Are The Defenders Better Off Alone? One Viewership Report Might Suggest So.

Image copyright Marvel Television/Netflix 2017

Marvel have really made an impression in the world of cinema.

The MCU has, effectively, changed the way modern cinema is produced and consumed, possibly forever. Every major studio has either tried their hands at creating a shared cinematic universe or are bringing it out shortly or are contemplating it.

We’ve got the DCEU, The Dark Universe, The Monsterverse, Sony’s Spider-verse, the list is almost endless at this point.

But it’s not just the big screen that Marvel have been dominating, but the small screen as well, with successful shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Defenders all pulling in massive viewing figures and bagging some awards along the way.

Well, two out of those 3 series have, at least.

The Netflix corner of the MCU has gathered to the crossover series The Defenders which brought together the aforementioned Daredevil and Jessica Jones, as well as Iron Fist and Luke Cage which had been built up to akin to what Marvel had previously done with The Avengers.

And with a pedigree that includes Daredevil Season 1 and 2 and Jessica Jones Season 1, you’d imagine The Defenders would be a shoe-in for success.

Apparently, though, the series is performing worse off than even Iron Fist, which had, up to now at least, been the worst received of the four heroes series. Within The Defenders first 30 days in America, Variety reports that the eight-episode miniseries received just 17% of the viewership that the second season of Daredevil pulled in in the same timescale. The Defenders also had the largest week-over-week drop in terms of viewers, declining from 67% to 48% to 41% viewership figures within the first few weeks.

It should be noted though, that Netflix does not release viewing data, and as such, a third-party company has had to estimate these viewership trends and figures. The report utilised data from marketing-analytics company Jumpshot, who analyse anonymous click-stream data from a panel of more than 100 million internet consumers, which amounts to some 160 billion individual data points each month – and if you understand that, then congratulations, you’re a bigger tech nerd than I am!

Whilst these figures do seem quite exhaustive, it should also be noted that Netflix views their performance figures over a longer time scale than the initial 30-day window, but it is often believed that that timeframe could prove how successful a series or movie will be in the long-term.

Whilst it’s hard to tell why The Defenders performed as badly as it apparently has done, there is little chance that such a trivial set-back with halt the juggernaut that is Marvel Studios or Netflix, as they are definitely still going on with the upcoming Punisher series which sees Jon Bernthal reprise his role as Frank Castle from Daredevil Season 2.

Some might argue it’s not been the best of months for Netflix on the whole, what with Disney removing all of their content from the online streaming service by the end of 2018, and now this, but I’m sure they’ll bounce back. They did recently acquire the rights to Mark Millar’s Millarworld, afterall.

The Defenders is available now on Netflix and stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, Elodie Yung as Elektra Natchios, Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, Scott Glenn as Stick, Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing, and Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra.

-James, 22/09/2017

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