Nielsen has released some new data on the most watched films of 2023 in the United States across all of the different streaming platforms, including Disney+, Peacock, and Netflix.

Based on Nielsen’s estimates, Pixar’s “Elemental” is the most-watched film of the year, with 32 million views across the first two weeks of release.  The film had a rough start at the box office but eventually pulled in over $500 million worldwide, and this data shows how the movie has been a massive success for Pixar. 

While Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was the tenth most-watched film across all platforms, and “Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 3” also made it into the top twenty of the most watched films.

20th Century Studios “Avatar: The Way Of Water” pulled in 16.7 million views over the first two weeks, but because it was released across both Disney+ and Max, the audience was split between two platforms.

The top twenty most watched films across all streaming platforms included:

  1. Elemental – 32 million – Disney+
  2. Leave The World Behind – 31.5 million – Netflix
  3. You People – 29.7 million – Netflix
  4. The Super Mario Bros Movie – 28.1 million – Netflix
  5. The Mother – 24.7 million – Netflix
  6. Murder Mystery – 24 million – Netflix
  7. Leo – 23.1 million – Netflix
  8. Minions: The Rise Of Gru – 20.8 million – Netflix
  9. A Man Called Otto – 20.3 million – Netflix
  10. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 19.2 million – Disney+
  11. Your Place Or Mine – 18.9 million – Netflix
  12. Extraction 2 – 18.8 million – Netflix
  13. The Out-Laws – 18.1 million – Netflix
  14. Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 3 – 17.3 million – Disney+
  15. No Hard Feelings – 17.1 million – Netflix
  16. Avatar: The Way Of Water – 16.7 million – Disney+/Max
  17. The Super Mario Bros – 16.2 million – Peacock
  18. Candy Cane Lane – 15.8 million – Amazon Prime Video
  19. Family Switch – 15.6 million – Netflix
  20. Heart Of Stone – 15.5 million – Netflix

This data is based on the viewership for the first two weeks of release and Nielsen’s estimates.

“Super Mario Bros” appeared on the list twice, because it was released on Peacock first and was later also released on Netflix.  This shows how this film was easily one of the biggest successes of 2023, with a huge box office draw of over a billion dollars and two huge streaming debuts.

The previous two Pixar releases, “Luca” and “Turning Red”, also proved to be huge draws for Disney+ over the past few years, with “Luca” pulling in over 42 million views back in 2021 and “Turning Red” watched by 40 million viewers in the first two weeks of release. Highlighting the power that Pixar has over movie watching, but it also shows how their audience has shifted to streaming first.

The top five most watched films on Disney+ included:

  1. Elemental – 32 million
  2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 19.2 million
  3. Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 3 – 17.3 million
  4. The Little Mermaid – 15.5 million
  5. The Haunted Mansion 14.5 million

The top five most watched films on Hulu included:

  1. Flamin’ Hot – 7 million
  2. Vacation Friends – 4.6 million
  3. No One Will Save You – 4.2 million
  4. Quiz Lady – 3.8 million
  5. A Haunting In Venice – 3.7 million


This data shows how theatrical releases are extremely important for most films, not just to bring in money for the studios, but almost half of the top twenty films were released in cinemas, and all five of the most watched films on Disney+ were released in cinemas.  However, no Disney+ original film made the top five list, showcasing how theatrical releases are much more in demand by viewers.  

Meanwhile, Hulu has found great success with original films, with four out of five films being released exclusively on Hulu (and on Disney+ worldwide). 

Ironically, two 20th Century Studios films, “Avatar: The Way Of Water” and “The Menu”, were also two of the most popular films on Warner Brother Discovery’s Max platform in 2023, just behind “Barbie”, at 8.5 million views.

What films have you watched from the top twenty list? Let us know on social media!



Source –  What’s On Netflix via Netflix n Chiffres.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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