Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are still reveling in the awesomeness that is Daredevil season 3 - even as they're still reeling from the dual announcements that both Luke Cage and Iron Fist have been cancelled, with no plans for either show to get a season 3 order. While some Marvel fans are holding out hope that Luke Cage and Iron Fist will return in a Heroes for Hire series, there are a lot of other fans who see this as the beginning of the end for the Marvel Netflix universe, as a whole.
Now a new report is going to add fuel to the fires of speculation that Marvel Netflix is done, as it states that there are more Marvel Netflix shows on the chopping block - and that there's data that proves it.
Business Insider is claiming to have the scoop on the statistics that reveal Netflix's logic in cancelling Luke Cage and Iron Fist - and why more series are about to also get the axe. Check out the bigger points of that breakdown, below:
- "Data from Crimson Hexagon provided to Business Insider shows that social-media buzz for Netflix's Marvel shows has dropped dramatically over time."
- "Netflix abruptly canceled "Luke Cage" and "Iron Fist" this month, and the data suggests that "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones" could also be in trouble."
- "Posts on Twitter and Instagram decreased significantly after each shows' first seasons."
The actual numbers work out like this:
- Luke Cage Season 1 had 300K social media impressions going into its premiere; by season 2, it was only generating 50K impressions.
- Iron Fist Season 1 came in on 120K social media impressions; season 2 only generated 20K.
- Jessica Jones season 1 generated 300K impressions; season 2 has clocked in at around half that number.
- Daredevil season 1 generated 275K impressions; season 2 had a good holdover with 200K; and the newly-released season 3 had 75K going into October, with a higher total expected by month's end.
Without any actual Netflix viewership numbers, these trends in social media impressions are just about all we have to go on. While the numbers definitely tell a story of decreasing returns for the Marvel Netflix shows, there is some room for debate when it comes to assessing why those figures pan out the way they do.
For one thing, the nature of social media impressions must be considered. All four Marvel Netflix Defenders series were novelties when they first were released, and the fandom has a way of celebrating speculation and possibility almost more so than the actual events of a series. By season 2 the novelty has worn off, which would mean less to "buzz" about on social media, but could still mean a solid viewership from dedicated fans already invested into the show. Circumstance could also play a large part: the sophomore seasons of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones were all intense deep-dive character explorations, which heavily focused on the heroes themselves. While that's good from a second season storytelling perspective, the lack of some bigger Marvel villains or crossover cameos in each show would definitely provide a much smaller incentive (or chance) for fans to discuss and hype those kinds of MCU staples over social media.
Daredevil season 2 came with the benefit of debuting both Elektra and Punisher in the MCU, which was plenty of reason for fans to be hyping and discussing the new season on social media. Daredevil season 3 is bringing back fan-fav villain Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) and introducing long-awaited Daredevil nemesis Bullseye to he MCU. That's the sort of "event" that has inspired some strong social media attention, so it will be interesting to see how the final figures stack up.
As Business Insider's report notes, sentiment for all four Marvel Netflix Defenders shows has remained strong, with Daredevil leading the pack. That suggests it isn't just stats that are influencing these big decisions - so maybe some of those rumors about creative differences and the like are more true than not?
Daredevil season 3 is now streaming on Netflix. Punisher season 2 and Jessica Jones season 3 are already in production and are expected to be released.