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The Nielsen Charts For The Mandalorian - Post Finale

Nielsen added the The Mandalorian season 3 finale last week, so why take a look at the Nielsen Streaming Charts now? Because it is quite interesting to see if The Mandalorian season 3 has strong legs or not. Especially in light of the fact that season 2 still had more than 1 billion viewing minutes one week after the Luke Skywalker finale was released. So how does season 3 compare? And how does Disney’s Peter Pan & Wendy movie perform which was added to the charts this week? I will also discuss box office projections for The Little Mermaid, for the people who are interested in how Disney is doing. Click through for more!

Viewership for The Mandalorian season 3 evaporates one week after the finale

I’ll make it quick:

The Mandalorian season 3, one week after the finale: 498 million minutes (#7 on the original series charts)
The Mandalorian season 2, one week after the finale (Christmas!): 1,024 million minutes

Now, granted, the Christmas season may have worked in favor of season 2, but still, the Luke Skywalker finale greatly outperforms the season 3 finale one week after release, some people will also binge watch the series once the season run has finished, either way, season 2 accumulated more than double the viewing minutes, meaning interest in season 3 has declined much faster only one week later. In fact, season 2 numbers were even better than season 3 numbers this week two weeks after the finale, the following week season 2 still had more than 700 million viewing minutes!

Ok, now let’s take a quick look at Peter Pan & Wendy, it is #2 on the movie charts with 477 million viewing minutes, which is very, very lackluster, actually it’s quite bad. Even the massive box office flop Strange World debuted with 755 million minutes. And it’s a far, far cry from things like Encanto, which debuted with 1.6 billion minutes (Encanto became the most watched streaming movie of the year even). Even the other animated box office flop from last year, Lightyear, debuted with 1.3 billion minutes on the Nielsen charts. Even when compared to other Disney+ originals that received overwhelmingly negative reviews, like the 2022 remake of Pinocchio (the animated version with Tom Hanks as Gepetto), Peter Pan & Wendy disappoints, Pinocchio debuted with 930 million viewing minutes on the charts. And as said, like Peter Pan & Wendy Pinocchio was a Disney+ original, not released in theatres. And it targets the same audience.

And compared to something like the MCU you can see how a movie on Disney+ can potentially perform: Wakanda Forever debuted with 2.269 billion minutes, of course it makes little sense to compare a superhero MCU movie with a family movie like Peter Pan, but you can compare it with other family oriented movies like Strange World, Lightyear, Pinocchio or Encanto, even if those are all animated, it is still the same potential audience.

But there are other live action Disney+ original movies that target the same audience: let’s look at Hocus Pocus 2, which never was released in theatres either. It even outperformed Wakanda Forever in its first week on the Nielsen charts with 2.725 billion minutes. Even something that, once again, has a pretty low user rating, is a Disney+ original and has generally lousy reviews, Disenchanted (the sequel to Enchanted), managed to accumulate 612 million minutes when it debuted on the charts, which already was a pretty bad number.

So Peter Pan and Wendy’s 477 million minutes are not a good number for Disney. It does not compare favorably with other family movies that target the same audience, it does not compare favorably with other Disney+ original movies that target the same audience.

And since user ratings for Peter Pan & Wendy are very, very bad (a lousy 4.1 on IMDB, which is abysmal) and the reviews very negative it is quite possible the movie won’t stay in the charts for long. In short: it’s a flop. At least the budget was a more or less sensible $46 million, but given the bad performance on Disney+ it may never actually recoup the costs by bringing in new subscribers or convincing people not to cancel their subscription.

Other than that the charts are the usual standard affair: Nielsen dominates everything. Bluey is now the most watched Disney+ content. And that is not even a Disney show, it’s an acquired series.

And Bob Iger now has to brace for the release of The Little Mermaid, which is tracking for a pretty good domestic Memorial Day weekend, but disastrous international numbers. The movie, according to analytics, is expected to bring in about $120 million over the four day weekend in the US, which is a really good number, it’s on the same level as the $116 million Aladdin made over the Memorial Day weekend in 2019, only movie tickets are about 30% more expensive in 2023, draw your own conclusions here. But the big problem for The Little Mermaid is that it is projected to bring in a measly $60 million from foreign markets (only major market missing here is Japan, where the movie opens on June 9th, the movie is released in China this weekend like in most other international markets) for a $180 million worldwide total for the four day weekend, in short: foreign box office share is expected to be 30%. Which, if true, would be disastrous. Even 40% would still be disastrous. Because even lousy and badly received live action versions of classic Disney animated movies always have at least 60+% foreign box office share. To tell you how lousy those international numbers are… Aladdin, which was released also over the Memorial Day weekend in 2019, brought in $121 million from international markets for the three day weekend, not even including Memorial Day. If The Little Mermaid just makes half of that it will not be good.

Cruella (not a remake, but based on the animated movie): 63% foreign box office share
Dumbo (which was a flop like Cruella): 67% foreign box office share
Maleficent 2 (not really a live action remake, but based on the animated movie): almost 77% foreign box office share
Aladdin: 66% foreign box office share
Beauty & the Beast: 60% foreign box office share
The Lion King: 67% foreign box office share
The Jungle Book: 62% foreign box office share

I suppose you get the picture: if the projections hold true, and The Little Mermaid will have a foreign box office share closer to 30% it will become very, very difficult for Disney to break even with that movie, even if numbers in the US will be ok or even good. Production costs are an astounding $250 million (none of which was apparently spent on good CGI, they blame Covid related delays for the inflated budget), add marketing and that movie needs to make something like $650-700 million worldwide to just break even. And if foreign box office share is indeed close to 30-40% then The Little Mermaid will have to make about $500 million domestic to break even. Which would be on the same level, domestic, as Beauty & The Beast. Aladdin, which made over a billion worldwide made $355 million domestic. So, good luck with that!

The Nielsen Streaming Charts

 

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