The Defenders

As it turns out, the crime-fighting quartet of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist may be weaker together than they are solo.

‘Marvel’s The Defenders,’ proved to be the least-watched Netflix Marvel original series premiere in the U.S. when measured over the first 30 days of viewership.

A recent study found that the most viewed Netflix Marvel series was ‘Daredevil,’ which released season two in March 2016. Following its premiere, ‘The Defenders’ gained just 17% of the viewership that ‘Daredevil’ season two received in the first 30 days.

Compared to ‘The Defenders,’ the premieres of ‘Iron Fist,’ ‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Jessica Jones’ as stand-alone shows performed relatively equally in the first 30 days, accounting for 28%, 27% and 26% of ‘Daredevil’ Season Two’s viewership, respectively. In addition to being the least-viewed of the group, ‘The Defenders’ also had the largest week-over-week drop in viewership, declining by 67%, 48% and 41%, respectively, over the 30-day period.

Netflix doesn’t release viewing data, so those who want that information need to rely on estimates from third parties. It should be noted that executives from the company have questioned the validity of attempts to gauge consumption on its global platform.

Netflix evaluates the full performance of its content on its VOD service over a longer span than just 30 days. But the initial viewership of a series can be a good indicator of its long-term performance.

Marvel’s The Defenders

The eight-episode miniseries ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ tells the tale of Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones), who reluctantly band together to save New York City from criminal mastermind Alexandra Reid (Sigourney Weaver).

So why did ‘The Defenders’ get such a frosty reception? One explanation could be that each of the individual heroes appeals to different kinds of viewers. Another could be that this is a new genre for many Netflix users.

According to a Netflix news release, one-eighth of the viewers for the Marvel series were new to the comic-book genre. Among this group noobs, ‘Daredevil’ viewers may gravitate toward storylines featuring antiheroes and moral ambiguity; ‘Jessica Jones’ attracted viewers who enjoy “sharp humor and dark crime”; ‘Luke Cage’ watchers tended to prefer stories about “dangerous worlds and complex consequences”; and ‘Iron Fist’ drew in fans of coming-of-age stories.

Maybe ‘The Defenders’ can turn it around as fans become more used to the group of heroes meshing together. It’s happened before, just look at the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Check out ‘The Defenders’ on Netflix now!