Movies … They’re Baaaack!

Thanks to Steven Spielberg, summertime movies mean blockbuster films.
Jane Neal

May 11, 2023

The Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Guardians of the Galaxy.Disney

It’s not surprising that filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s first big hit was also the first summer blockbuster. “Jaws,” which premiered in the summer of ’75, was the first feature film to break $235 million in domestic returns. Prior to this success, summer was typically the dumping ground for movies that weren’t expected to do well. Hollywood assumed people would choose to be outdoors rather than inside a movie theater. 

But since the success of “Jaws,” we’ve come to expect great movies to premiere in the good old summertime. We’ve seen summer movie-goers flocking to see hits like “Men in Black,” “Jurassic Park,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Or at least, that was before COVID-19 tried to kill off the movie theaters. Now COVID is officially over, and movies are coming back with a vengeance. 

We’ve already seen it with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” According to Variety, the animated film, based on the world of

Super Mario

Bros., from 




Illumination Entertainment



, is the first release of 2023 to cross the $1 billion mark at the global box office. And box office returns translate to licensed consumer products, with Super Mario toys from

Jakks Pacific,


Super Mario Bros. Movie edition Monopoly game

and a

Super Mario Lush bath collection

Last weekend, we saw more big box office with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” According to Box Office Mojo, the film has already earned over $138 million domestically and more than $205 million internationally.  

The film opened in U.K. cinemas on May 3 and quickly hit No.1 in the U.K. and Ireland box office for the weekend (Friday through Sunday), marking the biggest opening three-day weekend for a film in 2023.  

IMAX Corporation announced a $25 million debut for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” at the global box office last weekend – the company’s biggest global opening thus far in 2023. Led by a $10.7 million draw in North America, the film also delivered the highest grossing IMAX debut of the trilogy. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” also scored a $5.6 million IMAX debut in China  – 19% of the country’s opening weekend box office on less than 1% of screens – and a strong 9.5 audience score on Maoyan. 

“Our record-breaking box office momentum in 2023 is carrying into a summer blockbuster season loaded with ambitious, IMAX-friendly cinematic experiences – yet another great sign for our performance this year,” says Rich Gelfond, chief executive officer, IMAX. “James Gunn and our partners at Marvel and Disney leaned heavily into IMAX technology to deliver a visually stunning and emotional finale to this iconic franchise and we expect the strong audience response to yield a long, successful run at the box office.” 

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will continue its run on the IMAX network next week before making way for the next potential summer hit, “Fast X” (“Fast & Furious 10”), which opens on May 19. 

General Mills

has launched “Guadians of the Galaxy” products, including specially designed cereal, cereal bars and Go-Gurt products that were available ahead of the movie’s theatrical release.

This summer also has more highly anticipated releases on the roster including “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” “The Flash,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1” and “Oppenheimer.”  

For a more comprehensive list of big box office films, check out License Global’s Ben Roberts’ adaptive

list of upcoming movies

that have the potential to impact licensed consumer products across 2023 and beyond. 


Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.

Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it’s completely free.

You May Also Like




This site uses cookies to provide you with the best user experience possible. By using License Global, you accept our use of cookies.