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Wendelin Jacober
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The most viewed articles of 2023

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By Igordebraga, Benmite, CAWylie, Krimuk2.0, ltbdl, Ollieisanerd, Rajan51, Serendipodous, Shuipzv3, TheJoebro64

Out of all the things that drew viewer attention in 2023, we can see some duality. Humans are so advanced in technology that the top spot is a chatbot showing how far artificial intelligence has gone, but so difficult in morality that there are two armed conflicts, a convicted criminal, and another who is being prosecuted yet still wishing to resume his political career. The usual entries on sports and movies are here, but reminding that India's huge population is a great counter to Americentrism (the top 10 alone includes two entries on India's favorite sport and the country's two highest-grossing movies of the year, and on the rest of the list there are four more entries on their prolific film industry), as is the worldwide popularity of association football (the biggest league and three very famous footballers, one of whom is retired; American football only scored an entry because of a player's new girlfriend), and also telling that the year was all over the place in Hollywood, with success stories (the 6 highest-grossing movies of the year plus the top earner from 2022, the big winner of the Academy Awards, and an acclaimed sequel), displays of failure (the expensive final chapter of a once-mighty franchise that didn't make much impact), and a case in-between (the latest by a legendary director that did not make much money but was hailed as one of the year's best movies). HBO provides two highly contrasting shows: an adaptation of unquestionable success that even brought in its main actor to this list, and a limited show of questionable quality whose controversies were higher than its viewership numbers. To remain in pairs, there are the two countries that most shape the list, a billionaire and the website he has been mishandling, the American head of government and the British head of state, a blonde singer in a billion dollar tour and a blonde actress in a billion dollar movie, and the late father of one of the year's deceased along with the late mother of that British king. Finishing it off, the yearly death list and four high-profile departures.

Based on data from the Pageviews tool and prepared with commentary by:

Rank Article Class Views Image About Peak
1 ChatGPT 52,565,681 It's the first time an app or website has aroused this much non-bot-generated attention in quite some time, but what this bot can generate has piqued the interest of artificial intelligence fanatics the world over while creating new ones faster than the material it produces. There's not much to summarize here – if your only exposure to the happenings of the outside world is this yearly report, you can go to ChatGPT to ask it what it is. Its answer may shock you, mystify you, and even lie to you, but it won't slow down. It simply can't. I could try to explain LLMs (the massive neural networks used for programs like ChatGPT), but even their own developers can't. So why should I? (Hint: I don't understand them.)

This particular text generator by OpenAI takes the top spot by a huge margin in a way few articles have, feeling less like a brief fascination with the macabre like last year's Dahmer and more like a harbinger of things to come, à la COVID-19's taking of our coveted first spot years ago. And like COVID-19, it's hard to imagine that the advancements that come with the rapid AI arms race brought on by ChatGPT's whirlwind popularity will not come without some barely-understood long-term side effects, loss of smell notwithstanding. Yes, there's plenty to look forward to if you’re part of the AI in-crowd – better healthcare, more space travel, hell, maybe even immortality! But what this all means for the rest of us has yet to be seen, and if AI's frontmen and opinion polls are to be believed, it might even be the extinction of the human race. What are ya gonna do, right? Definitely not lobby world governments to let you make AI more and more powerful while convincing them to push for stricter restrictions on other companies' technology ... right?

The very least we can say about all this is that we're all in it together – but whether or not that the "we" in question even includes us humans will become harder to discern with time. I'll assure you that a human wrote this entry, but I can't guarantee that future reports won't be AI-generated.

Mar. 30
2 Deaths in 2023 48,603,284 Ever since the death of David Bowie back in 2016, notable celebrity deaths have dominated the Top 25 Reports, and in many cases the year reports as well, and the Deaths in year lists that includes them all. Those who have died that are featured below are: #16, #22, #33, and #44. Other notable high-viewed celebrity deaths this year included Henry Kissinger, Lance Reddick, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Paul Reubens. Jan. 13 (see #22)
3 2023 Cricket World Cup 38,723,498 The thirteenth edition of cricket's premier tournament was held in the country with the highest number of cricket fans (helped by its large population). After 48 matches and 46 days, the Australians bucked the trend of hosts winning the World Cup to snatch the title from the Indians, who were unbeaten before the final. Nov. 19 (final)
4 Oppenheimer (film) 31,265,503 If you had told Marvel fans in 2019 that an R-rated three hour biopic will make more money than any MCU film released in the same year, you would have been laughed out of the room, but that's exactly what happened this year, with some help from a meme. Christopher Nolan delivered with a gripping film that asks the question: What if man has too much power? A chain reaction that would destroy the entire world? Maybe. The story unfolds in Nolan's non-linear format going back and forth between two characters, a government official called Lewis Strauss and the physicist who led the Manhattan Project, played by Cillian Murphy. However, the father of the atomic bomb had been associated with Communist Party members, and came under intense scrutiny following the start of the Cold War, culminating in the loss of his security clearance. July 23 (finishes opening weekend with $180 million worldwide)
5 J. Robert Oppenheimer 28,681,943 July 22 (day after biopic's release)
6 Cricket World Cup 26,390,217 As a fighting reptile once said "Cricket? Nobody understands cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket!" After all, in North America cricket is just a loud bug, but in the rest of the Anglosphere it's a sport popular enough for the only countries to win its world championship to be England itself and its former colonies, namely Australia (biggest winners, with the most recent edition, #3, being their sixth title), India (hosts of #3, whose massive population helped drive up the Wikipedia views), the West Indies (a congregation of Anglophone Caribbean territories), Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Nov. 19 (2023 final)
7 Jawan (film) 23,112,884 Released in September, this Indian action-thriller was the second film of the year for its star Shah Rukh Khan. While it may technically be a Bollywood film, its director and supporting cast are well known in the Kollywood film industry, which may have helped it break the box-office records set by Khan's previous outing, (#10). Jawan received was praised by critics, and became the highest-grossing Indian film of 2023, a spot it will hope to keep. (Sadly, we will not know for sure because this report will be published before the last big Indian film of the year finishes its run in theatres). Sep. 7 (release)
8 Taylor Swift 22,179,656 2023 was, in a turn I imagine very few people expected, the year of the Swiftie. No, seriously, even Time says so!

A more passive pop culture consumer might have balked at the idea of Taylor Swift becoming any more world famous than she already was before this year, but the eagle-eyed and extremely online among us saw the pieces coming together the entire time (because she's a mastermiiind...) The implosion of Ticketmaster over fans clamoring to get Eras Tour tickets, the growing fervor for the "Taylor's Versions" of her albums, and the budding comparisons of her to Beyoncé, who was unfortunately left in the dust on this year's list despite embarking on her own record-breaking world tour this year, felt like big red signs that something huge was coming.

Admittedly, it's jarring to try and broach the subject of Swift, not only because her now-gargantuan fanbase could pounce at any moment but because anything I could say about her would be redundant. Her music is overplayed, but she's also deserving of all of the acclaim, even if she is a capitalist, which makes her more of a marketing genius, but she's also heavily contributing to climate change, yet all of this talk about her just reeks of misogyny, even if she's really just a white feminist, and who's Taylor Swift anyway? Hearing about the onslaught of ever-changing opinions on a woman whose life and wealth will likely be altered by none of them would be just as exhausting as writing about it, so let's just stick to the facts of what got her on the list this year.

Early on in the year, Swift's pageviews were relatively low (even if low for her doesn't exactly translate to low for the average Wikipedia article) with a brief spike in February for the Grammys, where she won the award for Best Music Video for directing All Too Well: The Short Film. Then, of course, began the Eras Tour in March in Glendale, Arizona, which was briefly renamed Swift City for her arrival. The tour is now the highest-grossing concert tour of all time even with more to come, each date of which lasted over three hours and spanned each of her albums, or eras, and brought billions to the U.S. economy. Tragedy struck in April for Swift when her six-year-long relationship with actor Joe Alwyn, which (likely) inspired plenty of her songs like the atrocious less-than-impressive "London Boy", came to a swift end. She came back stronger than a 90s trend only a month later when she and The 1975 frontman Matty Healy started dating, but that soon spelled out a PR disaster for Swift when Healy appeared on an episode of a "dirtbag left"-style podcast where the hosts called rapper Ice Spice an "Inuit Spice Girl" and a "chubby Chinese lady" and mocked Chinese accents. Swift shook off Healy and rolled out an all too convenient remix of her song "Karma" featuring the neither Chinese nor Inuit rapper that left critics and fans feeling like Swift might be trying to evade her own karma. July brought us Speak Now (Taylor's Version), which gave Swift the most number-one albums on the Billboard 200 chart among any female artist, as well as a literal Swiftquake when her Seattle tour stop led to seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake.

The North American leg of her tour ended in August, by which point The New York Times had defined it as "both a business and a cultural juggernaut", and she announced that her next re-recording would be of her 2014 album, 1989. Pageviews started to decline until September when, out of left field, in came 1989-born Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce as her new lover. Her spirited appearances at Chiefs games throughout October led to Kelce becoming a veritable sports superstar and the NFL to experience the "Taylor Swift effect", while her release of 1989 (Taylor's Version) made her a billionaire and her 2019 song "Cruel Summer" rocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, four years after its release. Also that month, her concert film Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour came out in theaters and became the highest-grossing concert movie. So overall, I guess it was an okay year for her.

Sep. 25 (leaves NFL game with Travis Kelce)
9 The Last of Us (TV series) 21,000,722 The past few years have seen video game adaptations go from the butt of countless jokes to the hot new trend, as Hollywood begins to turn its sight towards them as franchise fodder now that the superhero bubble appears to be popping. This HBO series, based on the franchise created by Naughty Dog for Sony's PlayStation, kicked off an especially strong year for video game adaptations. The first season of The Last of Us faithfully adapts the events of the original 2013 game, following the smuggler Joel (played by #41) as he escorts the teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the US in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.

Neil Druckmann, who wrote and co-directed the game, co-created the show with Craig Mazin. In addition to Druckmann, many of the game's developers were involved with the production and several of its actors make cameos. The Last of Us became a massive ratings success following its January 15 premiere, with an average of 32 million viewers per episode, and received widespread acclaim for the performances, writing, production design, and music. Unsurprisingly, a second season, adapting the events of the 2020 game The Last of Us Part II, has been greenlit and is set to premiere in 2025.

I haven't watched it yet, partly because I haven't had time and partly because I remain bitter that they massacred my boy. (Seeing how broken the PC port of the remake of the first game, which was rushed out to capitalize on the show, was at launch was the most wonderful schadenfreude I've experienced since the first time I sat down and watched Sony's glorious E3 2006 conference, an HD recording of which surfaced this year.)

Jan. 16 (premiere)
10 Pathaan (film) 20,614,066 Before this film, its star Shah Rukh Khan had not had a major commercial success since 2015. And Bollywood itself seemed to have lost its shine with none of its films being among the five biggest films in India in 2022. Then everything changed this January as Pathaan went on a record-breaking spree, tearing down records for Hindi films, and held the top spot among Indian films in 2023 until #7 came along. It re-established its star as a major box office draw, and ushered in a good year for Hindi films at the box office. Jan. 26 (second day of release)
11 Premier League 19,968,486 The British invented football (no, we won't call it soccer), and their league is the biggest of the world. The 2022–23 Premier League was one of massive pain for Arsenal F.C., who haven't won the title since the unbeaten campaign of 2003-04, and seemed poised to take it all by leading through most of the championship, only to choke in the final rounds and let Manchester City win their third straight Premier League, which this season was part of a treble along with the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Riding the goals of Erling Haaland, Man City is still in the top 4 of the 2023-24 season as the year ends, and hope that they can become the first English team with four straight national championships. And along with the worldwide popularity of the English clubs, this article probably had a views boost from Indians who wanted to check the page on the Indian Premier League of cricket and instead landed on another country and sport. Sep. 16 (2023-24 round 5)
12 Barbie (film) 19,930,916 The other half of Barbenheimer featuring the iconic toy asks the question: What if men have too much power?[1] Directed by Greta Gerwig, the film follows "Stereotypical Barbie" played by Margot Robbie on her journey to understand human emotions caused by a rift between the real/human world and her utopia, and fight against the patriarchy. The film grossed over $1.4 billion and landed the top spot at the annual box office, which must have given a lot of confidence for its toymaker which already had plans for 45 more movies featuring their toys! July 23 (finishes opening weekend with $356 million worldwide)
13 Cristiano Ronaldo 19,287,757 Ronaldo and #17 made their marks in the football world this year. He made his 200th appearance in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying, the first Portuguese to do so. However, his publicly burning bridges with United at the end of 2022 and signing with Al Nassr for a record $136 million in 2023, put him at the top of Forbes list of the world's highest-paid athletes for the year, slightly ahead of Messi. Feb. 5 (38th birthday)
14 The Idol (TV series) 19,186,512 In last year's report, I railed on Euphoria as a waste of a slot (especially when there was a much better show that could've and should've been an entry), so when I saw that another Sam Levinson show wasted a slot on the report this year, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to rail on his work some more.

The series stars Lily-Rose Depp as a pop star who falls victim to/develops a relationship with a cult leader portrayed by Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, who co-created the series with Levinson. Months before The Idol's premiere, reports emerged that after its original director, Amy Seimetz, departed, Levinson attempted to remold the series—ostensibly a satire about the predatory side of the entertainment industry—into a clone of Euphoria. While the reports haven't been 100% confirmed, the series is undeniably that same Euphoria brand of misery porn that masquerades as "thought-provoking" and "deep" drama.

If #9 was HBO's yang, then The Idol was its yin—critics lambasted the series for its writing, performances, and handling of the subject matter, with at least one critic describing it as one of the worst TV shows ever made. Poor ratings led to it being canceled just two months after its premiere in June, which provided even more schadenfreude for me.

June 19 (release of third episode)
15 United States 18,135,421 If you are expecting a witty, insightful comment on the state of this country, past or present, prepare to be sorely disappointed. July 4 (Independence Day)
16 Matthew Perry 17,882,508 In November 2022, the actor best known for playing Chandler Bing in Friends (his filmography has few bright spots otherwise, like the movies Fools Rush In, The Whole Nine Yards, and 17 Again, and the show The Odd Couple) released a memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, recalling his struggles with alcoholism and addiction to prescription drugs, discussing his insecurities and fears that made him never marry or have children, and showing the same self-deprecating humor of Perry's signature role – "Excuse me? You went for a walk and quit drinking? I have spent upward of $7 million trying to get sober. I have been to six thousand AA meetings. (Not an exaggeration, more an educated guess.) I’ve been to rehab fifteen times. I've been in a mental institution, gone to therapy twice a week for thirty years, been to death’s door. And you went for a fucking walk?" Few could have known that less than a year after finishing said book discussing his newfound taste for life and interest in what lied ahead, Perry would be found dead at just 54 in a bathtub, due to ketamine and coronary artery disease leading to unconsciousness and drowning. Fans were shocked and saddened, which is reflected in all the views Perry's article got, and just about every past co-star posted a tribute, including the five other Friends. Oct. 29 (death announced)
17 Lionel Messi 17,768,818 Let's see, in 2023, he scored 100 international goals, only the third footballer in history to do so; he was awarded his eighth Ballon d'Or, the only player to win it with three clubs; he signed a $130 million contract with Inter Miami; oh, and he was named Time Athlete of the Year, the first footballer to ever win the award. July 22 (day after Inter Miami debut)
18 Animal (2023 film) 16,988,676 This Bollywood action drama about an overgrown boy (played by Ranbir Kapoor) spouting nonsense about the virtues of being an "alpha" while threatening to beat up women and making them lick his shoe is #28's wet dream. It's telling that a "conservative" Indian society doesn't find this problematic, as Animal quickly became the third-biggest Hindi film grosser of the year. Just as critics lambasted the film's misogyny, writer-director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, in true "alpha" style, called them "‘illiterate" and "uneducated", while the film's official Twitter account trolled a female critic who had panned the film. Dec. 2 (day after release)
19 Elon Musk 16,026,256 For two Top 50 reports in a year, we've expressed a desire to never see nor hear about Elon Musk again, but his constant stream of provocative statements and questionable business decisions—not to mention the media's obsession with him—have sadly made that impossible.

Perhaps Musk's most bizarre action of the year was his decision to rebrand Twitter (#40), which he acquired last year, as "X", phasing out its iconic bird branding. The rebrand has (pretend to be shocked) failed to catch on, with the vast majority of Earth's populace continuing to refer to it as "Twitter", posts as "tweets", reposts as "retweets", and so on.

There's plenty more I could say about Musk, such as an incident in November in which he triggered an advertiser boycott of Twitter (see?) after expressing support for the white genocide conspiracy theory (for which he later apologized), but it is simply a waste of my time, effort, and brain cells (many of which I have lost while writing this). People, please stop clicking links to his article.

Apr. 18 (TruthGPT, first step of rebrand, and announcement of flight test)
20 India 15,200,006 A recent survey suggested that the number of English speakers in India may truly be just half what had been suggested by the 2011 census, the source for Wikipedia's article on the subject. But even if that were true, India would still have more English speakers than, well, England. And given the relative rarity of topics of British interest appearing on this list compared to those of Indian interest, I'd say it isn't. Sep. 5 (speculation of renaming)
21 Avatar: The Way of Water 15,062,733 Oh no! This movie could make only $2.3 billion because its predecessor did not have any cultural impact! It's funny watching people think that if something is not popular online, that means nobody likes it. James Cameron proved the naysayers wrong when his sequel to the biggest film of all time shattered box office expectations worldwide, despite coming 13 years after the original. It cruised past Top Gun: Maverick in the first week of the year, and just kept going, flowing past all but two movies in the list of highest-grossing films. Even a rerelease of Cameron's own Titanic didn't stand a chance. Jan. 2 (third weekend atop box office)
22 Lisa Marie Presley 14,812,928 The late daughter of The King (#35), who was married to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, was among the first celebrity deaths of the year. Jan. 13 (died)
23 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 14,155,874 Something is rotten in the kingdom of Marvel, as Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Five showed the highest-grossing movie franchise ever reached a state of saturation and fluctuating quality. Audiences were underwhelmed by Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, unimpressed by Secret Invasion, apathetic towards The Marvels and ambivalent on whether season 2 of Loki was too reliant on complicated time mechanics. The only unquestionable success was the goodbye to an unexpected hit, as 9 years after a C-list cosmic team whose members included a tree and a raccoon resulted in a beloved blockbuster, viewers were both fearing for the raccoon's life and deeply moved by his origin story involving a mad scientist obsessed with evolution and animal experimentation. Along with positive reception, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had a box office of $845 million worldwide, the year's fourth highest (behind #12, #40 and #4) and the only massive hit in an off-year for Disney (who had no billion dollar movies for the first time since 2014, and didn't reap that many profits from Quantumania, Elemental and The Little Mermaid given how much they cost). 2024 will at least reduce the MCU's overexposure as Hollywood strikes reduced the theatrical releases to only Deadpool 3. And at the same time their Distinguished Competition will be preparing the restart of their film franchise through the same James Gunn that turned the Guardians of the Galaxy into a household name and will be writing and directing a new Superman (and to think Marvel would still have Gunn if some conservatives didn't decide to make a big deal out of his old tweets...). May 6 (second day of release)
24 Russian invasion of Ukraine 13,998,378 Sadly, the war continues in its second year. Fighting and casualties remained heavy, and Ukrainian cities and civilians continue to be attacked by Russian artillery, missiles and drones, though overall there was comparatively little territorial change compared to last year. In January, Ukraine's allies finally agreed to send the tanks it had long requested, such as the German Leopard 2, the British Challenger 2 and the American M1 Abrams.

In February, US president Joe Biden (#46) made a surprise visit to Kyiv. In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Russian president Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes. On 4 April, Finland officially became a member of NATO.

In May, Russia finally captured Bakhmut after months of bloody fighting, though the Wagner Group's leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, later withdrew his forces amid continuing conflict with the Russian Ministry of Defence. This culminated with the Wagner Group rebellion on 23 June, in which Wagner forces took control of the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and marched a column toward Moscow, before abruptly ending it the next day after Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko brokered a settlement. Prigozhin and several other key figures of Wagner died on 23 August when the business jet carrying them crashed.

Also in June, Ukraine launched a counteroffensive, drawing on the aid it received in the preceding months, though as the months passed, analysts assessed it had not met its goals and the war had turned into a "stalemate". And the war continues to 2024...

June 24 (Wagner Group rebellion)
25 Leo (2023 Indian film) 13,994,461 It looks like Hollywood's ideas seem to be gaining traction in other countries as well. This Kollywood action film is the third entry in director Lokesh Kanagaraj's Lokesh Cinematic Universe. It stars Vijay, and despite opening to mixed reviews from critics, it went on to become the highest-grossing Kollywood film. Oct. 19 (released)
26 List of highest-grossing Indian films 13,904,959 Unlike Americans, whose films' budgets long ago climbed north of government departments, thus rendering their domestic take meaningless, Indians still follow the grosses of their blockbuster films. Give them time. The Bollywood version of Marvel is just around the corner. Jan. 30 (#10 keeps climbing)
27 2023 Israel–Hamas war 13,647,220 Two years in a row have sadly seen the start of a major war, this one beginning in October. The Holy Land has seen much conflict since 1948, as a nation of Jews and a nation of Arabs both have the right to exist, but there's never a consensus on how to split the territory, which added to a tendency for intolerance has unfortunately led to recurring armed violence. The latest one started once Hamas, the extremist party who rules the Gaza Strip and has been labeled as a terrorist organization, fired their rockets and infiltrated Israel during the holiday of Simchat Torah. Israel returned fire with aerial strikes followed by a ground invasion of Gaza, along with blocking any resources from entering Gaza. With the only pause being a week-long ceasefire for hostage exchanges, over 23,000 have died, hundreds of thousands have been displaced, both sides have been accused of commiting war crimes, and the blockade caused lots of suffering for the Gazans (particularly because hospitals are barely able to operate).

50 years ago, the Yom Kippur War ended after a month. This one is about to finish its third month of conflict, and right as 2024 started, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated "this will take six months at least, and involve intense mopping-up missions against the terrorists", no matter if the international community would just prefer for the bloodshed to end as soon as possible.

Oct. 9 (Gaza blockade)
29 Israel 13,344,140
28 Andrew Tate 13,604,475 Depending on your personal opinion, this internet celebrity turned human trafficking suspect is either "the poster child of toxic masculinity" or "a role model for all modern men with "inspirational quotes"." Tate's 2022 came to close with him and his brother Tristan being arrested in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking and creating an organized crime group to exploit women (he was in a "silly, goofy mood"). He began his house arrest in March after leaving prison whilst still under investigation. In June, his accusers went into hiding and in return the Tate brothers sued them for defamation. All this led to him being the third-most "googled" person in 2023 and appearing on this list. Jan. 1 (three days after arrest)
30 Elizabeth II 13,021,033 The British queen for 70 years until her death last year, making 2023 the first year with no Elizabeth since 1925. It's rare that you find a figure in an annual report in the year AFTER they died; her Majesty's appearance on this list was probably helped by the final season of The Crown airing and the coronation of her son (#42), who somehow managed to get less views than his mother despite actually being alive. May 6 (son crowned)
31 David Beckham 12,850,994 Ten years after retiring, the English striker renowned for both powerful free kicks and extreme marketability due to metrosexual good looks remains one of the most recognizable names in football, best demonstrated by how millions went to Netflix to watch a documentary miniseries on his life, Beckham (which has oft-amusing appearances by his wife, once and future Spice Girl Victoria Beckham). His Major League Soccer team Inter Miami FC also made worldwide headlines by signing #17. And given getting India's attention helps in boosting Wikipedia views, in November Beckham visited the country as part of his UNICEF humanitarian work, was in attendance as their cricket team won #3's semifinal, and afterwards attended a party hosted by #7 and #10's star Shah Rukh Khan. Oct. 7 (three days after Beckham)
32 Fast X 12,763,269 The eleventh film of the Fast & Furious franchise that everyone is definitely not sick of, as reflected by the Metacritic scores. May 18 (released)
33 Sinéad O'Connor 12,712,846 Amongst the many celebrity deaths this year was this Irish singer at the age of 56, who was best known for covering a Prince song and later for stirring controversy as well as praise for ripping up a picture of The Pope live on SNL. O'Connor was honored with the Irish president Michael D. Higgins attending her funeral with thousands paying tributes. The coroner's report stated she died of natural causes. July 26 (dies)
34 Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 12,705,868 Almost five years after he was introduced to the big screen in a great movie, Miles Morales returns in a long awaited sequel that somehow manages to improve upon the original in terms of both the animation and the storytelling. This time, he faces a villain who comes across as someone that can be easily dismissed and an antagonist who tries to make him solve the trolley problem a certain way. The movie ends in what may be considered to be a cliff-hanger, and leaves the audience waiting for a sequel whose release date has not yet been decided. But if this movie's improvement at the box office over its predecessor is anything to go by ($690 million vs $375 million), one can expect the sequel to make a lot more. June 2 (released)
35 Elvis Presley 12,584,150 Following a year that saw The King of Rock n' Roll's music career and life depicted in the biopic Elvis, 2023 started with a sad reason to remember him, as his daughter (#22) passed away in January. And by the end of the year there was another movie and another woman in his life, his widow Priscilla Presley, who was chronicled by Sofia Coppola in Priscilla, where Elvis was played by Jacob Elordi. Jan. 13 (daughter died)
36 Killers of the Flower Moon (film) 12,525,826 For the second time in a row, a streaming giant gave Martin Scorsese $200 million to make a 1900s period crime drama starring Robert De Niro as a malefactor (though this time he's the crime boss, not the hitman). Scorsese's latest film adapts David Grann's 2017 book Killers of the Flower Moon, which recounts the Osage Indian murders that took place in Oklahoma between 1918 and 1931. Though it's unlikely to break even, having grossed just over $156 million at the time of this writing, reviews have lauded Killers of the Flower Moon as one of Scorsese's best and a step forward for Indigenous representation in film. Oct. 21 (day after release)
37 Twitter 12,220,814 2023 was the first full year of Musk's ownership of Twitter and, as mentioned in his entry (#19), saw his questionable decision to rebrand it as X and ditch the bird logo. Musk's stated goal is to turn the platform into an "everything app," but many of his decisions made people (including myself!) wonder if he was intentionally trying to kill it.

Such decisions included the overhaul of the verification system to make it entirely reliant on paid subscriptions, hampering the ability of non-registered users to browse the site, and limits to the amount of tweets a user can see per day, just to name a few. Concerns over the app's growing instability and a rise in hate speech led to many users jumping ship to alternatives, such as Bluesky and Threads. Even dril left—let that sink in for a moment.

One of the few positive changes, however, was the introduction of the Community Notes feature, which allows users to add context and/or fact checks to others' tweets. It's led to some hilarious interactions and takedowns, the best of which have been documented by the "community notes violating people" account.

July 24 (rebranded to X)
38 List of American films of 2023 12,197,227 Ten years ago, Steven Spielberg made a prediction: There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.

2023 saw multiple big movies crash at the box office, with the biggest ones being Shazam: Fury of the Gods, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, The Flash, Blue Beetle, The Marvels, and Wish.

Combined with other disappointments, the strikes – 2023 Writers Guild of America strike and 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike – and the success of #12, #40, and #4 making 2023 the first year since 2001 when there are no sequels among the three biggest movies of the year, it looks like this year might be a turning point for Hollywood.

Apr. 2
39 Travis Kelce 12,155,733 For those who watch the National Football League, Travis Kelce is the tight end of the Kansas City Chiefs. Considered one of the greatest players in the position, this year he won his second Super Bowl when he helped his team defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, in which his brother, Jason Kelce, plays. While rivals on the field, the two brothers have a close relationship off-field; they co-host a podcast, New Heights, and alternate between praising and insulting each other the way only brothers do on "Fairytale of Philadelphia", a parody of the Christmas classic "Fairytale of New York", on a charity Christmas album by the Philadelphia Eagles.

On the other hand, for those not familiar with the NFL (which is probably most people outside the United States), and even to some Americans, it is undoubtedly a connection with another singer which Kelce is most-known for. Yes, he started dating #8. Chaos ensued on social media when Swift showed up at one of his games to cheer him on, then the two of them got in his car and drove off into the sunset. Sales of his jersey went up 400%, and his podcast shot to No. 1. New viewers, particularly women, tuned in in droves, which the NFL quickly capitalized on, to the point that Kelce thought they were "overdoing" it. Swifties began pranking the men in their lives by claiming she "put Kelce on the map" and filmed their reactions. And chaos continued to ensue whenever they were spotted together, like when they made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live, or when she changed the lyrics to a song in reference to him.

So what is it about this relationship, described by one publication as "Gen Z's Posh Spice and Becks" (#31), that has captivated so many people? Maybe it's the old rom-com archetype of the "All-American athlete dating the All-American pop star". Maybe it reminds people of the title character of #12 and Ken. Maybe it takes people out of the sorry state of the world, e.g. #24 and #27. Whatever it is, no doubt people will continue to pay attention in 2024, as Kelce vies for a third Super Bowl and Swift resumes her record-breaking Eras Tour.

Sep. 25 (#8 watches his game)
40 The Super Mario Bros. Movie 12,065,680 After the awful attempt to bring one of the most popular video game characters to the big screen in 1993, Nintendo gave up on Hollywood. It took the makers of Despicable Me and almost three decades to gain their trust for another attempt, made for children and people who grew up with the games. However, this time, the results were explosive, with the film making over $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office and becoming the highest-grossing video game movie of all time by a big margin. Its success has encouraged Nintendo to go ahead with more movies. Beyond the film's success, the greater franchise had an incredibly active year, seeing the return of 2D Super Mario games, the return of traditional Mario RPGs, and the return of Funky Kong. Apr. 5 (released)
41 Pedro Pascal 12,022,551 Chilean-born actor José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal, in the words of his friend Sarah Paulson, "landed so surely in the cosmos, with such shattering force" that in 2023, few people in Hollywood have had as many people talking about them as him. He hosted Saturday Night Live, returned for a third season of The Mandalorian, starred in a short film directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and most importantly, was protagonist Joel Miller in our #9, which even landed him Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. And 2024 is another busy year for him, as Pascal is set to appear in Freaky Tales (by the Captain Marvel directors), Drive-Away Dolls (by half of the Coen brothers), and the unexpected sequel Gladiator 2 (still by Ridley Scott). And that's not counting the rumours about him becoming Mr. Fantastic in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe take on the Fantastic Four. Feb. 5 (#9's fourth episode)
42 Charles III 11,978,873 Following the death of his mother (#30) in September 2022, the British king began his first full year as monarch, receiving a proper coronation with his wife in May. His public approval rating in the UK jumped from 42 to 52 percent since ascending the throne (55% in April). May 6 (coronation)
43 Donald Trump 11,925,480 After being absent from the Report last year, 2023 was an eventful year for the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York actor former president—and not exactly in a good way.

In 2023, Trump had four criminal indictments filed against him: a March indictment for the Stormy Daniels hush money scandal; a June indictment for his alleged mishandling of classified documents; an August indictment for attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election; and another August indictment for his election obstruction efforts in Georgia. That last indictment brought us the first (and currently only) mug shot of a US president, which quickly became fodder for memes and merchandise.

And all this happened as Trump began another run for the White House. Despite these legal hurdles, his rhetoric becoming increasingly inflammatory (to the point that many are characterizing it as authoritarian), and disputes over whether he's even eligible to be on the ballot due to his involvement in the January 6 attack, he maintains a large lead over his Republican primary rivals in polling. 2024 appears to be shaping up as a rematch of 2020, and Trump's even ahead of #46 in current polling.

God, I fucking dread the next election cycle.

Aug. 25 (indicted, with memetic mug shot)
44 Tina Turner 11,634,915 As big wheels keep on turning, another celebrity death with the singer who had truly unstoppable energy. Beginning her career in music with her then-husband Ike, the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" then launched her own super successful solo career in the 1980s, earning six Grammys during that time. Even though she retired to a peaceful life in Switzerland in 2009, her death in May aged 83 still garnered millions of visits that earned her a place on this annual report, and led to people being reminded that she was simply the best. May 24 (died)
45 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny 11,563,900 There was room in the current Hollywood ecosystem for a movie about Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford is a legend. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a rising star. Mads Mikkelsen is the euro-baddie du jour. It's just that the audience for such a film is now mostly 40 and over, and people that age don't go to movies more than once. So why in the name of the Ark of the Covenant was this film's budget $300 million? Did they honestly think a billion dollars was in the cards for this franchise? Particularly after the last one? July 2 (fourth day of release)
46 Joe Biden 11,152,150 Like his predecessor and rival (#43), the current US president began his 2024 campaign for re-election. Also like his predecessor and rival, Biden faces an uphill battle.

Biden doesn't have any indictments to worry about (the impeachment inquiry that House Republicans initiated this year doesn't seem poised to go anywhere), but he ended the year trailing Trump in polling and his approval rating sits at just 39%. His hardline support for #29 in #27 has proven unpopular among fellow Democrats, and polling indicates an overwhelming majority of Americans believe he is too old for a second term. His son Hunter's legal woes are also certain to be weaponized by political rivals.

Will 2024 end up being the first presidential rematch since 1956? Will Biden pull a Lyndon B. Johnson and drop out? Will Trump end up in a prison cell before the polls open? Will Robert F. Kennedy Jr. actually end up on the debate stage alongside the major party nominees like current polling suggests he will? Stay tuned for more from America's favorite soap opera, coming in 2024!

Apr. 25 (announces bid for re-election)
47 John Wick: Chapter 4 11,133,720 In 2014, film studio executives had so little confidence in the first John Wick that it was nearly doomed to go direct to video. Nine years later, John Wick has garnered a reputation as one of the industry's most consistent franchises, with Chapter 4 managing the unlikely feat of continuing its critical and commercial success for the fourth time in a row. The simple pleasure of watching Keanu Reeves effortlessly dispatching foes as if it's a game of Superhot has proven hard to resist, as John Wick: Chapter 4 became the highest-grossing film in the series, with earnings surpassing $440 million worldwide.

The franchise shows no sign of slowing down, either—a prequel series, The Continental, premiered on Peacock in September, while the Ana de Armas-led spin-off Ballerina is set to hit theaters next year. Meanwhile, John Wick: Chapter 5 is in development, so it's safe to say we'll be seeing plenty more of the Baba Yaga in the near future.

Mar. 25 (day after release)
48 Gadar 2 11,129,684 A 66-year old Sunny Deol made a career comeback after over a decade of decline with a sequel to his career's biggest hit, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001). Gadar 2 proved that nostalgia, nationalistic sentiment, and ageing men will never go out of vogue in India, no matter how tackily made the film is. This also reminds us what a stunning year it has been for the Hindi film box office, with four historic grossers, all of which have made this list (in perfect order of their gross, no less!). Aug. 13 (finishes opening weekend at #1)
49 Everything Everywhere All at Once 11,115,623 A 2022 film which dropped out of nowhere and decided to become one of the best movies ever created. It was directed by the Daniels, and stars Michelle Yeoh as the main character. You're asking why I wrote "one of the best movies"? What's wrong with that? No, I'm not biased. No, I didn't cry watching it, why are you asking? Mar. 13 (wins the Academy Award for Best Picture)
50 Margot Robbie 11,041,143 Ten years after her breakthrough in The Wolf of Wall Street, Margot Robbie has proven herself as a big star, between her beloved turn as Harley Quinn in the DC Extended Universe, box office hits such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Academy Award nominations for I, Tonya and Bombshell, and even producing jobs like Promising Young Woman. And nowhere this Australian beauty shone harder than as Barbie in our #12, given beyond looking the part she pulled off effortlessly both the comedic moments (including one at her expense, as Barbie saying "I'm not stereotypical Barbie pretty!" led the narrator to add "Note to the filmmakers: Margot Robbie is the wrong person to cast if you want to make this point.") and the dramatic ones, making her name start to show up in the awards circuit. Next for Mrs. Robbie is a reunion with her Ken Ryan Gosling in a Ocean's prequel, where they will play the parents of the robbers portrayed by George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. July 23 (#12 gives biggest opening of career)
  1. ^ I got that joke from the Pitch Meeting


Toolforge's list, along with not including redirect views (for instance, Russian invasion of Ukraine was renamed a few times) and somehow excluding The Idol, has many pages we eliminate for suspicious numbers or activities:

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Good to know, specially considering how the daily numbers never seemed troublesome. Hope 2024 doesn't have such a case again. igordebraga 14:36, 14 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
     1	 140245117 Main_Page
     2	 128879655 Special:Search
     3	  85424619 Wikipedia:Featured_pictures
     4	  80543464 -
     5	  64539644 Cleopatra
     6	  63581990 YouTube
     7	  52459446 ChatGPT
     8	  48549304 Deaths_in_2023
     9	  38706364 2023_Cricket_World_Cup
    10	  35039343 XXX:_Return_of_Xander_Cage
    11	  32403012 Indian_Premier_League
    12	  31260165 Oppenheimer_(film)
    13	  31169166 Facebook
    14	  28203418 J._Robert_Oppenheimer
    15	  27855090 Instagram
    16	  27311024 XXX_(film_series)
    17	  25902840 Cricket_World_Cup
    18	  23078233 Jawan_(film)
    19	  22368029 Sex
    20	  22079082 XXXX_(beer)
    21	  22030018 Taylor_Swift
    22	  20997223 The_Last_of_Us_(TV_series)
    23	  20806557 2023_Indian_Premier_League
    24	  20652505 Index_(statistics)
    25	  20610304 Pathaan_(film)
    26	  20104479 XXXTentacion
    27	  19872205 Premier_League
    28	  19761243 Barbie_(film)
    29	  19186453 The_Idol_(TV_series)
    30	  19029679 Cristiano_Ronaldo
--Dušan Kreheľ (talk) 21:54, 12 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]


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