We are close to the finish line! Nielsen added the seventh season 3 The Mandalorian episode to their charts, which was part one of the grand finale! And the ratings are down compared to last week. It seems Lizzo and Jack Black convinced quite a few fans to tune out and not to bother with the finale. Click through for more!
So let’s dive right in! And if you want to know all the caveats please read one of the earlier Nielsen articles, viewing minutes are a terrible metric to determine how much any given show or episode was actually watched!
The Mandalorian season 3 episode 7, 50:39 minutes, 1,025 million viewing minutes = 20.24 million “people”
The Mandalorian season 2 episode 7, 36:19 minutes, 1,042 million viewing minutes = 28.69 million “people”
The Book of Boba Fett season 1 episode 7 (season finale), 58:41 minutes, 885 million viewing minutes = 15.08 million “people”
Andor season 1 week 7 – did not chart!
Well, the theory that people tuned in the previous week to see what all the fuss was about and then decided that no, they don’t like it all that much appears to have some truth to it. Because even though the season finale (part 1 of it) should usually have higher ratings than previous episodes the first part of the season 3 finale has worse ratings!
Compared to the previous week ratings are down by 13%. But when we look at season 2 of The Mandalorian (where Mando and Mayfeld infiltrate an Imperial facility to find out the location of Moff Gideon) ratings are down by a massive 29.5%! Almost one third less! And this is before the Luke Skywalker finale. And remember, this is despite Disney+ having about 10 million more subscribers in North America when compared to late 2020.
Sure, season 3 is still popular, it’s still the highest rated show Disney has on Disney+, but the series has apparently lost some of its appeal and the very uneven, mediocre and at times really bad season 3 is less popular than the previous season 2. The exact reasons for that are difficult to pinpoint, but the change of direction, with Bo-Katan taking over as the lead, apparently did not go over too well with some people. But that is not the only issue, because the writing was very uneven. We had puzzling segues about characters very few people will really care about, the stand alone episodes felt very pointless or at times very silly this season. And Din Djarin had no character arc, he was just “there”.
And The Book of Boba Fett finale also shed viewers, people tuned in for the Luke Skywalker episode, but not all of them had interest in the very uneven series about Boba Fett (who was absent for the two Mandalorian episodes).
Next week is the finale and then I will take a closer look at the ratings and how they compare!
What else: Disney keeps getting steamrolled by Netflix. And Bob Iger will certainly not be happy about the fact that Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers last quarter, most of them in India, because Hotstar lost rights to a sports league a while ago, but Disney+ also lost a couple hundred thousand subscribers in North America, which completely failed expectations by analysts who had assumed that Disney+ would actually grow by 4 million subscribers. The only good news for Disney+ is that the losses have been reduced (a little more than $600 million, still a lot, but certainly not as disastrous as $1+ billion) and that average revenue per subscriber in the US is up, because fees are more expensive now.
The only other Disney+ shows or movies on the charts are the usual Bluey and Moana. But something like Moana is beaten even by Cocaine Bear on Peacock, a service which only has a fraction of the subscribers. However, Cocaine Bear was somewhat of a surprise hit by Elizabeth Banks (who formerly directed the massive flop Charlie’s Angels) and was generally well received.
Picard also re-enters the original series charts, in 10th place. Paramount+ is a service with not as many subscribers. That Picard is the only Nu Trek series to ever appear on the charts is however still a clear signal to Alex Kurtzman and his team. People want actual Star Trek. Not whatever Discovery is supposed to be. However, that series will be cancelled after the fifth season. Strange New Worlds will return later this year and Lower Decks also gets another season, both series are actually much more like “classic” Star Trek. But they too have failed to chart.
It will be very interesting to see how Peter Pan & Wendy will perform for Disney. The pointless and horribly received (the movie has an atrocious 4.2 user rating on IMDB!) reimagining of the classic children’s book for “modern audiences”. On top of that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 3 had a very underwhelming opening weekend, which is worse than the previous entry by quite some margin (and ticket prices are substantially higher in 2023) and only slightly better than Ant-Man 3, and this movie made less than $500 million worldwide. Guardians will have to make at least $700 million or so to break even. However, word of mouth for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is better than for Ant-Man. But still, the very underwhelming box office performance, the substantial loss of viewers for the hit show The Mandalorian and the upcoming disaster that will be The Little Mermaid live action remake and the much disliked Peter Pan & Wendy movie should give Bob Iger some pause and he should think very, very hard about what kind of content Disney wants to make, should make. Because Disney should be the studio that releases animated movies that earn 1+ billion dollars worldwide, not Universal with Super Mario. Instead Lightyear and Strange World flopped, Strange World even spectacularly so. And chances are the unneeded The Little Mermaid live action remake may be the next spectacular flop. Early statements by professional reviewers (there were press screenings a short while ago) are very, very tepid with most saying the movie fails to recapture the magic of the animated original. And those are statements by people who were invited by Disney to the screenings.
We will reconvene next week with the season finale! However, I may cover the charts for a few more weeks, because The Mandalorian season 2 remained on the charts for a few more weeks and it will be interesting to see how season 3 will perform after the finale compared to the previous season, because even one week after the finale season 2 still had more than 1 billion viewing minutes.
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