Following its theatrical release on May 5, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finally landed on Disney+ on Wednesday, August 2, and hit a frustrating MCU streaming record at the same time.
This came just after Secret Invasion suffered disappointing viewership compared to Marvel Studios' past original shows and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania ranked atop the streaming charts on its Disney+ debut in May.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3's Disney+ Viewership Data Revealed
Whip Media shared the ranking of the top streaming movies in the United States over the August 4-6 weekend - the first in which Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be found streaming on Disney+.
The list revealed Guardians 3 topped the charts, beating out The Super Mario Bros. Movie on Peacock, which also made its streaming debut in the same week on Tuesday, August 2:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Disney+)
- The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Peacock)
- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (Paramount+)
- Happiness for Beginners (Netflix)
- Hidden Strike (Netflix)
- They Cloned Tyrone (Netflix)
- The Meg (Max)
- Extraction 2 (Netflix)
- The Out-Laws (Netflix)
- 65 (Netflix)
According to data from Samba TV - which estimates total viewership based on data analyzed from 28 million TVs in the U.S. and 46 million worldwide - Guardians 3 was watched by 1.3 million domestic households in its first five days on Disney+.
For comparison, the full list of opening viewership figures for Phase 4 and 5 MCU Movies according to Samba TV can be seen below:
- Black Widow: 1.1M
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: 1.7M
- Eternals: 2M
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: 2.1M
- Thor: Love and Thunder: 2.2M
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: 2.1M
- Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania: 966k
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: 1.3M
The data ranks Guardians 3 as the third-lowest debut for a new MCU movie on Disney+ since the service launched in November 2019, only beating out Black Widow and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
Black Widow's Disney+ debut came with the caveat of being a paid $30 Premier Access release that came on the same day the movie arrived in theaters.
Samba TV also revealed 482,000 U.S. households rented or bought Guardians 3 upon its paid VOD release on July 7 over its first five days out in the open.
Did Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Succeed on Disney+?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was a massive success in theaters - ranking as the fourth-highest-grossing Multiverse Saga movie - and received strong reactions from critics and audiences upon its release in May.
So, it's surprising to see Guardians 3 ranking on the lower end of Disney+ viewership, falling only behind Black Widow and Ant-Man 3. Both of those movies had their own reasons for their lower viewership, as Black Widow required an extra $30 fee to stream while Quantumania received awful reviews and reactions.
But that's not to say Guardians 3's Disney+ release was by any means a failure, as it still led the streaming charts for its debut weekend, even beating out The Super Mario Bros. Movie - which, according to Samba TV, was viewed by 811,000 U.S. households over its first four days on Peacock.
One has to wonder whether the drop in viewership compared to other successful Marvel movies such as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may relate to the recent negative press surrounding the MCU as a whole after the disappointment of Secret Invasion.
The MCU continues to use a longer theatrical-to-streaming window for recent movies compared to early Phase 4 releases. It's possible this lengthened wait may be having the intended effect of pushing fans to buy tickets to see the movie in theaters or pay for the home release, as opposed to waiting for Disney+.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is streaming now on Disney+.