A survey conducted by the National Research Group found that The Mandalorian, Avengers, Stranger Things, and more are among the most popular entertainment franchises among consumers in the United States. The report, released via Variety, lists the 20 most popular franchises, though their classification of "franchise" includes some properties that belong to the same brand. Thus, Disney owns 70% of the list, with a full half of the top 20 being Marvel Comics properties. “Consumers are ready for entertainment franchises to lean into important cultural conversations and create a new reality — one in which optimism, diversity and curiosity unite rather than divide us,” says Jon Penn, CEO of NRG, says of the study's findings
The Mandalorian tops the list. Hamilton rounds out the top 20. Here's the full list:
- “The Mandalorian”
- “Stranger Things”
- “John Wick”
- “Black Panther”
- “Guardians of the Galaxy”
- “The Witcher”
- “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
- “Black Widow”
- “Iron Man”
- “Mario Bros.”
- “Toy Story”
- Doctor Strange”
- “The Lion King”
NRG began conducting its survey in January 2019, The global insights and strategy firm conducted more than 350,000 interviews related to approximately 700 entertainment franchises. The interviews sought to ascertain which franchise United States consumers consider "most bold, inspiring and thought-provoking." The company then analyzed its results to predict which franchises stood the best chance of surviving the test of time by evolving to maintain their relevance.
Some interesting notes about the list include The Mandalorian being at the top while Star Wars, more generally, doesn't appear. Also, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, led by Miles Morales, outranks "Spider-Man," presumably focusing more on Peter Parker. DC Comics is nowhere to be found on the list.
After Disney, Netflix was the next most prevalent company on the list. It has three properties in the top 10 with Stranger Things, Ozark, and The Witcher (though the streaming giant does not own The Witcher intellectual property outright).
NRG concludes the franchises that succeed in 2021 "will be bold and adapt to shifting attitudes while delivering what audiences know and love about them." While the pandemic gave streaming properties an edge in this study, the company's data suggest consumers are looking forward to new blockbuster films in theaters once the pandemic is over. Delayed franchises like Black Widow, Fast and Furious, James Bond, Ghostbusters, Top Gun, The Matrix, and A Quiet Place could see a boost as a result of that anticipation.