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'Wonka' ends the year No. 1 at the box office, 2023 sales reach $9 billion in post-pandemic best

Cheering fans in front of a wall of entertainment images.

NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood closed out an up and down 2023 with “Wonka” regaining No. 1 at the box office, strong sales for “The Color Purple” and an overall $9 billion in ticket sales that improved on 2022’s grosses but fell about $2 billion shy of pre-pandemic norms. The New Year’s weekend box office this year lacked a true blockbuster. The top choice remained “Wonka,” Paul King’s musical starring Timothée Chalamet as a young Willy Wonka. In its third weekend, the Warner Bros. release collected an estimated $24 million Friday through Sunday. “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” continued to struggle in its second week. “The Color Purple” grossed $50 million since opening Monday and leading Christmas Day moviegoing.