Disney Just Lost Millions Of Subscribers, Is The Mandalorian To Blame?

Disney+ lost 4 million subscribers during the first three months of 2023, and The Mandalorian's poor season 3 ratings may be to blame.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

With streamers and networks like Hulu and Netflix turning in their Q2 earnings, it’s a make-or-break time for the companies to reveal their gains and losses. While many seem to be thriving, Variety revealed that Disney has reported a major downturn in subscribers, losing 4 million during the first three months of 2023. For the studio, this is a major deficit compared to what it was aiming to make, and amidst the company’s showdown with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, company-wide layoffs, and the writers’ strike, there’s also a possibility that they’re suffering due to negative feedback about The Mandalorian’s recent third season.

While the Pedro Pascal-led series has been a major hit for the studio’s streamer, Disney+, over its last two seasons on the air, the latest installment of The Mandalorian had its loyal fanbase up in arms. Leaving the second season on good terms with viewers, the third season just didn’t hold up with fans, as the Nielsen ratings reported that it dropped below other favorites including Netflix’s Outer Banks and Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, HBO Max’s own Pedro Pascal-led series The Last of Us, and Paramount+’s NCIS

The numbers keep getting worse from here as the series took a 20 percent hit in viewership minutes during its third season as opposed to Season 2. Even worse for Disney’s once beloved title, the overall tune-in count for Season 3 was a whopping 40 percent lower from the latter’s finale.

Many fans took to Rotten Tomatoes to share their upset with Disney’s latest chapter in The Mandalorian where audiences left their abysmal score of just 50 percent compared to the critics’ 85 percent. This is a gut punch from the previous installments with Season 2 nabbing 91 percent audience and 93 percent critics’ scores and the debut season clocking in at the same with critics and 92 percent with audiences. A true fall from grace, even Grogu’s powers couldn’t help the third season.

the mandalorian grogu

Following a tearful Season 2 finale that saw Din Djarin (Pascal) and Grogu go their separate ways, the duo was reunited in Disney’s other Star Wars offshoot, The Book of Boba Fett. Now back together again, the third season of The Mandalorian saw the besties on more adventures throughout the galaxy with fellow Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) joining the team. 

With Disney putting out The Book of Boba Fett at the very beginning of last year and dropping new Star Wars series including Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi throughout 2022, it’s possible that fans are just feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content to keep up with. And, with the new titles being equally as celebrated as The Mandalorian was when it first hit the platform, there’s more competition for the series to keep up with.

Still, even with Disney more than falling short of its Wall Street estimate of 163.17 million subscribers, only bringing in 157.8 million subscribers, things are looking up for the House of Mouse. With titles like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania recently working their way onto Disney+ and several titles from the Spider-Man catalog also finding a new home there, things could be on the rise for the platform. While there have been no details surrounding when audiences can expect Season 4 of The Mandalorian to reveal itself, the streamer better hope that they knock it out of the park.

This is the way.

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