It’s been a tumultuous week for Marvel Studios. Over on Disney+, the studio wrapped up almost a decade-and-a-half of Loki storytelling with a critically acclaimed second season finale for the God of Mischief. At the same time, their latest big screen offering The Marvels was flopping hard in theaters. There are complex reasons for the latter’s box office failure, and while many fans may assume that at least Loki must have been a huge success, viewing figures released by Disney+ indicate some mixed results for the show’s second season.
According to Disney+ (via The Hollywood Reporter), Loki kept a fairly consistent viewing base throughout season two, with the first episode fetching 10.9 million views globally, and the finale snagging 11.2 million views. The streamer also noted that each episode achieved more than 11 million views during the week it debuted.
But THR’s report also noted that Loki’s season two finale numbers, which equate to 649.6 million viewing minutes, didn’t beat the figures of the The Mandalorian’s season three finale earlier this year, nor do they come close to Loki’s own season one figures, which at some points were creeping much closer to a billion viewing minutes per episode.
What can we glean from these numbers? Well, season two’s consistent viewing figures indicate that a sizeable amount of people who were watching Loki’s sophomore effort were invested enough in the story to stick with the series once they were on board, which is good. But they also suggest that positive word-of-mouth on season two wasn’t encouraging a huge number of additional people to give it a shot during its six-week rollout. Given season two’s solid, yet somewhat disappointing performance compared to season one, it’s also clear that interest in Loki had waned somewhat.
Marvel’s Disney+ series have been hit and miss over the last few years, and occasionally in a frustrating way for fans. The divisive Moon Knight and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier were notably hits for the streamer, while acclaimed shows like WandaVision, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel didn’t perform as well.
The future of MCU TV on Disney+ remains in flux, with a rethink reportedly underway at Marvel Studios after a glut of franchise content helped support the initial launch of the service. December will bring a second season of Marvel’s animated series What If…?, while January will see the first “binge” drop of an MCU show in the Alaqua Cox-led Echo. After that, it’s assumed that other animated shows like X-Men 97 will follow, and a spinoff series for Agatha Harkness is eyeing a fall release.
Meanwhile, Marvel has delayed the release of its solo Riri Williams show, Ironheart, which will now bow in 2025, and they have scrapped a big chunk of the work they had already done on the highly anticipated Daredevil: Born Again, bringing in new showrunner Dario Scardapane (The Punisher), along with Loki directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, to help reimagine the show.
Movies-wise, only Deadpool 3 remains on the calendar for 2024 in terms of non-Sony Marvel projects, and it’s been a long time – 11 years in fact – since Marvel Studios sat behind one theatrical release in a year. Only time will tell if the upcoming slowdown of shows and movies will make more hearts grow fonder towards the once-unbeatable franchise.