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The Acolyte Has The 2nd Least Watched Star Wars Series Premiere

After reporting pointless day 1 numbers for the first episode of The Acolyte (because they never did so for anything before), Disney released 5-day numbers last night, just like they did for Ahsoka. And the first episode of The Acolyte had 11.1 million views worldwide, according to Disney. Which makes it the second least watched Star Wars series premiere on Disney+. Click through for more!

Fandom lovingy dubbed this guy “Order 66 Chicken McNuggets”. At least his name is not “Porkins”…

The Disney PR machine is in high gear. The Acolyte is the most watched Disney+ series premiere in all of 2024 is the headline of choice by Disney and various media outlets (when X-Men ’97 failed to enter the Nielsen Charts at all and the only other series of note released in 2024 is “Echo” which crashed and burned like the Hindenburg), it has “astounding” 4.8 million views (for its first episode) on day 1… which meant exactly nothing because Disney never released first day numbers for anything ever before.

But now they did actually release 5-day numbers. And things look much less fantastic. According to Disney the first episode (so excluding the second one that also was released) had 11.1 million views, where Disney uses the same formula I and others have used for a long time: they divide viewing minutes by episode runtime. So those are of course just theoretical views, but it is a figure that makes things comparable and accounts for different runtimes.

To put these 11.1 million views in perspective: Ahsoka had 14 million views after 5 days with its first episode, according to Disney. Which means The Acolyte had 21% less viewers.

Now Nielsen do have a different methodology, but if we use this, what may the Nielsen numbers look like, when they are released in about four weeks from now?

With The Acolyte trailing Ahsoka by approx. 21% Nielsen could report viewing minutes in the range of 520 million minutes, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. But those 520 million minutes would of course be for both episodes released on the same day.

And this would mean, if we use Nielsen, that The Acolyte had about 6.8 million views as per Nielsen. Now Nielsen is not the full picture, it is US only and it does not include people who watch the shows on PCs or phones, but at least all the Nielsen data is comparable since their methodology for all the shows is the same, so you can compare this number with all the other Star Wars shows.

Here are the series/season premiere viewing figures for all the Star Wars live action shows:

Mando S3: 23.51 million views
Obi-Wan Kenobi: 11.27 million views
Book of Boba Fett: 10.33 million views
Ahsoka: 8.55 million views
Andor: 5.42 million views

The Acolyte: 6.8 million views (estimate)

It has to be mentioned that the shows that released more than one episode in the first week (Kenobi, Ahsoka and Andor) increased the number of views in subsequent weeks, indicating that maybe not all people watched all released episodes at once but caught up later.

Still, this would make The Acolyte not really a ratings hit and would put it much closer to Andor than Ahsoka territory, and Ahsoka was already just “ok”, perfectly fine, but especially as the season progressed if was far removed from The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi and even Book of Boba Fett numbers (thanks to transforming into The Mandalorian season 2.5) and the Ahsoka finale performed slightly worse even than Andor’s.

We will have to wait for the actual Nielsen numbers, but if Disney’s own numbers directly translate to comparable Nielsen numbers The Acolyte should be off to a pretty mediocre start on the Nielsen Charts. And then the big question is what follow-up numbers in the next weeks would look like. The allegedly “controversial” third episode releases later today, in the middle of the night in Europe. I will tell you all about it tomorrow!

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