Most anticipated movies of 2023

After three years of struggling movie theatres, the industry is coming back with a boatload of new films to watch this year.

Sophia Fisher, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Movies are making a comeback! Many were increasingly concerned with movie theaters closing down and with the increasing preference for streaming, it seemed the sun was setting on movie theater experiences. However, 2023 seems to be bringing movie theaters back into the spotlight. With a lineup from superheroes, to book adaptations, to outrageous comedies, to even more superhero movies, there are many reasons to make a mad dash for the movie theaters. Here are the most anticipated movies of 2023, both recently released and on deck. 

1. Knock at the Cabin – February 3

This horror movie, directed by the infamous M. Night Shyamalan, is about a young girl and her parents who are abducted during a remote vacation and told to make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. When news about the movie was first released, there was a craze to discover its origin and information about the project. As predicted by Shyamalan’s involvement, there will be wild plot twists, only complimented by amazing technological flair. Supplemented by the amazing cast – Dave Bautista, Rupert Grint and Jonathan Groff all making an appearance – this movie is the perfect film for moviegoers who enjoy strong actors and psychological thrillers. (Rated R)

2. Magic Mike’s Last Dance – February 10

Channing Tatum returns to the screen in this sequel to conclude Mike Lane’s story. The last two Magic Mike movies grossed $286 million so this third installment is set to be released in theatres as opposed to on HBO Max. This also marks the first Steve Soderberg movie to be released in theatres since 2018, marking a strong return to theatres from at home streaming. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this movie is the perfect start to a year of movies for people who enjoy romance and nostalgia. (Rated R)

3. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – February 17

While generally the Ant-Man movies have been considered smaller films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, known as the MCU, the third chapter is set to be a box office hit. With the confirmed introduction of the new, major villain, Kang the Conqueror, and a precursor episode from “Marvel Studios: Legends,” “Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is predicted to make $100 million or more the day of release. Marvel fans everywhere are excited for the first Avengers saga movie release of the new year. (Rated PG-13)

4. Creed III – March 3

Marvel fans will also be excited to hear about a new movie starring the beloved Michael B. Jordan. The Creed movies have a flawless track record, negating any of the usual wariness surrounding sequels. “Creed III” is set to tell a completely new story, with Donnie’s life going smoothly until his childhood best friend is released from prison and sets out to prove himself in the ring, all the while blaming Donnie for his stint in jail. “Creed III” is predicted to be the most high-stakes and emotionally charged movie of the three, which is perfect for viewers who enjoy action and drama movies. (Rated PG-13)

5. Scream VI – March 10

The original “Scream” from 1996 was one of the first horror movies where comedic relief came from the characters being aware of common horror tropes. This aspect has been used throughout the saga and is expected to be used again in this movie. “Scream VI” is set to continue from where the fifth movie left off; however, to maintain the viewing experience, details surrounding the mystery have not been revealed. Beyond the suspicion of new and legacy characters alike, and the even creepier Ghostface mask in this movie, this thriller will leave its viewers in suspense. (Rated R)

6. Shazam! Fury of the Gods – March 17

After the 2019 DC Extended Universe movie “Shazam!” was praised for its fun and light-hearted approach, people have waited with bated breath for the sequel to release. After production was confirmed as complete by the director, anticipation is through the roof. With new incoming characters being adapted from Greek mythology as opposed to prior DC characters, fans are excited to see producers expand their creative liberties. (Rated PG-13)

7. John Wick: Chapter 4 – March 24

After the release of the third installment of John Wick and the promise of a fourth in 2019, fans have been on the edge of their seats for the release. Finally, four years later, the movie is set to hit theaters in March and we will learn even more about John Wick’s past and present. With the delays caused by the pandemic, the production team has had time to create more detailed reshoots and fans can’t wait to see what they have done with the project. (Rated R)

8. Renfield – April 14

This horror-comedy blend is a hilarious adventure with violence and laughter galore. As with many retellings of classical literature, while fans are excited to see Nicholas Cage’s interpretation of Dracula, the real anticipation comes from the new curiosity that is the character Renfield. A unique view of the story is seen as Dracula’s servant takes the spotlight over his nefarious boss. The award winning cast expands beyond Cage and includes Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz and the titular character played by Nicholas Hoult. (Rated R)

9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 5

The third installment of this BlockBuster series will cap off the trilogy, and the trailer promised an emotional roller coaster of an adventure. The movie is likely to explore more of the cosmic world as in the previous two movies, however, fans are wondering how it will expand on the overarching multi-verse storyline. As the MCU franchise is known for exploring humor and heart-wrenching deaths, alongside the rumored introduction of the deadly villain High Evolutionary, fans are anxious to see how the Guardians story ends. (Rated PG-13)

10. Fast X – May 15

The “Fast and Furious” franchise has been going strong for over two decades now and with the tenth installment releasing this year, it is said to be one of the best yet. With returning favorites like Vin Diesel and major new cast members like Jason Momoa and Brie Larson as well as the still mystery plotline, fans are interested to see how the story progresses. With “Fast X’s” reported $340 million budget, the creativity and opportunity seem to be unlimited. (Rating Unknown)

11. The Little Mermaid – May 26

30 years after “The Little Mermaid” originally graced the big screen, it is returning in live action. Singer Halle Bailey has been cast to star in the new movie, and fans are ecstatic to see more representation for people of color from Disney. After over a year of anticipation, teasers of Bailey singing the beloved song “Part of Your World” and the released promotional posters, fans have been waiting impatiently for the movie’s actual release in the week leading up to Memorial Day. (Rated PG)

12. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – June 2

When “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” first swung into theaters, it started MCU’s booming focus on the idea of a multiverse. Now, with two sequels on the books, fans are excited to see how the original plays with the concept it started. The animated film utilizes all the bright colors and humor of a comic while packing the film full of action and heart. “Across the Spider-Verse” is going to expand on the struggles Miles Morales faces as he grows up with great power and great responsibility. (Rated PG)

13. Elemental – June 16

Pixar is in its element as it utilizes its core strength of personifying the inanimate, such as the elements. After hiding an Easter Egg in the form of the “Elemental” protagonist, Wade, in “Lightyear,” Pixar kept anticipation high by releasing the official concept art for the movie on social media. Director Peter Sohn has confirmed that the plot for the story was based on his real-life experiences as a Korean American in the melting pot of New York City. With its wonderful message that differences can attract through the humanization of a hot-tempered fire element and an easy-going water element, this movie is bound to be a family favorite for all ages. (Rated PG)

14. The Flash – June 16

To add to the numerous superhero movies being released this year, “The Flash” is now a movie along with a TV show. Fans of DC will be pleased to see a familiar character and the additional trailer released during the SuperBowl had people jumping. The release date has also been moved ahead by a week so this action-packed movie will be available even sooner. As one of the first movies being released by the revamped DC Universe Production Team, fans are excited to get a taste of what is in store for them in the coming future. (Rating Unknown)

15. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – June 30

After years of anticipation, Harrison Ford will be returning to the screen to reprise his role as Indiana Jones. Believed to be returning to the tone of the first movie, the stars of the film are guaranteeing excitement, despite specific details about the movie remaining unreleased. In addition to the anticipation for the final movie in the quintet series, the promised TV series to follow is spiking excitement even higher, as fans get ready to be amazed by all the new stories to come. (Rated PG-13)

16. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One – July 14

Fans of  “Mission: Impossible” are here for the action sequences, and based on the released trailer, “Dead Reckoning” will deliver. Tom Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, is seen traipsing the globe with his team in a whirlwind of action. Eight movies in already, Cruise keeps raising the stakes with motorcycle stunts, submarine explosions and combat on top of a moving train. This first part in a two-part conclusion of a decades-long franchise has viewers hooked as they wait to be amazed. (Rated PG-13)

17. Barbie – July 21

Almost a full year before the movie’s release date, Barbie and Ken, as portrayed by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, were some of the top costume picks for Halloween. Now that the premiere date grows ever nearer, fans are only getting more excited. Already known to be full of cultural references, the movie has something for everyone. The plot still remains hidden, but the overarching message of finding beauty from within is sure to be well-received. Although fans are still at a loss as to what the outcome of the project will be, that mystery has only managed to add to the anticipation for its release. (Rated PG)

18.Oppenheimer – July 21

As with any project connected to Christopher Nolan, anticipation for “Oppenheimer” is through the roof. With a cast including Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh, star power has caused this project to be a cause for commotion. Is the movie worth a watch beyond the cast though? It seems to be. Telling the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, creator of the atomic bomb, this movie will be a mix of history and spectacle as it attempts to discover the flaws and foibles of the creator of the deadliest weapon in the world. In addition to the head-turning plot and cast, the ‘big boom’ of a production is sure to be the first-ever recreation of a nuclear bomb explosion without any use of special effects. (Rating Unknown)

19. The Marvels – July 28

Although not the most anticipated movie of the MCU, “The Marvels” is still an Avengers movie, so Marvel fans are excited. In addition to the standard excitement, pairing Carol Danvers up with Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, two well-loved characters from the Disney+ Marvel sagas, has raised the stakes in the movie. Three powerful, lost women come together to find themselves and their connection as they fight a returning enemy, the Kree Empire.  (Rated PG-13)

20. Blue Beetle – August 18

The DC universe announced the development of a solo film for the hero Blue Beetle back in 2018. The anticipation has been rising, coming out at an all-time high when it was announced that “Blue Beetle” would get theatre time as opposed to going immediately to streaming services. Fans are excited to see Jaime Reyes, aka Blue Beetle, take the screen and provide representation for Latinx people. (Rating Unknown)

21. The Exorcist – October 14

This reboot started filming after Halloween of 2022, a strong start for this beloved horror film. Ellen Burstyn’s, who portrayed Chris Macneil in the original film, choice to return to the franchise for this reboot has also raised anticipation, especially because she turned down the opportunity in previous installments. Due to “The Exorcist” being the first horror film to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, fans are excited to see how the franchise has grown since. Who knows, maybe this reboot will win the Academy Award this year. (Rated R)

22. Dune: Part 2 – November 3

Ever since the first “Dune” ended with Chani, portrayed by Zendaya, promising that ‘this is only the beginning,’ fans have been on the edge of their seats to know what is next. The first movie was a critically acclaimed success, with 83% approval from critics and 90% from fans; its 10 Academy Award nominations and 6 wins further proving its success in the industry. With such a strong start within a series, it is understandable that anticipation is high for the next part of the story. (Rated PG-13)

23. Wonka – December 15

With the big shoes of Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp to fill, fans are confident in Timothee Chalamet’s ability to bring a young Willy Wonka to life. Excited to see the high-profile actor in an eccentric role, fans are happy to hear that the musical and dancing aspects of the role will be used. Further, the yet untold story of Wonka prior to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has grabbed the attention of many who were raised on the golden ticket and Oompa Loompas. A wonderful ending to a year of highly anticipated movies, “Wonka” brings the past into the future. (Rating Unknown)

This is sure to be a film-packed year with so many sequels, prequels, adaptations and originals gracing the screen. There is a bit of something for everyone, and regardless of if you are a film buff or not, if you like nostalgia or prefer something new, this is the year we will see the rebirth of cinema.