This will probably come as no surprise, but Obi-Wan Kenobi had the most successful launch of any original series on Disney+.
The streaming service announced it based on hours streamed over the opening weekend globally, which seems a little nebulous, but then again all of these metrics released by streaming services are a bit that way.
That was expected by pretty much any Star Wars or Disney+ fan, for a number or reasons. First, and most importantly, this is the return of an iconic character, one who has been beloved by movie fans for 45 years and who is consistently voted by fans as among the most popular Star Wars characters – if not taking the top spot. Any time you have a return of a familiar character played by a beloved actor like this, you should expect things to garner more attention than when you’re telling a new story with new characters, generally speaking.
Secondly, Star Wars has been the dominant driver on Disney+ all along, with The Mandalorian having previously blown away pretty much anything else in regards to how many people are watching it. That’s no guarantee that everything Star Wars will always be a massive hit, but it does make very clear that there’s a real market for the franchise on this streaming service.
Third, I can’t help but wonder if some of the logistics of it helped too. I’m not sure whether releasing on the Friday of a holiday weekend (in the U.S.) helped things or not, but I’m personally a big fan of the Friday releases. One other change that happened was that it premiered three hours earlier, at 9:00 p.m. pacific time (12:00 a.m. eastern), as opposed to the typical release slot of 12:00 a.m. pacific (3:00 a.m. eastern). Again, I don’t know if any of this had any sort of impact, but I thought it worth noting.
So, again, there’s absolutely nothing that’s surprising about this news. We knew that Obi-Wan Kenobi would be a bit hit, and it is!