- Despite being one of the most successful Marvel shows on Disney Plus, the second season of Loki failed to live up to the first season in terms of viewership.
- Nielsen’s streaming rankings indicate that the premiere of Loki season 2 had a 39% drop in viewing time compared to season 1.
- The decline in viewership may be attributed to superhero fatigue and controversies surrounding the show, but Loki’s future in upcoming MCU films remains promising.
Despite Loki arguably being the most successful Marvel Cinematic Universe project released on the Disney Plus platform in a long while, the show’s recently premiered second season failed to live up to the first one in a big way, as recent reports confirm.
Originally premiering on Disney Plus in 2021, Tom Hiddleston’s Lokifollowed a variant of the titular trickster god as he falls into the clutches of the Time Variance Authority, an extradimensional organization responsible for monitoring the timeline with a standing order to punish him for his actions in Avengers: Endgame unless he aids them in stopping a more significant threat to the timeline. The first season was a hit right from its premiere, and Loki became the most-watched Marvel Studios series on Disney Plus, with a second season all but guaranteed before the first one ran its course.
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While the first season left fans excited for more by setting up many issues that Loki season 2 had to address right out of the gate, it now seems like not everyone returned to their screens for the answers to those questions. In a new report on the series, The Hollywood Reporter points out that Nielsen’s streaming rankings indicate the Loki season 2 premiere accrued 446 million minutes of viewing time over its first three days, with the count including any time spent rewatching episodes from the show’s first season within that time. This marks a discouraging 39% drop from season 1’s 731 million minutes of viewing in 2021, which had no previous seasons to inflate the numbers given.
These numbers are, for the most part, a conservative estimate, with official Disney numbers putting the season 2 premiere at the equivalent of 512 million minutes of watch time instead. This is still a significant drop-off, especially since the official numbers for the first season would likely also be proportionally more liberal than the Nielson numbers. While Loki is undoubtedly still on top in terms of the Marvel Studios series on the streamer, the MCU’s shows don’t have the same gravitas as its films. Many fans have realized that almost every MCU show could have been a movie with a bigger budget and tighter focus to give the characters the full MCU treatment they deserve while granting the events depicted the appropriate gravity.
The decline in interest in Disney Plus shows is also compounded by the general downturn in fan engagement with the genre, with the dreaded superhero fatigue coming to the forefront now more than ever. Despite being seen as a breath of fresh air after Secret Invasion failed to connect with audiences, the ceiling on Loki‘s success is lower this time. Add the controversy surrounding Jonathan Majors, who featured prominently in the second season, into the mix, and it becomes clear that the fall-off was preordained. It wasn’t until recently that a Loki exec finally addressed the Majors situation, and it was done without saying much of anything about the legal trouble or Disney’s stance on the star’s future, which could have potentially given fans enough peace of mind to get through the series.
While there can be no mincing words about the disappointing numbers, the show’s decline doesn’t say anything about the character’s future in upcoming MCU films, where Hiddleston’s trickster has excelled and is long overdue for a reunion with his brother Thor. With rumors of the Kang angle being written out in favor of a storyline that might bring back more original cast members and a Loki producer confirming the long-awaited reunion was coming and that the show was building towards that moment, there’s a good chance that Loki remains a major player in the MCU for quite a while to come.
Loki season 2 episodes 1-5 are currently available for streaming on Disney Plus.
The mercurial villain Loki resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.”
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter