Tokyo Universal Studios
Disney had a range of 24 films that included ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’, ‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘M3GAN’. Image Credit: Twitter

With ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’, ‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘M3GAN’, Universal Pictures ranked as the highest-grossing studio at the 2023 box office.

The company’s slate — a range of 24 films that included ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’, ‘Oppenheimer’ and ‘M3GAN’, collected $4.907 billion in worldwide ticket sales, reports ‘Variety’.

Universal’s victory is notable because it marks the first time since 2015 that Disney was not the global box office leader. Disney slid to second place in terms of market share as its 17 new films, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ among them, raked in $4.827 billion globally.

In a note to the press, the studio partially attributed the $80 million difference to the fact that Disney released seven fewer movies than Universal in 2023.

As per ‘Variety’, it also went on to stress that Disney had the most titles of any studio in the top 10 this year, with four of the highest-grossing global releases and three of the biggest domestic releases.

But for the first time in a long time, Disney didn’t have one of the top three movies — those spots belong to Warner Bros.’ ‘Barbie’ with $1.4 billion and Universal’s ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie; raking in $1.3 billion and ‘Oppenheimer with $950 million. It’s also the first time since 2014 (except for the pandemic-stricken 2020 and 2021) that none of Disney’s movies crossed the $1 billion benchmark.

Disney indeed remains a box office powerhouse, but the reality is that most of the studio’s 2023 tentpoles failed to live up to expectations. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ ($845 million) was the only clear victory. Otherwise, a string of underperforming sequels and remakes (‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’, ‘The Marvels’ and “Haunted Mansion,” to name a few) resulted in the studio ceding the box office crown to Universal.