Mid-year movie insights: Franchises lead the pack in audience demand

28 July, 2023

As we cross the midpoint of 2023, it’s the perfect time to take stock of the movie release landscape for the year's first half. To assess the most influential film releases during this period, we're examining the films that saw the highest audience demand within the first month of their 2023 release, per Parrot Analytics' demand data.

In a trend that's become typical of contemporary cinema, franchise films dominated our list of 2023's most in-demand movies. Among the top 10 films, seven belong to long-established franchises, including John Wick and Marvel. Two are reimaginings of classic, much-loved stories with widespread popularity, such as The Little Mermaid and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

The only film that doesn't fit into one of these categories is Cocaine Bear, which ranks as the 8th most in-demand release of 2023. This film, loosely inspired by true events, blends elements of comedy and horror. It manages to stand out in a landscape otherwise dominated by major franchises with its outrageous premise.

The most noteworthy release of the year so far is John Wick: Chapter 4, generating over 216 times the demand of an average movie. The staggering popularity of this title speaks to the enduring appeal of the John Wick franchise and reaffirms Keanu Reeves' status as a leading action star of his generation.


Trailing close behind is Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which stands as the second most sought-after movie release of the year. The movie has surpassed the demand levels of other recent Marvel releases, as can be seen in the chart below.  The film hit its demand zenith approximately seven days post-premiere, reaching a higher peak than the other Marvel releases since 2022. The Marvel universe also claims the 6th spot in the demand ranking with Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania.


The Fast and Furious franchise continues to resonate with American audiences. Fast X, the franchise's tenth installment, emerged as the year's third most popular release. This racing saga outpaced other formidable franchise competitors such as Evil Dead Rise from the Evil Dead series, Creed III from the enduring Rocky franchise, and DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

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