The newly released Ahsoka series reportedly had one of the worst Disney+ premieres for a Star Wars series since The Mandalorian Season 1.
Samba TV recently shared their data claiming that only 1.2 million U.S. households tuned into Ahsoka in its first six days since release.
The data analysis group reported on X, “The latest new #StarWars series, #Ahsoka finally hit screens with 1.2M US households watching over its first six days. This is similar to viewership of #Andor‘s premiere season and slightly lower than #TheMandalorian‘s third season premiere over its first six days.”
As noted by Samba TV this is lower than their premiere numbers for The Mandalorian Season 3.
They reported back in March that The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere drew in 1.6 million U.S. households.
Looking back at Obi-Wan Kenobi, Samba TV reported the series had been viewed by 2.14 million U.S. households in its first four days streaming on Disney+.
Interestingly, they also reported that this best The Mandalorian Season 2 premiere, which brought in 2.08 million U.S. households in its first four days as well as The Book of Boba Feet, which brought in 1.5 million for its premiere.
While The Book of Boba Fett might have only brought in 1.5 million U.S. households in four days, Samba TV reported it brought in 1.7 million in its first five days in January 2022.
They posted on Instagram, “1.7M US households watched the series premiere of The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+ in its first 5 days of streaming.”
As noted above, Samba TV reported The Mandalorian Season 2 brought in 2.08 million U.S. households in its first four days. The data firm previously reported in November 2020 that The Mandalorian’s Season 2 premiere had raked in 1.04 million U.S. households albeit they did not provide a time frame so it’s possible this was data based on the initial day it released rather than over the course of four days.
Samba TV wrote on Instagram, “Is the Force strong with Star Wars fans watching The Mandalorian? Season 2’s premiere had 1.04M US households tune-in, up 73% compared to 2019’s Season 1 premiere.”
The decline in viewership should not be a surprise to anyone who has been following the course of Star Wars over the past few years. Since The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm and Star Wars for George Lucas, nearly every metric has declined.
While The Force Awakens did monster box office numbers to the tune of $2.064 billion. Subsequent films in the trilogy declined significantly. The Last Jedi only brought in $1.3 billion and The Rise of Skywalker closed out the Disney sequel trilogy with $1.072 billion. In between those films, the company actually lost money on Solo: A Star Wars Story, which only grossed $393.1 million globally on a $275 million production budget.
With Star Wars films declining at the box office, merchandise sales began drying up as well. Diamond Select Toys President Chuck Terceira told Rebel Scum in 2020, “I know those movies, as well as 9, have their fans and those fans might say [Gentle Giant (GG)] just never did the right products or characters or formats, and they might be correct.”
“However, we can only go by what we know. For sure the door is not closed to the [Sequel Trilogy] products and we ARE working on a couple pieces for The Rise of Skywalker right now,” he added.
When pressed on if the company planned to create more Rise of Skywalker products, Terceira replied, ““As I mentioned before, we are working on some, but I have to ask..are you SURE there is lots of demand for these “very” requested characters?”
He added “The overall demand for busts and SW products is not what it was 10 or even 5 years ago.”
Terceira later stated, “We just, as of yet, have not seen enough fans that would want to buy a bust have that personal affection for some of those new characters that makes sense to justify going to production, but for sure we’re watching it and perhaps as more time passes, fans affection for those characters will grow.”
In fact, The Walt Disney Company’s 2019 Q3 Earnings Results report even noted merchandise sales for Star Wars had declined, “The increase at our consumer products business was due to growth at our merchandise licensing and retail businesses. Growth at merchandise licensing was primarily due to higher revenue from merchandise based on Toy Story, partially offset by a decrease from Star Wars merchandise.”
Jedi Temple Archive even reported back in 2018 that the entire Star Wars brand had been in decline since 2016, just a year after The Force Awakens, “Star Wars merchandise sales have been declining ever since October 2016 (remember that Disney’s fiscal year ends in September). But not only merchandise seems to be affected, since Star Wars book sales and comic book sales are also down. So Star Wars as a whole seems to be in decline at the moment.”
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Not only is Star Wars in decline, but The Walt Disney Company as a whole is in decline. The company reported in its past two earnings reports that they’ve lost a total of 600,000 Disney+ subscribers in the United States and Canada.
In their most recent report, Disney+ subscribers in the United States and Canada declined to 46 million as of July 2023. That was a loss of 300,000 subscribers from April 2023 when they had 46.3 million.
Before that, they reported they had 46.3 million in April 2023, but that had declined from 46.6 million as of December 2022. The last time they saw growth on Disney+ in the United States was their Q1 2023 report. They reported Disney+ grew from 46.4 million to 46.6 million.
While Disney+ viewership has declined over the past two quarters, it did increase compared to the previous year. In July 2022, the company reported it had 44.5 million subscribers.
That also means that despite having significantly less subscribers when shows like The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi premiered, they still had more viewers than Ahsoka.
Clearly, the Star Wars brand being in overall decline is one of the factors why Ahsoka’s premiere viewership was low. Another reason is the quality of The Mandalorian Season 3 was not up to snuff for many viewers. The third season had some of the worst rated episodes for the entire series on IMDb. They included a 6.4 for “Chapter 22: Guns for Hire” and a 7.0 for “Chapter 19: The Convert.”
Similar to The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, viewers are rejecting Ahsoka based on how poorly they viewed The Mandalorian.
It’s also likely that Ahsoka is not as popular as many Star Wars fans like to think. The character originated in a much-panned animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She would go on to feature in The Clone Wars animated series, but the series primarily followed Anakin Skywalker’s adventures. From there she would cameo in Star Wars Rebels, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett.
However, her existence after Order 66 has been heavily criticized given she’s seemingly a Jedi that should have been killed by the Emperor’s anti-Jedi policies. Even if she wasn’t gunned down by Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and his Imperial forces would have hunted her and any surviving Jedi down.
The series has also been heavily promoted as being a soft reboot of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy with creator Dave Filoni replacing Luke Skywalker with Ahsoka and his various Star Wars Rebels characters.
Star Wars fans have seen this play out before in The Force Awakens and saw how it turned it out in The Rise of Skywalker, an utter disaster with the Emperor somehow returning and Rey upstaging Luke Skywalker.
What do you make of Ahsoka’s poor viewership?