As the MCU has grown to become the biggest franchise in the world, every new entry is expected to swoop past the competition. For years, the MCU's big-screen blockbusters have been breaking records and leading the box office, so naturally, the expectation is to see the same with the latest Disney+ series.
Data has already revealed the highs and lows of Phase 4's Disney+ ventures in terms of viewing figures and watch minutes. Loki and WandaVision proved to be the heaviest hitters by far while the likes of Hawkeye lagged far behind. But the last series, Ms. Marvel, appears to have performed the worst of the bunch.
Following the apparent struggle of Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law quickly replaced it and the reactions have been mixed. Some are loving the legal comedy while others share the belief that the quality has been declining in quality from week to week. But how are the viewing figures doing against tough competition like House of the Dragon, which is currently dominating the television scene?
She-Hulk Data Reveals Streaming Sucess
According to Nielsen's ranking of the most watched streaming original series from the week of August 22 to 29 (via The Hollywood Reporter), She-Hulk: Attorney at Law ranked ninth with 390 million watch minutes. That comes to an average of roughly 5.74 million plays based on the total runtimes of 68 minutes across the first two installments.
The ranking of streaming original series - which excludes House of the Dragon as its HBO airing counts as its debut, making it an acquired series - sees Echoes firmly atop the chart after releasing all seven episodes on August 19. Nielsen's full list can be seen below:
1. Echoes (Netflix) - 1.12 billion minutes viewed
2. Stranger Things (Netflix) - 890 million
3. The Sandman (Netflix) - 681 million
4. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) - 578 million
5. Locke & Key (Netflix) - 518 million
6. Untold (Netflix) - 485 million
7. Virgin River (Netflix) - 471 million
8. Never Have I Ever (Netflix) - 433 million
9. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney+) - 390 million
10. Glow Up (Netflix) - 336 million
Turning attention to the acquired series ranking, House of the Dragon places third at 741M watch minutes while Game of Thrones leads the charge with 909M minutes, demonstrating the renewed interest the prequel has generated in the franchise. Nielsen's list of the most watched acquired series can be seen below:
1. Game of Thrones (HBO Max) - 909 million minutes
2. NCIS (Netflix) - 770 million
3. House of the Dragon (HBO Max) - 741 million
4. Cocomelon (Netflix) - 677 million
5. Bluey (Disney+) - 615 million
6. The Big Bang Theory (HBO Max) - 606 million
7. Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix) - 567 million
8. Friends (HBO Max) - 460 million
9. Breaking Bad (Netflix) - 397 million
10. The Blacklist (Netflix) - 392 million
With House of the Dragon having a total runtime of 118 minutes between its opening two chapters, the prequel was watched an average of 6.28M times, compared to She-Hulk's 5.74M. So, the comparison means the viewership of the two popular series appears to be fairly similar, right?
While She-Hulk's second episode was released in the middle of the week, allowing it plenty of time to rack up watch times, House of the Dragon's didn't come until the final few hours. That makes this a tough comparison, but it does mean the figures for the HBO original were largely based on the first episode alone, unlike She-Hulk, yet still surpassed the MCU comedy in viewing figures.
Examining the previous week's list for August 15 to 21, neither She-Hulk nor House of the Dragon made the list. But the Game of Thrones spin-off achieved a whopping 327M minutes of watch time, despite releasing only a few hours before the end of the week at 9 pm ET. Those few hours of viewing time on the premiere almost equate to She-Hulk's entire second-week figure of 390M minutes.
So, while at first glance the data may indicate She-Hulk is living up to current television giants such as House of the Dragon, a closer inspection suggests otherwise. Although, even though it may not be matching the current giants, it is still outperforming past MCU Disney+ series.
Ms. Marvel failed to make the list in its second week, placing its watch time below that week's tenth place (Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet) of 339M minutes, leaving its average plays below 3.32M. Meanwhile, Moon Knight dominated in its second week at 608M minutes, averaging 6.02M plays.
Both of these series premiered new episodes on Wednesdays as opposed to She-Hulk's Thursday slot, giving them slightly more opportunity to generate viewership. And yet, the current series is still nearly matching Moon Knight and swooping far above Ms. Marvel, perhaps due to its MCU connections.
She-Hulk vs. House of the Dragon: Streaming Wars
Comparing the viewership of the current streaming series is no easy task, especially with such varied release formats. She-Hulk releases new episodes weekly on Disney+, Echoes hit Netflix in binge fashion with a seven-episode drop, and House of the Dragon airs simultaneously on HBO as it drops on HBO Max.
The variation in release days, formats, services, and runtimes makes it truly impossible to determine with any certainty what is running the television scene at the moment. But if one thing is for certain, House of the Dragon is dominating the internet with Google Trends showing interest well above She-Hulk all season long.
Obviously, the latest Nielsen data for She-Hulk comes from just its second week, so it will be interesting to see how the data has evolved as the season went on. With talk of reducing quality and a gradual decrease in trends, who knows whether that ultimately translated to decreasing viewership, but one would imagine it did.
Past Disney+ series have often seen a boost as the finale gets closer so, while there may be a dip in the coming weeks, hopefully, it will stick the landing. Not only does this boost come from all those who tune in to see how things wrap up and connect to the MCU but also the many who binge the whole run afterward.
For now, all signs point to House of the Dragon sitting at the forefront of television, but as it now releases weekly opposite Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it will be intriguing to see how the two match up when the data for the Amazon original begins to release next week.
The first six episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are streaming now on Disney+ with new installments releasing every Thursday.