JaneTV’s Top Movies and Shows from 2023

From Barbie to Spider-Man, Here Are the Biggest Hits of the Year

The year 2023 proved to be a monumental one for the film industry, as theatrical exhibition saw an impressive recovery, crossing $8 billion in earnings. Despite a soft release schedule in the second half of the year due to labor strikes, the summer movie season came to the rescue with several blockbuster hits.

I’ve put together a list of the top 10 movies of 2023 at the domestic box office, based on their earnings and popularity, and the top 10 rated television shows of 2023.

Top 10 Movies That Dominated the Box Office in 2023

  1. Barbie – Warner Bros.

Topping the list is “Barbie,” Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Mattel’s iconic toy line. The film became a cultural phenomenon, capturing the hearts of audiences and earning an impressive domestic total of $636.2 million. With a successful marketing campaign and ongoing theater presence, “Barbie” remained a favorite for moviegoers long after its initial release.

  1. The Super Mario Bros. Movie – Universal Pictures

In a remarkable turnaround for video game adaptations, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” shattered records, becoming the highest-grossing film of its kind. The animated feature delighted audiences with its $574.9 million domestic haul, while also securing the largest-ever opening for an animated film. Universal Pictures celebrated a significant victory with this beloved gaming franchise.

  1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Sony/Columbia Pictures

Continuing the success of its predecessor, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” swung into the third spot. The film, which is part of the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga, exceeded expectations with a domestic total of $381.3 million. Audiences eagerly embraced the return of Miles Morales, pushing this animated superhero adventure into the top three.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios continued its winning streak with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” as the beloved group of misfits took audiences on their final mission. The film’s domestic total of $358.9 million demonstrated the enduring popularity of this quirky superhero franchise. Fan-favorite characters and director James Gunn’s vision contributed to the film’s success.

  1. Oppenheimer – Universal Pictures

Oppenheimer (film) - Wikipedia

“Oppenheimer,” Christopher Nolan’s thought-provoking historical drama, made a significant impact at the box office, earning $326 million domestically. Paired with the success of “Barbie,” the release of these two films set the stage for one of the biggest box office weekends in North American history. Audiences flocked to theaters for this captivating portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

  1. The Little Mermaid – Walt Disney Studios

Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” enchanted audiences and generated a domestic total of $298.1 million. While the film fell short of pre-pandemic heights, it showcased impressive holds and benefited from a lack of direct competition targeting young female audiences. This magical adaptation proved that Disney’s remakes still captivate audiences.

  1. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) – Walt Disney/20th Century Studios

James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” continued the success of the groundbreaking franchise. While released in 2022, the film’s robust domestic total of $283 million in 2023 propelled it onto this list. With its awe-inspiring visuals and broad appeal, the film proved once again why the “Avatar” series remains a cinematic phenomenon.

  1. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios

Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” continued to entertain audiences with its humor and action-packed sequences. The film generated $214.5 million domestically, solidifying the enduring popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the charm of its pint-sized heroes.

  1. John Wick: Chapter 4 – Lionsgate

John Wick: Chapter 4 [Includes Digital Copy] [Blu-ray/DVD] [2023] - Best Buy

The highly anticipated fourth installment in the “John Wick” franchise thrilled audiences with its intense action and breathtaking stunts. “John Wick: Chapter 4” earned a respectable $187.1 million domestically, proving that audiences continue to embrace Keanu Reeves’ iconic assassin character.

  1. Sound of Freedom – Angel Studios

Ending our list on a surprising note is “Sound of Freedom,” a low-budget drama that exceeded expectations by grossing $184.1 million domestically. Despite facing competition from high-profile releases, the film unique marketing scheme drew in viewers. Although not without it’s own fair share of drama surrounding the film’s funding and creators.

Top 10 Rated Television Shows of 2023

Based on reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, here are the top rated television shows that were released (either entirely new or with a new season) in 2023.

1. “Invincible” – Season 2

“Invincible” has become a sensation among superhero enthusiasts. Season 2 of this animated series retains its exciting blend of teenage angst and intense action as Mark Grayson navigates his life as a high school student and a fledgling superhero, following in the footsteps of his powerful father, Omni-Man.

2. “Reservation Dogs” – Season 3

“Reservation Dogs” tells the story of four Native American teenagers who navigate life, love, and the struggles of growing up in rural Oklahoma. Season 3 continues to showcase the show’s unique blend of humor, heart, and cultural exploration, offering an authentic and often hilarious depiction of indigenous experiences.

3. “Reacher” – Season 2

Based on Lee Child’s popular novels, “Reacher” follows the enigmatic and relentless former military police officer Jack Reacher as he travels across the United States, righting wrongs and uncovering conspiracies. Season 2 promises more edge-of-your-seat suspense and stunning action sequences as Reacher delves into new thrilling cases.

4. “Happy Valley” – Season 3

The gripping British crime drama “Happy Valley” returns for a highly anticipated third season. Detective Sergeant Catherine Cawood takes center stage once again as she battles criminals and navigates personal challenges, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats.

5. “A Small Light” – Limited Series

“A Small Light” presents a moving and poignant limited series that explores themes of loss, grief, and resilience. It portrays the inspiring, real-life story of Miep Gies, who played a critical role in hiding Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation in Amsterdam. With a stellar cast and beautifully crafted storytelling, this series leaves a lasting impact on its viewers.

6. “Colin from Accounts” – Season 1

“Colin from Accounts” introduces audiences to the comedic world of office life as Colin, an everyday accountant, finds himself caught up in hilarious misadventures. This light-hearted series offers a delightful escape into the quirky side of corporate culture.

7. “Foundation” – Season 2

Based on Isaac Asimov’s groundbreaking novels, “Foundation” takes viewers on a mesmerizing journey through a sprawling galactic empire. Season 2 delves deeper into the complex web of politics and science, weaving together a captivating narrative that keeps sci-fi fans hooked.

8. “Drops of God” – Season 1

“Drops of God” combines the worlds of wine and mystery as a young man embarks on a quest to uncover the secrets of his late father’s renowned wine collection. This series offers a blend of intriguing characters, rich storytelling, and a deep appreciation for the art of winemaking.

9. “Cunk on Earth” – Season 1

“Cunk on Earth” brings the signature comedic brilliance of Philomena Cunk as she humorously examines mankind’s history and the complexities of our existence. With sharp wit and satirical commentary, this series offers a fresh and entertaining take on historical documentaries.

10. “The Other Two” – Season 3

“The Other Two” returns for a highly anticipated third season, following the lives of two siblings, with a mega-superstar little brother, who navigate the unpredictable world of entertainment. With its clever writing and relatable characters, this series continues to be a hilarious and insightful take on fame and family dynamics.

As we embark on another year of captivating television, these top 10 shows and films of 2023 provide a mix of genres, stories, and emotions that have resonated with viewers worldwide. Whether it’s the gripping action or the heartfelt exploration, these works have made their mark and left lasting impressions on audiences.

While this next year we may have a delay in programming, due to the months long strike, it might be a different year ahead for film and television.


Written by JaneTV

Jane is a longtime Santa Barbara resident who enjoys watching a variety of movies and television

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