years of age, we wonder how much more can both star and director up the ante. Though nothing is known about the plot due to Cruise keeping a tight reign over the entire movie set, we have seen some jaw-dropping stunts including Cruise launching himself into a ravine after a motorbike jump. We think Cruise still has the acting and production chops to make this another huge financial success for the film franchise that’s already taken over $3.5 billion from happy cinema-goers around the globe. Below, we’ve listed all the previous MI movies in order of their release dates.
- Mission Impossible
- Mission: Impossible 2
- Mission: Impossible 3
- Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
- Mission: Impossible – Fall Out
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
READ MORE: Reacher Season 2: Everything We Know So Far
Before director James Gunn heads over to the rival DCEU, he’ll have one last shot at helming the third chapter in this super-hero MCU trilogy. Expect to see an epic story of galaxy-hopping and to hear 1970’s cheesy rock mix tapes played on a Walkman. Rocket Raccoon gets an origins story, and Baby Groot grows up to become Beefcake Groot. As for another sequel, Dave Bautista has said that’ll be his final outing as Drax. Perhaps the Guardians will hang up their space outfits for good.
With a number of big projects chasing an ever-shrinking cinema-going public, it’ll be interesting to see how these movies play out with this year’s box office numbers. The audience gets more and more demanding each year. Often, movies that nobody thought would even make back their investments become real hits and vice versa. Regardless, 2023 has prepared some interesting options for us to see.
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