Star Wars storytelling has taken a dramatic shift toward TV in recent years, thanks to the launch of Disney+, and it’s been extremely successful at doing so. That means the fantastic reviews, of course, particularly for The Mandalorian. But it’s also evident in the ratings of how people have consumed those shows.
The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a piece breaking down the streaming numbers for the Disney+ shows so far, particularly from Lucasfilm and Marvel – which dwarf anything else on the platform when it comes to dominating the ratings charts among all Disney original shows. That’s no surprise, as it’s been evident from long before the streaming service’s release that these two brands would be the biggest draws and marketing tools for Disney. Even still, it’s interesting to see how it breaks down.
And the biggest takeaway is that The Mandalorian is the runaway winner for Disney+’s most successful series so far. Neither The Book of Boba Fett nor any of the Marvel shows so far (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Hawkeye) have topped either season of The Mandalorian, with only Loki even coming close.
Season two of the show was far and away the biggest show so far in terms of total numbers, but with a catch that the Nielsen ratings don’t differentiate between which season was being watched (meaning that if someone decided to watch season one before jumping into season two, it’d all count in the season two category). Even still, 58% of the total minutes spent viewing The Mandalorian during 2021 came during the airing of season two. But season one of The Mandalorian still looks to be the biggest hit Disney+ has had to date, when considering how much it was watched (the only series to have topped it so far for Disney+ is season two of the same show) compared to the number of subscribers at that point. The numbers bear witness to the fact that the people who subscribed to Disney+ in 2019 were very likely to watch The Mandalorian, and presumably the show drove a good deal of those subscribers as well.
So yeah, the launch of the Star Wars streaming era has been massively successful, and The Mandalorian remains the flagship show for all of Disney+’s original series. I’d be surprised if any of the more imminent Marvel shows top it, since they’re focusing on new and relatively unknown characters, but I’m curious how Obi-Wan Kenobi will do; if any series will rival The Mandalorian in terms of fan excitement expectation, that would seem to be it.