box office bets

The biggest movies to watch in theaters in 2023

Marvel, DC, and Tom Cruise all have big releases planned

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Tom Cruise, seen here as he attends the Royal Film Performance and UK Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" in London, has a new Mission Impossible movie coming out in 2023.
Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures) (Getty Images)

This year, movie releases including Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, DC’s The Batman, Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and most recently, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water have given the industry a much needed boost after its pandemic slump. 2023 could mark an even better improvement—as long as covid’s resurgence doesn’t wreak havoc.

Marvel has six superhero flicks on offer, and rival DC has a couple, too. Highly-anticipated sequels to Creed, John Wick, and Mission Impossible are all releasing in the new year, too.

Movie calendar: 2023's theatrical releases

Feb. 3: M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock At The Cabin is an apocalyptic thriller with a twist.

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Feb. 10: Channing Tatum is back for one last dance with the Magic Mike franchise in Magic Mike’s Last Dance. The film, which also stars Salma Hayek, reportedly ends with a 30-minute dance sequence.

Feb. 15: In the non-Disney slasher flick Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, Christopher Robin goes off to college, leaving Pooh and Piglet behind to turn into hungry, desperate, and feral beings, that eventually become serial killers.

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Feb. 17: With the third installment in the tiny superhero’s tale, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, director Peyton Reed promises an epic, saying ‘I don’t want to be the palate cleanser anymore. I want to be the big Avengers movie.’”

Feb. 24: Cocaine Bear takes its premise from the real life American black bear that ingested 75 pounds of cocaine, which had been thrown from a cargo plane because it was too heavy, and the movie is running wild with it.

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March 3: Creed III not only stars Michael B. Jordan, but the star also takes the director’s chair in this one.

March 10: Ghostface killings come to New York in Scream VI.

March 17: The sci-fi thriller created by the writing-directing team of A Quiet Place, 65 has Adam Driver playing an astronaut that crash lands on prehistoric Earth—precisely 65 million years in the past. It clashes at the box office with DC’s Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, which was meant to release this Christmas but bowed out of competing with Avatar.

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March 24: Keanu Reeves is back as the dog-loving hitman in John Wick: Chapter 4.

March 31: In Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the popular role-playing comes to the silver screen with an all-star cast including Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, and Regé-Jean Page of Bridgerton fame, among others.

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April 7: The Super Mario Bros. Movie has generated equal parts excitement and skepticism as Chris Pratt voicing the titular character hasn’t sat well with everyone.

April 14: In Renfield, Nicholas Cage plays Dracula. His recent filmography has been more creative and risky, but audiences haven’t really bought tickets to see it.

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May 5: James Gunn, whose recently been appointed the top boss at DC, hasn’t abandoned the Marvel ship just yet. The director has teased a major death in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

May 19: Gal Gadot, who had her third Wonder Woman movie shelved by DC, apparently recently shot for Fast X—a surprise considering her character died in an earlier installment.

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May 26: The casting of singer Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid caused a sensation. Director Rob Marshall called the reactions “very moving”, emphasizing there was “no agenda” in the casting choice.

June 2: In Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales is back in the next chapter of the Oscar-winning saga.

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June 9: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a sequel to Bumblebee and a tribute to Beast Wars.

June 16: If all goes well—read: the embattled lead Ezra Miller stops getting into trouble—The Flash will be DC’s major release of the year. Its trailer will apparently air during the Super Bowl in February.

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June 30: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is the first Indiana Jones movie that’s not made by Steven Spielberg. One thing remains the same: Harrison Ford is still Indiana Jones.

July 14: Tom Cruise is back as agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1, and the 60-year-old is still doing death-defying stunts.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One | The Biggest Stunt in Cinema History (Tom Cruise)

July 21: Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is the highly anticipated biopic on the physicist and “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy in the titular role. It’s the first movie ever to be shot on black and white IMAX.

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July 21: The live-action movie Barbie has Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling playing Barbie and Ken respectively. Little is known about the plot, but it features dozens of famous stars and lots of rollerblading in neon outfits.

July 28: The Marvels has Brie Larson teaming up with Teyonah Parris’ newly super-powered Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel.

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October 6: With Kraven the Hunter, Sony’s is trying to turn another Spiderman super villain into the anti-hero. It kind of worked with Venom, but less so with Morbius.

November 3: Visionary director Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up to his massively popular movie, Dune: Part II will have a lot more of Zendaya in it.

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December 15: In Wonka, Timothée Chalamet sure looks the part as he tells the story of Willy Wonka before the golden ticket competition brings Charlie to the chocolate factory.

December 20: The Color Purple, the Alice Walker novel that became an Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg-starring Steven Spielberg movie in 1985, gets a reboot as a musical coming-of-age period drama.

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December 25: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is the last release on DC’s schedule before James Gunn and Peter Safran wipe the slate clean.

One big movie to watch at home: Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon comes to Apple TV+ in May. Based on David Grann’s best-selling book, the movie set in 1920s Oklahoma depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation.

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The Western drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemons, Robert DeNiro, and others, cost a whopping $200 million to make.

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