Three consecutive Marvel films are the most anticipated films of 2023, according to Fandango

Still image from Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse

Source: Sony Pictures

It seems movie fans can’t get enough of superheroes.

Three of the upcoming Marvel movies – the latest in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, Spider-Man and Ant-Man — are the top three most anticipated films of 2023, according to a new survey by Fandango.

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Moviegoers also said they plan to head to cinemas more than they did 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 one ticket in 2022.

“Anyone who says at this point that there’s Marvel fatigue or superhero fatigue is clearly not one to go to the movies,” said Eric Davis, managing director of Fandango, the movie, TV and ticket information site.

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

The survey indicates a huge appetite for familiar characters and universes. Many of the upcoming films are prequels, sequels, or films otherwise connected to a popular franchise. It’s the second year in a row that franchises have dominated Fandango’s most anticipated list.

The 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2023 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 1” (Basic)

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

9. “Creed III” (MGM)

10. “The Super Mario Bros.” (worldwide)

Of the top 10 most anticipated movies overall, only “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” isn’t part of an established movie franchise. But even this movie comes with name recognition for the popular video game franchise and coincides with the opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in California.

Some mid-budget non-franchise films, such as “Cocaine Bear” and “M3gan,” still make some separate category-specific listings. Cocaine Bear, a dark comedy about a cocaine-sniffing bear that goes on a murderous rampage, is the third most anticipated stand-up comedy. “M3gan,” about a life-sized artificial intelligence 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 going into a whole new year — and that’s nothing new — it’s these big movies, these big sequels, these big anticipated franchises that people are really looking forward to the most.”

For Hollywood, the wave of big franchise releases in 2023 may signal a desire for stability after the industry has been rocked by the Covid pandemic turmoil.

Older franchises and films are “an insurance policy for the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “I think studios always take risks and the biggest guarantee is that people at least know what the movie is about.”

Most movie watchers also said they plan to have more theaters in 2023 than they did this year, with 84% saying they plan to see at least six films in a movie theatre. Last year, 80% said they wanted to see at least five films in theaters.

The survey results are promising for theaters, which have been grappling with a shortage of new releases since the pandemic, when people were crowding home to stream movies instead. There were 40 fewer movies released widely in 2022 than in 2019, according to data from Comscore.

This year, the latest blockbuster in theaters is “Avatar: The Way of Water.” The film opened Sunday and grossed $134 million at the domestic box office, less than the 175 million analysts expected.

Disney is betting big on Avatar: The Way of Water

The drought of new releases in theaters may be less severe in 2023, when more than 100 new films are scheduled for release, including the largest number of blockbusters since 2019, according to Davis.

“The good news for next year is that you will have more films being released,” Dergarabedian echoed.

Some of the biggest players in the entertainment industry want to recreate movie viewing as a personal experience. When Warner Media and Discovery merged in April, the new system recommitted to only theatrical releases and scaled back its direct-to-film productions.

for example, Warner Bros. Discovery He reversed course on “Magic Mike’s Last Dance,” which was originally going to be released exclusively on HBO Max but is now ready for the big screens in February. This pivot came about after Warner Bros. announced the film’s release. Discovery has already canceled “Batgirl,” which is also planned as an HBO Max exclusive debut.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of CNBC and NBCUniversal, which owns Fandango. NBC Universal is the distributor for the Super Mario Bros., Cocaine Bear, and M3gan movies.

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