As 2023 draws to a close, the Indian streaming space records high numbers for some of the year’s biggest blockbusters and audience favourites from last year. Prime Video emerged as the ultimate winner this time, with five of the top ten titles available on the platform, while Netflix and Hotstar secured two spots each.
From two Shah Rukh Khan-led action dramas to Tamil superstar Rajinikanth’s resounding comeback and even the long-awaited Avatar sequel, here are the most popular titles of 2023 on streaming services.
How did we rank the Top 10 Movies of 2023?
This year-ender is based on the JustWatch India popularity score, which considers user activity such as clicking on a streaming offer, adding a title to a watchlist, and marking a title as 'seen'. Obviously, not all of 2023’s movies could make it to the list if they still haven’t been released on Indian OTT platforms. So, don’t expect Barbie and Oppenheimer on this list!
Shah Rukh Khan dominates the 2023 streaming charts with Pathaan and Jawan
Be it in terms of box-office records or streaming trends, Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan enjoyed a good year. Both Pathaan and Jawan have been acknowledged as some of Shah Rukh Khan’s best movies, rebranding him as a full-fledged action hero.
Pathaan, which dropped on Prime Video over two months after the theatrical release with some additional footage, takes the #1 spot on 2023’s streaming charts. Ranking in second place is the extended cut of Jawan which premiered on Netflix on Khan’s birthday, two months after the theatrical release.
Gadar 2 and Jailer: the year of comebacks
This year’s charts highlight that some of the country’s biggest stars had some remarkable comebacks in 2023. The aforementioned Khan himself returned as a lead actor after a five-year sabbatical. The same can be said for Sunny Deol, who resurfaced gloriously with Gadar 2, the sequel to his 2001 blockbuster Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. When the sequel was made available on ZEE 5, the Indian streaming platform recorded a remarkable upsurge.
This was also a good year for the Deol family as Dharmendra won over critics and audiences for his delightful turn as an aging family patriarch in the romantic comedy Rocky Aur Ranii Ki Prem Kahaani. Streaming on Prime Video, the movie reestablished director Karan Johar’s supremacy in Bollywood while offering memorable leading turns by Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt.
The comebacks of 2023 weren’t just limited to Bollywood, as Tamil cinema titan Rajinikanth played the titular character in Jailer. The title is now streaming on Prime Video and Sun NXT. Jailer marks a watershed moment in Rajinikanth’s career after recent disasters like Darbar and Annaatthe.
Bhediya to Avatar 2: 2022 hits resurge
Numerous popular 2022 releases found a streaming home in India only this year, which would explain the presence of the Varun Dhawan-led supernatural comedy Bhediya and James Cameron’s marine epic Avatar: The Way of Water. Bhediya’s popularity, in particular, can be explained by how it was made free to watch on Jio Cinema. The Avatar sequel could be accessed with bonus behind-the-scenes footage on Disney+ Hotstar.
Pan-Indian hits also continued to dominate, including the 2021 Telugu-language Allu Arjun-starrer Pushpa: The Rise - Part 1 (perhaps due to the hype for its upcoming 2024 sequel) and the 2022 Yash-led Kannada blockbuster K.G.F: Chapter 2. Both period crime dramas benefited greatly from the multilingual dubs on Prime Video. And of course, RRR held its relevance this year after its viral song “Naatu Naatu” took home the Oscar for Best Original Song this year.
You can find the entire top 10 most popular movies below, along with where to watch them online.