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The Luminate Streaming Charts For The Acolyte - Week 4

While we still have to wait another 1 1/2 weeks for Nielsen to finally release their streaming numbers for early June and thus finally including The Acolyte, new player in town Luminate releases their numbers in a much more timely fashion. So we already know the numbers for last week (Friday – Thursday) for The Acolyte. And not to mince any words here… the numbers are BAD. Click through for more!

Few people care

The Acolyte has dropped to #9 on the Luminate streaming charts for original shows with a paltry 232.4 million viewing minutes – other shows like House of Dragon which are an “acquired” series, since it also runs on HBO cable, are not even included here.

The Acolyte could literally drop out of the charts because it is currently only 4.3 million minutes “better” than Bridgerton season 1,  but already behind Bridgerton season 2… an old show, but the new season made people rewatch all the old episodes and since Luminate lists seasons separately (Nielsen does not) Bridgerton has three entries here.

This is a drop of 11% compared to last week and since both episode 4 and 5 are virtually the same length this directly reflects a further loss of viewership.

And before I compare The Acolyte to the other shows please remember all the caveats, it is still unknown how Nielsen and Luminate compare, both use different intervals, certainly have a somewhat different methodology etc etc etc so this is for informative purposes only but not a 1:1 comparison!

I will once again compare total viewing minutes for the season and total runtime. If I just look at episode 5 then 7.3 million people would have watched it, if they had watched nothing but episode 5, which they didn’t, because from Friday – Tuesday night people could only watch episodes 1-4, so trying to gauge actual episode viewership is more or less pointless. It stands to reason that a majority will have watched episode 5 on Tuesday night and the following two days but we do not know the percentages here. So total runtime and total viewing minutes to calculate the season average is the better approach here, in my opinion. All numbers but for The Acolyte are Nielsen numbers, keep that in mind!

The Acolyte: 1,084.7 million viewing minutes – 183 minutes total runtime – 5.93 million average views
Ahsoka: 2,352 million viewing minutes – 220 minutes total runtime – 10.69 million average views
Andor: 1,883 million viewing minutes – 254 minutes total runtime – 7.41 million average views
Obi-Wan-Kenobi: 3,399 million viewing minutes – 211 minutes total runtime – 16.11 million average views

The Book of Boba Fett: 1,999 million viewing minutes – 173 minutes total runtime – 11.55 million average views
The Mandalorian S3: 3,655 million viewing minutes – 163 minutes total runtime – 22.42 million average views

Even if the Nielsen numbers were 50% higher than Luminate’s for The Acolyte it would at best compete with Andor for the title of least watched live action Star Wars series on Disney+ ever. Chances are that Nielsen too will see it even behind Andor though. And that is a complete disaster for a show that costs $180 million, and make no mistake, even for Andor it’s a disaster because that show cost $250 million to make. Why would anyone spend so much money on things that do not reach a majority of Star Wars fans? Also, given the very, very short runtime the money per minute of screentime spent here is simply crazy. The Acolyte has by far the shortest total runtime of all shows thus far, remember that both Book of Boba Fett and Mandalorian only had four released episodes at this point vs. The Acolyte’s five. The Acolyte is at best a 4 part mini series. Stretched out to eight episodes. In reality Disney should have pulled an Echo here and dump it all on the same day to get it over with (any sane person would never have greenlit this in the first place of course). Now we have what Marvel wanted to avoid with Echo, to have fans complain about and mock the show for weeks and weeks. And we still have another two weeks of this, plus the aftermath.

The Acolyte maybe has just one quarter of The Mandalorian’s numbers, and I do not think this will substantially change with Nielsen’s numbers. So 75% decided to not even check out if The Acolyte is any good. The marketing, the interviews, the trailers made them think “nah!” without having watched a single minute of the actual show.

Why is Lucasfilm allowed to sink so much money into projects that any person with some knowledge of Star Wars (or the audience in general) would immediately identify as “niche”?

Andor, the best thing to happen to Star Wars on Disney+ according to some (me included), would always have been identified as super niche by anyone with even remote understanding of Star Wars. There are no Jedi in it, no Force, no duels, no epic space battles, in short, it doesn’t include ANY of the elements that made Star Wars popular. Making a character drama set in the Star Wars universe is certainly interesting, but the limited appeal of this means no one in their right mind should ever give this project a 250 million budget.

And outside of Star Wars: who would greenlight a sequel show to a semi successful 1980s fantasy movie that only people ages 40 and up remember and then make it a gen z centric series with two young lesbians as the protagonists? And who would spend insane amounts of money on an action adventure movie featuring an 80-year-old who should probably retire for good or only play grandpa roles?

The Acolyte is a victim of its disastrous and outright stupid marketing. All the “female centric”, “queer identity”, “safe space for black nerds”, “Star Wars is patriarchal… Yaaassssss” and especially “the show won’t be kind to the Jedi” nonsense the showrunner and actors spouted apparently turned off a majority of fans right out of the gate. Also, who in their right mind would think someone like Leslye Headland should make a Star Wars series? Of all the people in Hollywood you’d like to work on Star Wars, what person would pick someone like Headland?

I said it last week, I say it again, the Disney overlords must clean house at Lucasfilm. The entire leadership has to go, Filoni could at best stay as an ideas guy but NOT as the person who oversees the creative process. He greenlit each and every The Acolyte script and apparently always nodded his head and did not want them to change the nonsensical character motivations, arcs, silly plot and lousy – even for Star Wars – dialogue.

And Kennedy has now fully ventured into “I hire people based on agendas” territory, there is no other reason why anyone would ever hire people like Headland or Obaid-Chinoy to make a series and a movie.

Last word on the Rey movie is it won’t start filming this year. And we’re already at the halfway point anyway. Because they STILL do not have a script. And Knight is now busy making his Peaker Blinders movie. We know how that usually ends. This also explains why Obaid-Chinoy keeps making all this noise with random and nonsensical appearances on tv or magazine interviews. Last idiocy she uttered was that Rey is at the heart of Star Wars, yeah sure… I suspect she’s doing all this to make it more and more difficult for Disney to quietly cancel this movie. Anyone with even one brain cell left must realize that the Rey movie has a high chance of becoming a box office disaster. To cancel it, especially after the “female centric” audience flop that is The Acolyte, seems to be the most prudent thing Disney could do.

And even though Leslye Headland will never read this… dear Leslye, when you say “my show won’t be kind to the Jedi” do not be surprised if people are not kind to your show.

Star Wars does not need a revisionist, deconstructive approach, moral relativism or any references to current day earth, in fact all these things destroy Star Wars. It’s supposed to be a fairytale set in a galaxy far, far away. Pronoun “jokes” and trying to make the Jedi into overbearing, bumbling fools, idiots and crooks who keep secrets from each other and are generally shady is nothing most people want to see. That Kathleen Kennedy greenlit this inane project is yet another big mistake on her already impressive list of big mistakes. Yet here she is… and I bet she’ll still be here next year and the year after that and after that. Until she, maybe, dies. Unless they develop a de-aging drug, then she’ll be Lucasfilm president in 100 years from now probably. At this point I wonder if she actually has leverage on all the people who might maybe fire her or not extend her contract. Other people would have been fired after Indy 5 at the latest.

Also, Bridgerton, which is already waning, because Netflix drops all episodes at once, still has four times the viewing minutes of The Acolyte at #1 – and that is only for the current season, season 2 has more viewing minutes as well. All Bridgerton seasons combined give The Acolyte 15% of the audience this show has. Pathetic. And as I said last week, try to guess which “female centric” show actually has a female audience. Because it has elements that women actually enjoy.

Unless the Lucasfilm leadership is fired or made to leave while saving face nothing will change for the better. If that Rey movie actually will happen we should brace for the worst.

At this point I fear Skeleton Crew may feel the full brunt of The Acolyte’s aftermath, with people making it the least watched show when it releases in November. The premise is yet again very niche. A bunch of pre-teen kids are quasi lost in space. Really, who wants to see that? When your audience is age 30+ and 70+% male? And your Star Wars Kids YouTube channel is a wasteland? But chances are a few Mandoverse characters may appear on the show. It remains to be seen if that is enough.

The Luminate Streaming Charts on Variety

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