It’s time for yet another look at the Nielsen streaming charts, episode 2 of The Mandalorian season 3 was added. How are the ratings? The Mandalorian is #6 on the general charts and in 4th place on the original series charts. According to Nielsen the series accumulated 889 million viewing minutes. How does that compare to season 2 and other Star Wars series on Disney+? Well, episode 2 of season 3 is shedding viewers! Click through for all the details!
Before I begin a short message to YouTubers and even journalists, on the off chance they will ever read this: you CANNOT compare Nielsen streaming charts for different series and different seasons without accounting for episode length. Shorter episodes will tend to have “worse” ratings than episodes with longer episode runtimes. So comparing just the viewing minutes is simply nothing you should ever do.
With that out of the way… how does The Mandalorian season 3 episode 2 compare to season 2 episode 2 and the second week episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Book of Boba Fett and Andor? Well, it’s not really all that easy to compare the numbers. Raw viewing minutes only tell you so much. Apart from episode runtime things like total number of episodes or day of release (Friday vs Wednesday for seasons 2 and 3 of The Mandalorian) will also have an impact. And the number of subscribers is yet another very important factor for a streaming show. Season 2 of The Mandalorian was released when Disney+ had approximately 10 million fewer subscribers than in 2023. Keep that in mind!
The best we can do with the data we have is to account for episode length and to perform a rather crude calculation that divides viewing minutes by episode length, to get something that is not really the number of people who watched the episode, but a metric that at least allows us to compare the numbers somewhat better. Dividing viewing minutes by episode length assumes that a) all people watched just the latest episode (which will not be the case) and b) all people watched the entire episode (which will not be the case). But as I said, this is the best we can do to compare Nielsen streaming charts for episodes from different shows with very different lengths.
So what are the numbers?
The Mandalorian season 3 episode 2, 42:25 minutes, 889 million minutes = 20.96 million
The Mandalorian season 2 episode 2, 39:33 minutes, 955 million minutes = 24.15 million
The Book of Boba Fett season 1 episode 2, 51:13 minutes, 563 million minutes = 10.99 million
Obi-Wan Kenobi season 1 episode 3, 44:34 minutes, 958 million minutes = 21.49 million
Andor season 1 episode 4, 46:57 minutes, 485 million minutes = 10.33 million
Please note that in week 2 of Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 3 was released, because the first two episodes were released on the same day the week before. And Andor even released three episodes on the first day of release, so in week 2 we got episode 4, which is why these episodes were used here.
So what can we say? The Mandalorian season 3 has shed a lot of (theoretical) viewers. It was 26.62 million for the season 3 premiere. Thus season 3 has lost 5.66 million “people” with episode 2. A decline of 21%!
In fact, the episode has worse ratings than even Obi-Wan Kenobi in week 2 of its release, and Kenobi only had two other episodes people could watch, whereas The Mandalorian has 16 previous episodes that will add to the ratings. Compared to season 2 of The Mandalorian the current episode has 3.19 million fewer “people” tuning in. Again, when I say people it’s theoretical people, it’s impossible for us to know how many people watched older episodes and how many people only watched part of the episode, but as pointed out above it’s the best we can do to compare the ratings for different episodes with different running times.
It will probably surprise no one that The Mandalorian season 3 is shedding viewers so early in the season. The season 3 premiere was not all that exciting. Viewers who didn’t watch The Book of Boba Fett may have also been very confused as to why Grogu is suddenly back when he was sent away with Luke in the season 2 finale and why Din wears a helmet again all the time and wants to rejoin the cult.
The big question is how the ratings will develop in the coming weeks when Nielsen will add more and more episodes. The question also is if segues to Dr Pershing on Coruscant will have a negative impact on ratings or something like the controversial episode 6 with Jack Black, Lizzo and Christopher Lloyd as guest stars.
The ratings for The Mandalorian season 3, so far, are still good. It is the most popular original series on Disney+ of course, but season 2 was more popular in its second week of release. And you have to remember that the second season aired more than two years ago, almost two and a half years actually, when Disney+ had about 10 million less subscribers in the US and Canada. You would expect higher ratings based on subscriber numbers alone, but we don’t get that here. So Disney should maybe worry a little bit. Maybe a two plus year wait was simply too long, including two important The Mandalorian episodes in The Book of Boba Fett probably didn’t help either and the overall quality of season 3 is debatable.
It will be very interesting to see how future episodes will fare on the charts and if the downward trend will continue.
The Mandalorian is the only Disney+ entry on the general and original series streaming charts, Netflix dominates the charts as usual. Most popular was “You” with 40 episodes. Bluey remains popular as ever on the acquired series charts with 705 million minutes. But what should maybe worry Disney a lot: Disney+ also has only one movie on the charts. Wakanda Forever dropped out of the top 10 and only Moana is in the lower regions of the top 10. Peacock makes a rare appearance with the surprise hit Puss in Boots (3rd place), everything else is by Netflix. With the latest Luther movie claiming the top position.
For a streaming service with a relatively high number of subscribers (even if Netflix still has a sizable advantage, 74.3 million in the US and Canada vs 46.6 million for Disney+) Disney is underrepresented on the charts with just three entries, The Mandalorian, Bluey (not even a Disney series) and Moana. Bob Iger should maybe think long and hard about what content Disney must produce in the future if they want to be more popular. If you also consider that the latest, very expensive MCU Movie Ant-Man 3 flopped (200 million budget plus 100 million marketing with a worldwide box office of less than 500 million USD, so at least 100 million below the break even point), Disney’s shareholders probably have few reasons to be happy with the performance of the entertainment division at the moment. And if the golden goose that was The Mandalorian begins to struggle things will not get better, only worse. The next few weeks will be very interesting!
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