Disney+ has now confirmed streaming dates for the first three episodes of She-Hulk, and from its third installment it will be continue to be released alongside new Star Wars show Andor on Wednesdays. She-Hulk will get underway on August 17, releasing one episode a week over nine weeks on the platform, while Andor will drop its two-part premiere on August 31.
It’s fair to say that some Marvel fans will be questioning Disney’s decision to dish up its two biggest shows on the same day of the week again. The studio’s last MCU Disney+ project, Ms. Marvel, had to contend with a same-day release as Obi-Wan Kenobi for the majority of its run. While it was of course entirely possible to watch both shows, some found that the Star Wars series overshadowed Kamala Khan’s debut, and felt that Disney+ was favoring Obi-Wan Kenobi both in its presentation on the streaming service, and in its marketing of the latest Marvel series. It was also then revealed that Ms. Marvel was experiencing a much low viewership than previous MCU Disney+ shows despite glowing reviews, and some speculated that its rollout opposite Obi-Wan Kenobi was partially to blame.
To infer that Ms. Marvel’s viewership was indeed affected by its release opposite the Ewan McGregor-led Lucasfilm project is certainly conjecture. Like many other streaming services, Disney+ isn’t known to regularly peacock its viewing figures, and the numbers that make the rounds in the press tend to be gleaned from companies that gather analytics, like Samba TV and Parrot. There were also a number of other factors that contributed to Ms. Marvel’s lower viewership. Kamala Khan is a brand-new character for the MCU, and the actress playing her, Iman Vellani, was an unknown star. The only other MCU show to introduce a new lead character, Moon Knight, starred the beloved Oscar Isaac, and it had a much more mysterious plot than Ms. Marvel, generating a certain level of intrigue amongst fans – in comparison, Moon Knight’s premiere reportedly netted 1.8 million households for Disney+, while only 775,000 households watched the premiere of Ms. Marvel. The latter was also aimed at a younger audience.
Nonetheless, many will be asking why Disney+ is sticking with a Wednesday release for both its Marvel and Star Wars series, which restricts breathing room for both. When the plan to shift release days from Fridays was first announced back in June, 2021, THR’s sources said it was “designed to accommodate the increased volume of original content on Disney+” and that “the Wednesday schedule is strictly for original series, including The Mandalorian and other Star Wars and Marvel TV series.” It was hard to argue with this choice at the time, especially when Loki, the first Marvel show to drop on Wednesdays, set a record for Disney+’s most-watched series debut. It was also rumored that Disney+ would better compete with Netflix if they began swerving a Friday release with their big hitters, since Netflix tends to drop their more highly anticipated content then.
Ultimately, the new release situation with She-Hulk will be different to that of Ms. Marvel, which should put most concerns about its upcoming Wednesday release alongside Andor to rest. Ms. Marvel was released after Obi-Wan Kenobi had already gotten underway, and had hit its stride. This time, She-Hulk will be first out of the gate. Whether it can (or should be expected to) compete with Andor on Disney+ later on remains to be seen.