Marvel sequels are most anticipated movies of 2023: Fandango survey | Popgen Tech


Still image from Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse

Source: Sony Pictures

Movie fans can’t seem to get enough of superheroes.

A trio of upcoming Marvel movies − the latest installments of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man and Ant-Man franchises − the top three most anticipated movies for 2023, according to a new Fandango survey.

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Moviegoers also said they plan to head to theaters more often this year, according to the survey, which was conducted in early December and is based on responses from more than 5,000 movie fans who bought at least on a ticket in 2022.

“Anybody that is at this point saying that there is Marvel fatigue or superhero fatigue is obviously not the ones going to the movies,” said Erik Davis, managing director of Fandango, the movie and TV information and ticketing site.

Read more: What’s next for Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. and Paramount?

The survey indicates a large appetite for familiar characters and universes. Many of the most anticipated films are prequels, sequels or films otherwise connected to a well-known franchise. This marks the second year in a row that franchises have topped Fandango’s most anticipated list.

2023’s Top 10 Most-Anticipated Movies Across Categories

1. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (Disney)

2. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (Sony)

3. “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (Disney)

4. “John Wick: Chapter 4” (Lionsgate)

5. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (Disney)

6. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Warner Bros.)

7. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” (Paramount)

8. “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” (Lionsgate)

9. “Creed III” (MGM)

10. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (General)

Among the top 10 overall most anticipated movies, only “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is not part of an established movie series. But even that movie included name recognition of the popular video game franchise and coincided with the opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in California.

A few non-franchise films with more mid-tier budgets, such as “Cocaine Bear” and “M3gan,” still made some of the separate category-specific lists. “Cocaine Bear,” a dark comedy about a bear who consumes cocaine and goes on a murderous rampage, is the third most anticipated live-action comedy. “M3gan,” about a lifesize AI doll that turns evil, is the fifth most anticipated horror movie.

“I definitely think there’s room for smaller films to make a lot of noise,” Davis said. “But I think coming into a new year — and it’s not a new thing — it’s the bigger movies, the big sequels, the big anticipated franchises that people are really looking forward to.”

For Hollywood, the release of big franchises in 2023 could signal a desire for stability after the industry was rocked by the disruptions of the Covid pandemic.

Franchises and legacy films are “a box-office insurance policy,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore. “I think studios are always risk-averse and the greatest insurance is that people will at least know what the movie is about.”

Most moviegoers also said they plan to visit theaters more often in 2023 than this year, with 84% saying they intend to see at least six movies in a theater. Last year, 80% said they wanted to see at least five movies in theaters.

The survey findings are promising for cinemas, which have struggled with a lack of new releases since the pandemic, when people have sought to stream movies at home instead. Forty fewer films were widely released in 2022 than in 2019, according to data from Comscore.

This year, the latest big blockbuster in theaters is “Avatar: The Way of Water.” The film opened on Sunday and earned $134 million at the domestic box office, below analysts’ expectations of $175 million.

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The drought of new releases in theaters may not be as severe in 2023, with more than 100 new movies slated for release, including the highest number of blockbusters since 2019, according to Davis.

“The good news for next year is that you will have a lot of movies that will continue to be released,” echoed Dergarabedian.

Some big players in the entertainment industry want to re-establish moviegoing as a personal experience. When Warner Media and Discovery merged in April, the new regime recommitted to theatrical releases only and reduced its production of straight-to-streaming films.

For example, Discovery of Warner Bros reverse course in “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which was originally set to air exclusively on HBO Max but is now set for the big screen in February. The pivot comes after Warner Bros. Discovery’s “Batgirl,” which is also planned as an HBO Max-exclusive debut.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of CNBC and NBCUniversal, which owns Fandango. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” “Cocaine Bear” and “M3gan.”


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