Regal's Most Anticipated Movies of 2023

A collage of Barbie, Mario, and Ghostface.

Movie lovers will ring in the New Year with a little extra excitement in 2023 as they look forward to a packed slate of new movies on the horizon. We’ll see everything from a team of super-powered foster siblings in Shazam! Fury of the Gods to the true story of the father of the atomic bomb in Oppenheimer. Whether you're looking forward to a demon infestation in a high-rise in Evil Dead Rise, or the kingdom of wishes in Wish is more your speed, you’ll have plenty to go see this year. 

With so many movies to watch, we surveyed our team here at Regal to see what everyone is excited to see. Here are our most anticipated movies of 2023, ranked by number of mentions. 

7: Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One

“Tom Cruise is a box office god who cannot be stopped.” - Ryan C.

Tom Cruise played a major role in the revitalization of moviegoing. In 2022, Top Gun: Maverick soared to box office success, breaking several records in the process. Among those records was Tom Cruise’s biggest opening weekend, the highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend opening, and Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing domestic box office.

It looks like Cruise will keep the momentum going into 2023 with a return to his long running role as Ethan Hunt on July 14 in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One. Not much has been revealed regarding the plot, but the trailer teased a ton of exciting action sequences. Cruise himself reflected on the success of 2022 while looking to the future in a video he posted to Twitter last week. In it, he thanked fans for supporting Top Gun: Maverick as he leaped out of a plane to film a shot for Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning - Part One. The man is truly unstoppable. 

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6: Scream 6 


“I loved Scream (2022) and I'm interested to see what they do with Ghostface in NYC!” - Jenn S.

Wes Craven’s long-running Scream franchise holds a unique place among slasher films. Both a horror movie and a deconstruction of horror movies, it veers deep into meta territory. It’s a scary movie (inspired by a real-life killer) about a killer inspired by scary movies in which the characters openly experiment with the rules of the genre in an attempt to survive the movie they’re almost aware they’re in.

The fifth entry, Scream (2022), honored the late Wes Craven’s blend of terror, comedy, and meta discussion. In their requel (or legacyquel?) the directors, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, hit all the notes of the classic Scream formula. They made a funny and scary whodunnit with a meta discussion about toxic fandom and the struggle of adding onto a beloved franchise, with plenty of jabs at fan reception of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

In Scream 6, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega reprise their roles as sisters, Sam and Tara Carpenter, and attempt to leave their past behind by leaving Woodsboro. But the trailer tells us that their problems will follow them to New York City. We look forward to seeing how Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett continue to build on the Scream formula when Ghostface haunts the Carpenter sisters in the big city on March 10.

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5: Barbie

“Barbie is a complex public figure. She is an icon of both the innocence of childhood and society's pressure on women to look a certain way. With Greta Gerwig directing, I think this will be a very different Barbie than the one from our childhood. Hopefully a more feminist, self-aware one, too.” - Micah W.

Our first look at Barbie came in a teaser trailer parodying 2001: A Space Odyssey. It shows Margot Robbie looking exactly like the classic Barbie doll and little girls smashing their baby dolls at her feet. Then, it gives us a quick look at Barbie’s world, flooded with pink.

Although we don’t know much about the story for Gerwig’s Barbie, Simu Liu has offered hints that this will be the type of movie Micah hopes to see on July 21. Vanity Fair reported on Liu discussing the themes of the movie at the Unforgettable Gala. He said, “Greta was very, very conscientious about who she cast. We were able to cast people of different shapes, sizes, differently abled, to all participate in this dance—all under this message of: You don’t have to be blonde, white, or X, Y, Z in order to embody what it means to be a Barbie or a Ken. It’s really about finding your inner beauty and owning that part of yourself and being the best possible version of you.” 

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4: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Harrison Ford returns to the Indiana Jones franchise on June 30 after a 15-year hiatus. Indy’s original adventures took place in the 1930s, but Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny brings the explorer into 1969. The trailer hints at the changing time period being a source of conflict for the aging adventurer. 

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director James Mangold said, “I mean, 1969 is the beginning of now, really, in terms of technology and the space race. So, you have Cold Wars, nuclear power, intrigue, the lack of clear good guys and bad guys. In the same way, you have to be really considerate about how you try and transpose a fairly simplistic kind of black-hat, white-hat sensibility into a period that is more complicated. We try to exploit that by jumping forward into 1969 to a hero who is used to a black and white world, [but finds himself] in a world that has gone gray."

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3: Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania 

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended with just about everything getting broken. Time, space, the multiverse, and some of our favorite characters were pushed beyond their limits. Many of those events were clearly cataclysmic, but their repercussions have yet to be seen. 

Many of us at Regal are looking forward to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicking off Phase 5 of the MCU on February 17. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and his daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton), get pulled into the Quantum Realm with Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer). The trailer puts Ant-Man on a collision course with one of Marvel's most powerful villains, Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors). 

This promises to be an interesting matchup — the frighteningly strong Kang will face off against the Avenger who struggles the most to get taken seriously. Rudd’s relatable, everyman hero also sets the stage for another interesting pairing: Bill Murray will make his MCU debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

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2: The Little Mermaid

“I'm excited to see a childhood classic be reborn for a new generation, with new talent and new representation.” - Logan P.

Disney’s newest live-action remake of a beloved cartoon classic takes us under the sea on May 26 in The Little Mermaid. Halle Bailey’s singing talent landed her the role of the little mermaid with the beautiful voice. Speaking about her casting, director Rob Marshall told NBC News, “After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance—plus a glorious singing voice—all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role.”

The significance of representation in media was given a powerful display when Disney released the trailer. Parents shared videos of black girls having emotional reactions to seeing a little mermaid who looked like them. And Halle Bailey reacted on Twitter as she got to see the impact she has already had in this role. 

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1: Super Mario Bros: The Movie 

“I grew up playing any and every Mario video game, so seeing my childhood (and to be honest, adult years) playing out on the big screen screams pure nostalgia!” -Tiffany R.

The most anticipated movie of 2023 among Regal’s staff is Super Mario Bros.: The Movie! When the home video game market crashed in 1983, Nintendo bet on a game about two Italian plumber brothers. After saving the games industry, the Mario franchise produced countless sequels and spinoffs. Now, nearly everyone has played a Mario game.

So, it’s no surprise that the first internationally-released, animated Mario movie has garnered next-level anticipation. The excitement only grows when you throw in incredible animation and an impressive, all-star cast. (Chris Pratt, Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, Charlie Day, Sebastian Maniscalco, Fred Armisen, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Charles Martinet?!) After getting a glimpse at all that talent in the trailer, we cannot wait to see this movie on April 7!

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Honorable Mentions

With such a wide selection of movies coming to theatres in 2023, it’s impossible to discuss them all. Although the seven movies we listed so far got the most mentions in our survey, we want to highlight a few more because of how much excitement their fans expressed. Here are three honorable mentions for our most anticipated movies of 2023. 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was awarded Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards (2019), so the sequel has that level of success to uphold.” - Kevan K.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse pushed the envelope for animated movies. Its comic-like art style and use of varying frame rates produced a unique viewing experience. It had a powerful story that honored Stan Lee’s legacy of encouraging each of us to be heroes in our own way. It is among the greatest superhero movies ever made, animated or live-action. And we are so excited for June 2, so we can see its next chapter, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The trailer promises another heartfelt exploration of finding your place and being a hero. 

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Cocaine Bear 

“With Cocaine Bear having Tennessee ties and some biographical elements in the storyline, I am highly intrigued.” - Kelly H.

When narcotics-officer-turned-drug-runner, Andrew Thornton, fell out of the sky with Gucci loafers, night vision goggles, and 75 lbs. of cocaine, he landed in our backyard. The fact that part of the true story that inspired Cocaine Bear (releasing February 24) took place in Knoxville, TN, where Regal is headquartered, intrigues us — even if the trailer makes it look like the movie will focus more on the bear that feasted on cocaine. This movie, directed by Elizabeth Banks and featuring Ray Liotta’s final performance, looks like a wild ride. 

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Magic Mike’s Last Dance 

“I think this reason should be obvious.” - Christy H. 

Christy is excited for Magic Mike's Last Dance, although she doesn’t feel the need to specify why. A quick look at the trailer reveals several possible reasons. It could be the beautiful scenery of Miami or the romantic love story. Perhaps it’s the choreography or the opportunity to see Mike travel internationally. Or maybe it just has a lot to do with Channing Tatum. I guess we’ll find out when the movie releases on February 10. 

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