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These are the 10 most watched Portuguese films in cinemas in 2023



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These were the most watched Portuguese films, in cinemas from north to south, throughout 2023. Do you know them all?

O Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (ICA) Portuguese documents in particular detail its box office totals for national theaters. Among several tops (from weekend totals to weekly records), today we highlight the ranking of national films released in 2023.

Between the most watched Portuguese films in cinemas in 2023, with box office data recorded until November 29th, some works may surprise you. Before we highlight the top 10 national works with the highest audience, here are some of those that almost made the list: in 11th “The bride”by acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker Sergio Trefaut (“Anger”), which premiered in January; in 12th “Nayola”in José Miguel Ribeiro, the 1st Portuguese animated feature film to hit theaters; or even in 15th the powerful documentary “What Words Can Do”, by Luísa Marinho and Luísa Sequeiraabout the authors of the seminal work “New Portuguese Letters”.

“Nayola” | ©Praça Filmes

Below we reveal the “lucky ones” who achieved the top 10 most watched Portuguese films and the most detailed list of featured premieres.


Premieres of the Week most watched Portuguese films of 2023
My Grandfather’s Demons © NOS Audiovisuais

Realization: Nuno Beato| Debut: 22-06-2023| Spectators: 4,511| Billing: €19,234.31

A production Canned sardine in cooperation with the French Marmita Films and with the Spanish Basque Films, “My Grandfather’s Demons” received the Special Jury Prize in MONSTER and, among other competitions, also passed the MOTELxwhere we had the opportunity to see the stop motion work in its first exhibition on national soil.

About the film, our collaborator Jéssica Rodrigues shared: “It is important to highlight how deeply rooted Portuguese culture is in “Os Demónios do Meu Avô”. To begin with, the clay figures that appear throughout the film as demonic characters are inspired by the work of Rosa Ramalho (…) but the connections to our origins do not end there, as the soundtrack of the feature film also shows clear evidence of inspiration in traditional Trás-os-Montes songs, which helps to build a comfortable and mystical environment for the viewer.”



Realization: Edgar Pêra | Debut: 26-10-2023 | Spectators: 6,078 | Billing: €28,514.47

A Bando à Parte production distributed by Nitrato Filmes, the new work by Edgar Pera (“Lisbon Revisited”), “The Nothingness Club”had its world premiere at Rotterdam IFF 2023 and in Portugal it played at Doclisboa even before reaching the commercial rooms. The cast includes very famous names in national cinema such as Miguel Borges, Victoria Guerra, Albano JerónimoVítor Correia, Miguel Nunes, Paulo Pires or António Durães.

Official synopsis: Psychological thriller that takes place inside Fernando Pessoa’s head. In his Clube do Nada, inhabited by heteronyms, the poet manages to make all his dreams come true in life. But the arrival on the scene of a sophisticated woman, very different from the Ofélia of the real world, destabilizes the Club, while the outrageous avant-garde heteronym, Álvaro de Campos, violently disputes Pessoa’s authority.


Most viewed Portuguese films The Sibila
©Leopardo Filmes

Realization: Eduardo Brito | Debut: 12-10-2023 | Spectators: 6,169 | Billing: €25,673.90

With distribution and production by Leopard Films and support from RTP, “The Sibyl” is a historical drama that adapts the novel of the same name by Agustina Bessa-Luís. The story of the relationship between a young writer and her aunt is starred by Maria João Pinho It is Joana Ribeiro. It portrays the relationship between two strong women and the process of creating an emblematic national romance. The work, which is among the most watched Portuguese films of the year, is also available in a miniseries version divided into three episodes.


Beatriz Batarda
Beatriz Batarda is Tânia, ‘the mother of the Portuguese’ in Great Yarmouth. | ©70SSIFF

Realization: Marco Martins | Debut: 16-03-2023 | Spectators: 6,798 | Billing: €36,362.45

We saw them in San Sebastian, where it had its world premiere in the context of a Festival in 2022, and we are sure that it almost needs no introduction. This is the new work of fiction by the award-winning Portuguese filmmaker Marco Martins (“Alice”, “Saint George”). In his new drama he returns to the blessed collaboration with Nuno Lopes It is Beatriz Batardain an impactful narrative about the experience of illegal Portuguese immigrants in the United Kingdom.

José Vieira Mendes shares: “’Great Yarmouth: Provisional Figures’ is an uncomfortable, slow, figurative film, but above all devastating and honest, perhaps one of the best in Portuguese filmography in recent years. But above all, it is a work that uses incredible aesthetics, mainly to highlight the timbre of the voice and the amazing expressiveness of the great actress that is Beatriz Batarda.”


living badly criticizes indielisboa
© Midas Filmes

Realization: João Canijo | Debut: 1-05-2023 | Spectators: 12,898 | Billing: €59,786.5

Perhaps a little less powerful and memorable than its brother “Evil Living”, “Living Badly” is still an integral part of one of the most important national cinematographic moments in 2023: the duo of films by João Canijo, capable of fully exploring the potential of the 7th art by telling several interconnected stories not only in parallel but simultaneously. The modernist hotel where the work was filmed is as much a character in its own right as the guests and the family that owns it, in this film with a QB cast, where Anabela Moreira looks truly captivating.


Realization: Vicente Alves do Ó | Debut: 26-01-2023 | Spectators: 13,491 | Billing: €62,335.09

Vicente Alves do Ó (“I want you so much”, “Beautiful flower”) ensures yet another success with the national public and is included in this list of the most watched Portuguese films in 2023. Once again by the hand of Ukbar Films, “Amadeo” is a return to historical biography. Produced by Pandora da Cunha Telles and Pablo Iraola, the narrative is inspired by the work and life of the famous modernist painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso. In the role of the titular character we find Rafael Morais (“A Love of Perdition”, “Blood of my Blood”).


Portugal Ice Merchants Short Film Competition 2
Ice Merchants © Cinemundo

Realization: John Gonzalez | Debut: 16-02-2023| Spectators: 13,944 | Billing: €26,105.75

A delightful anomaly in this recovery of the most watched Portuguese films in 2023, in cinemas, is the presence of a short film. And it’s not just any short story, but rather the work of John Gonzalez, who at the beginning of 2023 traveled halfway around the world when she was nominated at the 2023 Oscars for the category of Best Animated Short Film. First Portuguese film to reach such a milestone, “Ice Merchants” is the beautiful and reflective story of a father and a son who every day throw themselves off a cliff to sell ice.

The theatrical distribution of the short, of any short in isolation, was a very unusual feat, but one that we now see has paid off. About the film, João Garção Borges said: “I’m not a fan of the word, but we can use the concept of message giving it an underlying ecological meaning, related to the phenomenon of climate change, which will cause the final outcome in which we literally dive into the abyss and, this time, to experience a authentic abstraction of reality and Nature that will punctuate the narrative until the last shot.”

We also take this opportunity to remember that the work was added to the HBO Max catalogwhere it can be viewed and reviewed.


The most watched Portuguese films in cinemas in 2023 |  Evil Living Canijo
©Midas Filmes

Realization: João Canijo | Debut: 11-05-2023 | Spectators: 17,403 | Billing: €81,920.24

In third place on the podium of most watched Portuguese films of the year, until the end of November, we find “Evil Living”. It’s fair to say that the film João CanijoO national candidate for the Oscars in 2024 It is Jury Prize at the Berlinale, is our biggest cinematic highlight of the year. From the uncomfortable atmosphere created by drawing family relationships and tensions, to the skillful representation of the multiple figures that populate this hotel with such a unique character, or even the stunning ending, “Mal Viver” is memorable in any of the dimensions that we can consider. Together with “Living Badly”, each additional viewing of the complete product will always take us to new levels of interpretation.


A hell of a film most watched Portuguese films of the year
©PRIS Audiovisuais

Realization: Hugo Diogo | Debut: 17-08-2023 | Spectators: 24,465 | Billing: €140,812.27

Then, with a significant jump in revenue, we found a typical summer ‘Portuguese comedy’, “A Hell of a Movie”.

Official synopsis
: Pedro Alves plays Oscar Pina, director of films for adults, who, by chance, finds himself in charge of making an artistic film. It turns out that directing a 7th art film is a dream he’s always had. Eduardo Madeira It’s Zé Cavalo, the biggest star of pornographic films, who will have to help his friend in this adventure. He also plays Mário Carneiro, a pretentious film actor, in a double antagonistic role.


Realization: Manuel Pureza | Debut: 03-08-2023| Spectators: 118,375 | Billing: €692,449.53

Now, with an overwhelming difference in revenue and spectators, we find the Portuguese film of the summer, signed by Manuel Pureza. Yes, of course, “Sunset: The Mystery of the São Cajó Necklace”, the adaptation of the RTP series. Both a tribute and a satire to the soap opera genre, “Sunset” It is an undisputed audience success. From the very real success of their fake band, the Jesus Quisto, Due to the chatter on social media, it is not surprising that this film version asserts itself as the most watched feature film of the year. And, to be honest, it is unlikely that the December box office will bring any changes to this panorama.

“The Mystery of the Necklace of São Cajó” took more than 100 thousand to the theaters and became the 15th most watched Portuguese film since 2004. This success is available on Prime Video and including the right to making of.


To follow the complete list of the most watched Portuguese films, on a national scale, consult the full ICA information permanently updated until the end of 2023!

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