The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

2023: A Pop Culture Timeline


2023 was packed with anticipated movie releases, huge music tours from top artists, and exciting new albums. Each month of the year had something to share, so why don’t we go back and look at the biggest pop culture events of 2023.   

January – The Last of Us Series: Starting this past year, we have the video game turned drama series, The Last of Us. The video game presented the story of a smuggler named Joe and a young girl named Ellie trying to trek across a post-apocalyptic United States. The show was highly anticipated as the source material was a beloved game. The show’s premiere garnered an audience of 4.7 million viewers and was continuously watched to the end, with the final getting an impressive 8.2 million tuning in for the finale. TLOU is the most-watched show on HBO Max in Europe and Latin America. Overall, the show was a huge success and satisfied the viewers’ expectations.

February – The Super Bowl: The Super Bowl of 2023 ended with a score of 38-35 with the Kansas City Chiefs collecting a victory from their match against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Super Bowl always gets many viewers from Americans, and this year was no different. This year the American football event garnered 115 million viewers, with the Half-Time show with Rihanna gaining 121 million viewers. This viewership of the Half-Time show was able to snatch the title of most watched Half-Time show in Super Bowl history, surpassing Katy Perry’s show in 2015.

March – Taylor Swift Eras Tour: You’ve definitely heard about the Eras Tour in some way or another. And it’s no surprise, as Taylor Swift has resurfaced a bit this year and is sweeping the music industry. Her tour began on March 17th and will end on December 8th of next year. This tour has grabbed the record of the highest-grossing music tour ever and is the first to surpass $1 billion in revenue. She is performing a total of 151 shows on almost every continent. Taylor Swift was a huge deal this year, and this tour attests to that.

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April – Super Mario Bros. Movie: The Mario video game franchise is another game released on TV this year and was also highly anticipated. The movie serves as an origin story for the two Italian plumbers, Mario and Luigi. The movie cashed in $1.36 billion at the box office and claimed the title of the highest-grossing animated film of 2023, right in front of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. This did miles better than the live-action movie of this franchise that was released in 1993, which lost millions of dollars. It has already been announced that the 2023 animated movie will be getting not only a sequel but will become a whole franchise.

May – Beyoncé Renaissance World Tour: Many artists are taking advantage of how concerts have risen in demand after the pandemic, like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. It was announced on February 1st that Beyoncé would go on her highest-grossing tour yet this year, and it started on May 10th and went on until October 1st. Beyoncé made a whopping $579 million from this 5-month tour and is closing in on the title of being a billionaire. A movie about this tour was released at the start of December, and that grossed an outstanding $36.1 million. 2023 seems to be a big year for celebrities to go on huge tours that attract millions and millions of fans.

June – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: This movie was four years in its making, and its unique animation shows the work they put in. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has a very distinct animation style with hand-drawn images throughout the film. This movie overtook its predecessor Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, at the box office, including both domestically and worldwide. It grossed around $690 million and has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95%. This movie was a huge hit with casual and hardcore Marvel fans. The third film of this series Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse is already in development, and it will be the final installment of the franchise.

July – Barbenheimer: This might have possibly been the biggest movie event of the entire year. Barbenheimer included the two movies Barbie and Oppenheimer. These movies were completely different genres of film released on the same day, July 21st. Both movies were smash hits at the box office, with Barbie making $1.442 billion and Oppenheimer making $953.8 million. Barbie went on to become the Warner Bros. highest-grossing movie of all time, taking over The Dark Knight. That means, in terms of revenue, Barbie wins against Oppenheimer. Although, in terms of rating, Oppenheimer won, gaining a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%, while Barbie was rated 88%. When asked if Barbie was worth the watch, one student said “Yes, it talked about the struggles of women.” Although, another student said, “I really liked it, it’s just the ending . . . it was amazing until the ending.” Not many people seemed to have watched Oppenheimer, but one student stated, “I heard that the cinematography and the way they shot it was really good.” Even though Barbie seems to have been watched more, the victor of these two movies is still undecided by many, as both movies were extremely successful in their own right.  

August Olivia Rodrigo’s “bad idea right?”: Olivia Rodrigo came back this year, and released multiple songs before her main album release, including “Vampire” and “bad idea right?”. The debut album of Olivia Rodrigo, SOUR, was an incredible hit in the music industry, and it gave her an impressive following, and all of them were waiting for her next music release. “bad idea right?” was a pre-release to her album that would come out next month, GUTS, and gave a good look into what she would be coming back with.   

September – Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS Album: GUTS was released on September 8th, and it was highly anticipated because of her pre-releases that garnered quite a bit of attention. This album included songs like “get him back!”, “love is embarrassing”, and “lacy”. This album seemed to focus on making mistakes and not being perfect, and many were able to relate to it. All songs on Olivia Rodrigo’s new album got in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the entire album got first spot on the Billboard 200. Its first week was also a little bit more successful than her debut album, SOUR. One freshman when asked if she’d listened to her new album stated, “Yeah, a while ago. It was better than her first album, in my opinion.”   

October – FNAF Movie Release: Another movie based on a video game, Five Nights at Freddy’s was an adaptation of a very beloved horror game. It was originally announced on April 7th of 2015, a whole 7 and a half years before it was actually released. Nevertheless, people were happy to go to theaters to watch this movie, and it was able to gross $293.7 million at the box office. The movie did change quite a few things from the original FNAF games, but fans of the games seemed to believe this was a successful movie.  

November – The First Part of Season 6 of The Crown: This was the beginning of the end of a very cherished TV series for many. The Crown is a six-season long series that portrays Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding in 1947 when she married the Duke of Edinburgh, all the way to 2005. This series took 7 years to finish, with the first season coming out on November 4th, 2016 and the second part to the final season’s first part coming out on November 16th, 2023, and the second part coming out on December 14th. It is a series close to many people, and it reached its final ending this year. 

December – Beyoncé Renaissance Movie: Ending the year is the release of Beyoncé’s tour movie, Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé. It was out on the very first day of December, and it made $11.6 million in the box office that day. The opening weekend of the film made a total of $22 million, marking it the second-best opening weekend of the first week in December. This movie followed the making and planning of Beyoncé’s seventh world tour, Renaissance World Tour. The combination of her world tour and movie release brought Beyoncé a lot of attention, 2023 was a very successful year for the artist.

This year had some considerably large events in pop culture. There were records broken, beloved TV series’ ending, anticipated TV series’ releases and head-to-head movie battles. Even though the 20s started rough, with each coming year, we may be able to make the next decade of our lives the best one yet.

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About the Contributor
May Maflahi
May Maflahi, Reporter
May Maflahi is a freshman at Granada and loves to write narratives. She often gets inspiration for them by reading fantasy novels and comics. She is currently in the TUPE club and enjoys drawing, often for the stories she enjoys writing. During the start of the school year, May was in the school's color guard. Some of her favorite foods include chicken tikka, ramen noodles, and Takis.

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