Pop Culture and Media

From 'Super Mario' to 'The Little Mermaid': The 10 highest-grossing movies of the first half of 2023

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Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) in Nintendo and Illumination's The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Nintendo; Illumination Entertainment & Universal Pictures

At the halfway point of the year, the Hollywood box office has been dominated by familiar faces.

From a 10th entry in the "Fast & Furious" franchise to a capstone on Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" trilogy, nothing has gotten audiences to the multiplex like existing intellectual property (IP).

"Pretty much every film in the top 10 is either a franchise film, part of known IP or a known brand," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, tells CNBC Make It.

It's a repeat of 2022, where nine of the 10 highest grossing films were sequels. The outlier, DC's "The Batman," featured the audience-favorite caped crusader.

The $4.35 billion raked in by the domestic box office so far is 20.7% higher than at the same point in 2022, according to data from Comscore, and a full 350% better than 2021's pandemic-stunted haul.

However, it is still 20% shy of 2019's pre-pandemic gross over the same