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The Voice of the Wildkats

The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

The Student News Site of Willis High School

The Voice of the Wildkats

‘Barbie’ tops list of movie hits of 2023

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WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE OF 2023?

It’s safe to say that 2023 was a major year in Hollywood. A successful year was much needed in the film industry, considering recent events such as the writer’s strike and the lasting effects COVID-19 has had on the industry. With all the groundbreaking movies that came out this year, there were a good few that really stood out amongst the others.

One of the most, if not the most major movie that came out this year, has got to be the “Barbie” movie. Several Barbie movies had been made before, but this one was bound to be unique to the rest. With it being the first live action movie in the franchise, people were excited from the very beginning to see what lucky actress would get cast as Barbie. So many people out there grew up with the character, so the major nostalgia tied to this movie also made it destined for success. Despite a bit of confusion surrounding the plot of this movie, and some people being opposed to its themes; the movie still broke several film records, brought in billions in the box office and made complete history. 

Many nostalgic character films were released this year, one of them being none other than the Super Mario Bros. Movie. Based on the 1980s video game that has grown into the popular franchise it is today, people of all ages were looking forward to this movie’s release. Audience reviews describe this movie as “great fun” and a “beautifully animated” story. People liked the many references made in the movie to the various video games, and the fact that they decided to make Princess Peach a strong female character; which is unlike her usual portrayal. This movie also proved successful in the box office, bringing in over $1.5 billion dollars worldwide.

With the mention of the Barbie movie, I’m sure you saw this next one coming. “Oppenheimer” is another very popular movie from 2023 that coincidentally debuted the same day as “Barbie”. The irony of these two polar opposite movies debuting on the same day resulted in the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon. This movie was one of the most action-packed films of the year, and told the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer; the man who created the atomic bomb used against Japan in WWII. People from all around the globe loved this movie, and it brought in over $2 billion in the box office, making it one of the most successful films of 2023.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3” was released in early spring, and has been described as an “epic cosmic adventure” that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire movie. Just like its predecessors, this movie was a hit with audiences all over the world. It was the fourth-highest grossing film of 2023, bringing in just over $845 million in the box office. 

Yet another beloved character made a comeback this year in the “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse “movie. Being the sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse”, tons of people were excited for this movie’s release. The film was a complete success, and is no doubt one of the most successful animated films of the year. It was nominated for several awards at the Golden Globes, and nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Critics’ Choice Awards. 

A very popular Disney princess made a reappearance this year in the live-action “Little Mermaid” movie that was released in late spring. People were skeptical at first as they always are about live action remakes, but audiences all over and critics alike grew to love this movie. The film retells the story of Ariel, a very adventurous and curious mermaid who finds her true love on land. This movie also pulled at several 80’s and 90’s kids heartstrings, as it is an adaptation of the 1989 Little Mermaid movie so many adults grew up with. The movie proved successful, bringing in $297 million in the box office.

Another endlessly popular character among many age groups was brought back this year in the final Indiana Jones movie, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” People were shocked to hear that another Indiana Jones movie would be released, as this franchise began in the 70s and it would be the first Indiana Jones movie released since 2008. Despite his age, beloved actor Harrison Ford took on his signature role of Indy once again in this movie, which made many people thrilled to see this film. The disney film brought in $384 million in the box office, and was nominated for a few rewards in various film festivals.

“Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One” is another movie that took people back this year. Reviving the 1990s franchise, this movie was a hit amongst long-time fans. Reviews say that this movie gets your adrenaline pumping, and that this movie delivers “explosive and jaw-dropping” cinematic moments. 

Nearing the end of 2023, another much loved franchise was revived with the release of “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”. This movie captivated millions of fans, and with its complex storyline and catchy songs; it really made an impression. As a prequel to the original trilogy, some doubted the movie; but it certainly established itself as one of the most popular movies of 2023. People describe the movie as a “haunting origin tale” and a “perfect masterpiece.”

This wouldn’t be a recap of all the most popular movies released in 2023 without mention of the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” movie. Based on the much loved 2014 game franchise, this movie was a long time coming for many fans and brought on tons of excitement during the 2023 halloween season. Though some audiences were dissatisfied with the movie’s loose adaptation of the original story, many people were still very thrilled that a favorite childhood game had been turned into a movie. Reviews say that this movie was nothing short of a “cinematic masterpiece,” reeling viewers in with suspense and impeccable storytelling.

The tough but overall phenomenal year the film industry had in 2023 only sets the stage for further success in 2024. Already, there are several exciting movies set to come out early this year such as “Mean Girls” the musical, “Lisa Frankenstein”, “Deadpool 3”, “Madame Web”, and many more. 2023 left a golden path for the film industry to follow into 2024, and with the writer’s strike recently ending; here’s to hoping that there is much more good to come.

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About the Contributor
Heather Carroll is a sophomore at Willis High School and is new to the newspaper staff this year. She is a member of the varsity treble choir and also participates in UIL competitions. Last year, she placed at district and made it to regionals in UIL Ready Writing. You can reach her at [email protected].
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