Having kickstarted Disney+'s blockbuster efforts as the first streaming series from the Marvel or Star Wars universes, The Mandalorian has turned into a cultural phenomenon over recent years, with Season 2 setting records for the service at the time.
With over two years passed since Season 2's finale, excitement for the show remains as high as ever after its trailer broke Star Wars records.
The Mandalorian Season 3 Premiere Disappoints on Disney+
Although its viewership exceeded the recent Andor by close to 50%, it still trailed behind Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett premieres by 28% and 2%, respectively, while also falling short of Marvel Studios' Loki premiere by 35%.
As shared by Samba TV, the first episode of Ewan McGregor's Jedi spin-off was viewed by 2.14 million US households in the first four days. Meanwhile, the debuts of The Mandalorian Season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett were watched by 2.08 million and 1.5 million households, respectively.
This data would seem to indicate Season 3, Episode 1 was viewed by just under 1.5 million households in the US.
The disappointment comes after the original trailer for Season 3 overtook Obi-Wan Kenobi to become "easily" the highest-viewed trailer for a Disney+ series in the galaxy far, far away.
Samba TV collects its viewership data from a panel of over three million households across 25 million TVs.
The Mandalorian Season 3's Low Viewership Explained
At the time of The Mandalorian Season 2, there were no other live-action Star Wars series, with the next not coming until The Book of Boba Fett around a year later. Since then, Disney+ released three more live-action shows including Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and, most recently, Andor.
With The Mandalorian Season 3 failing to live up to past highs, one has to wonder whether some sense of Star Wars fatigue - if that's even real - is beginning to settle in. That may well be one of the factors leading to this decline going into the blockbuster series' third go-round, but there are undoubtedly many others.
For one, when The Mandalorian was last airing back in December 2020, Disney+ didn't have the excess of movie-quality content it now does. The sophomore season came just weeks ahead of Marvel Studios' first dip into streaming with WandaVision which has since been followed by six more live-action MCU series.
The Mandalorian also doesn't have the benefit of starring a familiar character like Boba Fett or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Although Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin has turned into something of an icon in his own right over recent years and that wouldn't explain why the series premiere had dipped compared to Season 2.
The huge viewership that came with the debut trailer clearly points toward significant interest in the show, possibly even beyond that of Obi-Wan Kenobi. So, chances are this was just a rough start, and the audience numbers will grow across the coming episodes as the surprises unfold and excitement increases
The first two episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3 are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.