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Blockbuster films of 2023

Arts and Culture
 Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in Barbie. (Courtesy)

Each year, there are those mega-films that become the talk of the globe. These are the types of movies that peek in box-office numbers and have us lining up at the cinema to get our dose of big-screen satisfaction. We explore some of the biggest films of 2023.

Barbie

Barbie, released in July 2023, was so successful that it has been described as one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Barbie was written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who made history with the film, becoming the first female solo director to surpass $1 billion (over Sh 153 billion) at the Box Office.

The cast of Barbie includes Margot Robbie as Barbie, Ryan Gosling as Ken, Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, Will Ferrell and Michael Cera among others.

Oppenheimer

This is the story of American scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and his role in the development of the atomic bomb, according to film website IMDB.

The epic biographical thriller film has been described by The New York Times as a dense, event-filled story. Film review website Screenrant notes that we can’t deny Oppenheimer’s massive box office success, reporting that it raked in $948 million (over Sh144 billion) at the worldwide box office.

The film’s director Christopher Nolan addressed the film’s box office success, saying that Oppenheimer was one of those films wherein “your timing is just right in ways that you never could have predicted.”

The Little Mermaid

One of the biggest films of the year in its own right, The Little Mermaid is an American musical romantic film starring Halle Bailey, Javier Bardem, Melissa Mccarthy, and Jonah Hauer King among other prominent personalities.

It is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1989 animated film. The film grossed over $569 million worldwide (over Sh87 billion), as reported by Box Office Mojo.

Noting the film’s criticism, Daily Mail reported that The Little Mermaid remake was controversial right from the start, with the casting of 23-year-old Black actress Halle Bailey as the title character, Ariel.

“The casting led to a wave of racist remarks, claiming her casting wasn’t accurate to the character from the original 1989 animated film, voiced by white voice actress Jodi Benson.”

Addressing the racism, Halle doubled down on her excitement about taking on the role. She revealed that she had adored the fairy tale growing up, and could relate to it in many ways, even pretending to be Ariel every time she went swimming as a child.

Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse

This superhero animation action film is a sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).

The film has also been described as “a crazily frantic sequel with full spin energy.”

“The first note I took after seeing it was “so much movie.” Like the work of a young artist who refuses to be restrained by the borders of the frame, “Across the Spider-Verse” is loaded with incredible imagery and fascinating ideas,” American film critic Roger Ebert writes.

The Super Mario Bros movie

One of the highest-grossing films worldwide, The Super Mario Bros movie is an animated adventure comedy film based on Nintendo’s Mario video game franchise. There have been major box office sales, but there has been criticism in equal measure.

Screenrant notes: “After The Super Mario Bros. Movie arrived on Netflix on December 3, it joined the platform’s Top 10 best-performing movies across the globe for the week of November 27 through December 3. As revealed by Netflix, the movie currently ranks at #9 after initially being hosted on Peacock. It racked up 4.8 million hours viewed from 3.1 million views.”

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