Despite not having a movie released this year or in four years for that matter, Star Wars takes the top franchise spot ahead of the Marvel brand in Fandom’s Top 25 Franchise rankings for 2023.
For Star Wars, this year has seen the release of Ahsoka, which has been well-received, and fan-favorite The Mandalorian which released Season 3 earlier in the year which was so-so but the two preceding seasons were well done.
Marvel has released a batch of content that includes Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which bombed, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, a success, Secret Invasion on Disney+, a big disappointment, and has The Marvels getting released in November that is getting controversy.
So with Marvel currently on the downside of things, fans chose Star Wars as the top franchise of 2023.
The info (full announcement below) comes from Fandom’s 350 million monthly unique visitors, 40 million pages of content, and 250k fan-powered wikis, coupled with a global study, the 2023 Inside Fandom report.
“Franchises made up 95% of the top blockbusters and games in 2023, yet there has been no single unified view on what’s capturing fan attention and why,” Fandom CEO Perkins Miller said. “The Franchise Factor framework gives creators, producers, and marketers actionable insights and tools to strengthen their franchises in an increasingly competitive landscape.”
We also see at #3 is One Piece, which is the most popular manga of all time, selling something like half a billion copies, as well as has the uber popular Netflix series which has already been renewed for Season 2.
Video Games come in at #4 with Elder Scroll; Harry Potter at #5 is still a beloved franchise as the recent video game was a massive success and HBO is developing a new live-action series.
Rounding out the top ten includes Barbie at #6 as the Margot Robbie movie has made over $1.4 billion at the box office; at #7 is Paramount+’s Yellowstone; #8 is another video game franchise and HBO show with The Last Of Us; #9 is the Fallout video game franchise, and Disney comes in at #10.
We also see DC comes in rather low at #17 which includes characters such as Batman and Superman, but worth a mention is the DC movies have been performing horribly as Shazam: The Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle have mega bombed.
Fandom Top 25 Franchises of 2025:
Fandom Unveils Proprietary New Data Metric & Definitive Ranking of the Top Global Entertainment Franchises in 2023 “Inside Fandom” Study
Star Wars, Marvel, One Piece, Elder Scrolls & Harry Potter are the Top IP’s According to the Franchise Factor Score
Inside Fandom Case Study Uncovers How Fans & Creators Made Barbie a Billion Dollar Success
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San Francisco, CA – September 20, 2023 – As part of its fifth annual Inside Fandom study, Fandom today unveils an unprecedented new data metric – the Franchise Factor Score – a single, definitive metric that looks beyond the financials to define the driving forces behind entertainment and gaming franchise success. Leveraging first-party data from Fandom’s extensive platform – 350 million monthly unique visitors, 40 million pages of content and 250k fan-powered wikis – coupled with a global study, the 2023 Inside Fandom report:
- Provides a definitive ranking of the franchises fans are most engaged with across both entertainment & gaming
- Analyzes which trends drive the most fan engagement and momentum
- Explores fan preferences across spinoffs, adaptations, sequels and prequels
- Reveals important details of how to sustain fan engagement through branded tie-ins and licensing deals
The Franchise Factor details five key criteria that will help studios, streamers, game publishers and brands identify why and how top franchises are embraced by fans and why some IP’s resonate more than others. Criteria include:
- Worldbuilding: Populating a fictional universe with captivating characters, settings, and lore to forge deep connections with audiences
- High Ratings: Ratings from both critics and fans play a pivotal role in capturing audience attention
- Fierce Fanbase: Cultivating a community that passionately advocates for a franchise
- Cultural Relevance: The ability of a franchise to capture the spirit of the times and resonate with wider audiences; a franchise that bridges between the core fanbase and the broader public and leaves a lasting mark on pop culture
- Consistency: A franchise that remains top-of-mind and sustains interest over time by regularly providing top-tier, fresh or enhanced content for fans to enjoy.
Using the Franchise Factor, Fandom unveils the top 25 franchises of 2023 to-date:
“Franchises made up 95% of the top blockbusters and games in 2023, yet there has been no single unified view on what’s capturing fan attention and why,” said Perkins Miller, Fandom CEO. “The Franchise Factor framework gives creators, producers, and marketers actionable insights and tools to strengthen their franchises in an increasingly competitive landscape.”
Additional key findings from the report include the real fan POV on franchise spinoffs, cross media adaptations, and licensing deals.
Sequels, prequels and spinoffs add depth to a franchise, allowing existing fans to establish deeper connections with the universe which leads to a higher fanbase retention rate over time.
- 64% of gamers and 69% of entertainment fans would rather play/watch franchised content than something new
- Sequels and prequels allow fans to establish deeper connections with the universe, leading to a higher franchise retention rate:
- 57% of fans are interested in prequels & sequels
- 53% are interested in spin-offs
- 36% are interested in remakes & remasters
- 31% are interested in cross-media adaptations
- Spin-offs allow for the expansion of not only characters and story, but bring diversity and new fans into the franchise:
- 67% of consumers cite spin-offs based on a known character, group or location as their preferred expansion
- 46% like introducing new characters and storylines to give a fresh take on the original material
CROSS MEDIA ADAPTATIONS
Franchises provide incredible value for networks, studios, streamers and marketers because they come with an established universe and an existing fanbase. Cross-media adaptations take that one step further in widening fan bases and adding depth to franchise universes.
- 83% of fans who are interested in cross-media expansion are gamers
- When developing a cross-media adaptation:
- 40% of fans want a strong connection to the source material
- 34% want involvement from the original creators
- 32% want a sense of nostalgia
- 68% of the audience claims that their perception of one installment in a franchise influences their opinion of the franchise as a whole.
- The leading deterrents for fans are:
- Misrepresentation of the source material (40%)
- Lack of innovation with the characters and storylines (36%)
- Poor ratings or reviews (32%)
MARKETING & LICENSING
44% of fans claim they are more likely to buy products with IP branded tie-ins, meaning fandoms clearly drive consumer purchase decisions. That’s why it’s critical for marketing & advertising to be thoughtfully planned against multiple points of the release lifecycle for maximum results.
- 73% of fans are impacted by a sneak peak into the installment. Ex: trailers (41%) lore-base videos (21%) and BTS interviews (18%)
- 57% of fans are impacted by word of mouth. Ex: Personal recommendations (34%) and watercooler talk (20%)
- 46% of fans are impacted by advertising. Ex: Online advertising (46%) and fan content (45%)
- 45% of fans are impacted by fan content. Ex: Fan ratings & reviews (27%)
- Announcements (62%), trailers (58%) and digital advertising (51%) are more likely to drive awareness
- Access & accessibility (19%) and ratings and reviews (15%) are more likely to drive consideration
- Licensing deals (74%), experiences (64%) and fan content (28%) are most likely to drive sustained fan engagement throughout the lifecycle
The 2023 Inside Fandom Study analyzes the impact of franchises in the entertainment and gaming industry based on a survey of 5,000 gaming and entertainment fans in the US and UK. These insights were validated and deepened through Fandom’s robust proprietary first-party data – more than 350 million monthly unique visitors, 45 million pages of content across 250,000 wikis. This methodology provides a 360-degree view of franchises and fan interest across the entertainment and gaming landscape through the eyes of Fandom.
The Franchise Factor Score is a weighted calculation against the five criteria based on Fandom’s proprietary data.