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Updated December 31st, 2023 at 08:00 IST

Biggest entertainment stories of 2023: Celeb controversies, divorces, box office surprises

2023 not only shaped our conversations around movies and stars but also dictated trends that would possibly dominate the movie biz the following year.

Top entertainment stories
Top entertainment stories | Image:Republic
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Indian cinema enjoyed its fair share of highs and lows this year. From some anticipated box office comebacks to films and celebrities getting caught up in the eye of the storm, the year gone by not only shaped our conversations around movies and stars but also dictated trends that would possibly dominate the movie biz the following year.

Here's looking at all the major highlights of 2023:

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Treading the fine line: Celebs in the news

Treading the fine line: Celebs in the news

Shubh controversy

Canada-based Punjabi rapper Shubh was scheduled to perform in India in September as part of his maiden world tour. However, the concert was cancelled due to his alleged Khalistani links. 

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File photo of rapper Shubh | Image: Shubh/Instagram

When Adipurush's dialogues hurt sentiments

Director Om Raut's mythological epic Adipurush was criticised for its poor VFX. Its dialogues that many dubbed as 'pedestrian' allegedly hurt sentiments. After fcing massive backlash, the makers altered some of the dialogues and new prints were issued in cinemas. But the damage had been done. The controversy dented its box office prospects and subsequently Adipurush emerged as one of the biggest flops this year. .

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Prabhas with Adipurush director Om Raut | Image: Om Raut/X

Mansoor Ali Khan's 'rape' remark about Trisha condemned online

Leo actor Mansoor Ali Khan's distasteful remarks on his co-star Trisha upset one and all. While addressing the media, Khan implied that he didn't get to do "rape scenes" in Leo and that makers "hid" Trisha from him during the shoot. He was condemned by the film's team, NCW and celebrities who shared posts on X extending their support to Trisha. Madras HC even imposed a ₹1 lakh fine on Khan and denied him permission to sue Trisha.

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File photo of Mansoor Ali Khan | Image: Mansoor Ali Khan/Instagram

Rashmika Mandanna's deepfake video raises privacy concerns

Rashmika Mandanna's viral AI deepfake video raised concerns over security and privacy. The Delhi Police swiftly took cognizance of the matter and arrested four uploaders. However, the creators of the deepfake video havn't been identified yet. An investigation is underway. Following this, Alia Bhatt, Kajol, Katrina Kaif and Kriti Sanon also fell victim to AI deepfake.        

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File photo of Rashmika Mandanna | Image: Rashmika Mandanna/X

Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan's divorce rumours

Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan's rumoured divorce kept the gossip mills buzzing. As tabloids claimed that the PS2 actress has moved out of the Bachchan residence, Aishwarya skipping the traditional Diwali puja added fuel to the fire. However, amid the divorce news gaining traction, the couple put up a strong front as they quelled the rumours with joint public appearances. 
 

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Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan married in 2007 | Image: Aishwarya Rai/Instagram

Deepika Padukone's viral open relationship comment

When Deepika Padukone, who appeared on a talk show with husband Ranveer Singh, opened up about her dating life before committing to the Bajirao Mastani actor, trolls took her on for her views on love and relationships. The matter blew up online after students from a prestigious university made a skit of her candid confessions.

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Couples in news | Image: Instagram

When Alia Bhatt's confession landed Ranbir Kapoor the 'toxic husband' tag

Ranbir Kapoor delivered one of the biggest box office hits this year with Animal but before that, a confession shared by Alia Bhatt about their personal life got him labelled as a "toxic" husband. The Gangubai Kathiawadi star shared that Ranbir doesn't like her wearing lipstick. Trolling followed with netizens pulling apart details from the couple's married life. Later, both Ranbir and Alia cleared the matter on separate occasions.           

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Jonathan Majors found guilty

Marvel actor Jonathan Majors was found guilty of assaulting and harassing his former girlfriend in Manhattan in a March incident. The sentencing will happen in February.

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Danny Masterson convicted of rape

That 70s Show star Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after being convicted of raping two women.

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Hollywood celebs | Image: AP

Britney Spears' controversial memoir

Justin Timberlake's reputation took a hit after his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears released her memoir The Woman in Me in October. Spears revealed that she got pregnant during her relationship with Timberlake and was coerced into having an abortion.

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Lizzo sued by employees for sexual harassment

Once known as an advocate for body positivity, the world was taken by surprise when Lizzo was sued by former dancers in her troupe of sexual harassment, body shaming, discrimination and creating a hostile environment at work. The case is ongoing. 

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Hollywood celebs | Image: AP

Justin Timberlake's reputation took a hit after his ex Britney Spears released her memoir The Woman in Me in October. Spears revealed that she fell pregnant during her relationship with Timberlake and was coerced into having an abortion.

 

Movies in news

Barbenheimer

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The box office clash between Margot Robbie's Barbie and Cillian Murphy starrer Oppenheimer became a cultural force to be reckoned with. While many expected that one of the titles would get washed out, both did well at the theatres and grabbed a spot each in the list of the highest-grossing titles of 2023. Now, they are frontrunners in the awards season too. 
 

Gadar 2 vs OMG 2

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In India, a similar hype was witnessed viz-a-viz the Gadar 2 and OMG 2 box office clash. Interestingly, both films managed to draw audiences to the theatres and earned decent reviews.   

The Kerala Story

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Ahead of its release, Sudipto Sen's The Kerala Story was dubbed as a polarising film. However, the controversies did not impact its box office collection as the film managed to gross over ₹300 crore, becoming one of the most profitable movies of 2023.    

The Kerala Story poster | Image: IMDb

Animal

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Undoubtedly, Animal, directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, has been one of the most talked about films of the year. While it is running successfully in theatres, a section of critics and viewers have slammed it, calling it misogynistic and graphically violent. 

A still from Animal | Image: Animal poster

 

Kaathal The Core

Mammootty's Kaathal - The Core emerged as one of the most-discussed films this year. Its subject, which dealt with a homosexual man going through a divorce after his wife finds out about his sexual orientation, was lauded by critics and viewers alike. Mammootty's sensitive portrayal also earned him praise.  

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Kaathal stars Mammootty | Image: MammoottyKampany
/X

OTT newsmakers of 2023

The Idol axed after season 1

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The Weeknd and Lily Rose-Depp's The Idol was one of the most polarising shows this year. It was labelled "provocative" by the viewers for its depiction of nudity and graphic violence. Following severe backlash and negative reviews, The Idol was axed and will not be returning for a new season.

Vir Das scripts history

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Actor-comic Vir Das won the International Emmy Award for his stand-up special Vir Das: Landing in the Best Comedy category. This was Das' second nomination and maiden win in the segment. 

File photo of Vir Das | Image: Vir Das/Instagram

Made in Heaven 2 makers called out for appropriation

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The makers of Made in Heaven 2 were accused of appropriating author Yashica Dutt's life story for one of the episodes of the show's second season, a claim they denied. Later, designer Tarun Tahliani criticised the makers for falsely attributing his creations to a “fictitious designer” in an episode of the show’s second season.

'Bawaal' over Varun Dhawan's Bawaal

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Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor's Bawaal was in the news for some controversial scenes that viewers claimed "trivialised" Holocaust and its victims. 

A still from Bawaal | image: Varun Dhawan/Instagram

The Archies 'star-kids' cast trolled for their acting skills

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The Archies was in the news this year largely because it marked the debut of several star kids. However, Agastya Nanda, Khushi Kapoor and Suhana Khan's performances earned them negative reviews from the audiences and critics alike. The trio's poor acting skills even sparked a meme-fest on social media.

A still from The Archies | Image: X

Celebs who bid us farewell

In India, Yash Chopra's wife Pamela Chopra, actors Satish Kaushik, Rio Kapadia, Nitesh Pandey, Vaishnavi Upadhyay, Gufi Paintal, director Sanjay Gadhvi and art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai were among the celebrities who breathed their last this year.

Celeb deaths | Image: IMDb

In the West, Friends star Matthew Perry's untimely demise shocked the world. The cause of his death was revealed to be “acute effects of ketamine”. Euphoria star Angus Cloud died of accidental drug overdose. Other celebs who left for the heavenly abode in 2023 included MIB star Mike Nussbaum, James McCaffrey, André Braugher, Camden Toy, Ellen Holly, Andrea Fay Friedman, Suzanne Shepherd and Conny Van Dyke.

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Matthew Perry died in October | Image: IMDb

Celeb divorces that shook us

2023 saw trouble in some couple's paradise. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth separated after 11 years of marriage and Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner split following their four-year-long wedding. Modern Family star Sofia Vergara split from her husband Joe Manganiello after eight years and Logan star Hugh Jackman announced his decision to separate from Deborra-Lee Furness after 27 years of marriage. 

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Hollywood celebs who divorced | Image: IMDb

 

Ariana Grande announced separation from Dalton Gomez after two years of marriage while Aquaman star Jason Momoa parted ways from Lisa Bonet after 12 years of dating and four years of marriage.

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Box office surprises

This year saw several sleeper hits. Vikrant Massey's 12th Fail, Kannada film Sapta Sagaradaache Ello Side A and B, Marathi film Baipan Bhari Deva, Tamil thriller Por Thozil and Bollywood film Zara Hatke Zara Bachke won both the audiences' hearts and minted money at the box office.

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Box office comebacks

2023 at the box office was marked by comebacks. From South stars Prabhas, Rajinikanth and Vijay breaking their respective box office curses of commercial debacles to Sunny Deol, Ranveer Singh and Akshay Kumar reclaiming the ticket windows, these comebacks paved the way for skyrocketing box office collection for Indian cinema.      

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Published December 25th, 2023 at 18:26 IST

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