It seems as though the Skrulls’ plans of taking Earth by storm have been crushed before they could even get it off the ground, as according to reported viewing numbers for the series’ premiere, Secret Invasion has posted the second-worst opening numbers of any of Marvel’s Disney Plus series.
Premiering on June 21st, Secret Invasion follows the exploits of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, now old, broken, and out of his prime, as he returns to Earth from his Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scene vacation to stop the Skrulls from infiltrating and destabilizing the human race.
Notably, though it shares a basic premise with the 2008 comic book storyline of the same name, the more-complicated nature of producing such live-action crossovers has led Marvel to shift the core story of Secret Invasion from ‘Skrulls replacing various super heroes’ to ‘Skrulls replacing various geopolitical politicians, military personnel, and other such influential figures.’
Unfortunately for Marvel, this attempt to cash in on the name recognition of the aforementioned crossover with a less colorful and ‘setting relevant’ war drama appears to have failed just as miserably as the shape-shifting alien race’s original attack did 15-years ago.
Per SambaTV, whose viewership data is aggregated from “24 Smart TV brands from countries around the world” including LG, Sony, and Sharp, roughly “994k US households tuned in to watch the first ep over its first five days.”
While these numbers are particularly abysmal for both the series and the brand overall, they are not the worst ever posted for a Marvel television premiere.
Instead, that honor remains with the studio’s previous Disney Plus outing Ms. Marvel, whose debut episode was only watched by “775k US households” across the same amount of time.
Further, SambaTV also found that “Black households over-indexed the most on the #Fury-led debut.”
However, despite the fact that it was able to garner slightly more interest than its Kamala Khan-led predecessor, Secret Invasion is still the second Marvel show ever to fail to debut to at least one million viewers.
According to the television data analytics company, the previously released WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, and even the widely-panned abomination that is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law all debuted to at least 1.5 million interested individuals.
(Unsurprisingly, the God of Mischief’s multiversal adventure currently holds the record for most Marvel premiere viewers with a whopping 2.5 million.)
Secret Invasion‘s subpar performance also has implications outside of the studio’s television landscape, as its lukewarm reception continues a trend of dwindling interest in the MCU.
Ever since the first season of Loki wrapped in July 2021, more and more audiences have started to find themselves tired of the studio’s factory-produced, sub-par, and frankly insulting output (No, Marvel, cameos and teases of future projects are not a substitute for good storytelling).
The only exceptions to this growing trend were Spider-Man: No Way Home and the recent Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3. To that end, both were notably produced in parternship with other entities – Sony and James Gunn, respectively – rather than solely by Marvel.
Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney Plus.