After conducting over 350,000 interviews about 700 various entertainment franchises, NRG, a consulting group, has found that The Mandalorian is currently the top entertainment franchise.
The study, which was started in January of 2019, was an attempt to see which franchises consumers believed to be the most likely to stand the test of time, evolve, and remain relevant over the years. While The Mandalorian topped the list, Star Wars didn’t crack the top 20. However, Disney is responsible for a majority of the franchises represented in the top 20.
According to Variety, who reported NRG’s findings, The Mandalorian topped the list, followed by The Avengers, Stranger Things, John Wick, and Black Panther rounding out the top five. Beyond Stranger Things, Netflix also claimed the #7 and #8 spots, with The Witcher and Ozark, respectively. Spider-Man claimed two spots, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at #9, while Spider-Man ranks at #17. Mario Bros. ranked as the highest video game franchise (not counting The Witcher) at #14. According to NRG, the coronavirus in 2020 has turned people to more social games, with titles like Animal Crossing, Fall Guys, and Among Us experienced momentum in the survey.
While NRG started this survey early in 2019, The Mandalorian didn’t air until November of 2019, making it the only franchise on the list to solely exist within the period of polling. Considering The Mandalorian makes the cut while Star Wars doesn’t, maybe interest in this franchise shifted from film to television with the release of The Rise of Skywalker at the end of last year. Also, considering the massive fan love for the Baby Yoda character, one could imagine The Mandalorian is simply the most prevalent franchise in people’s minds over the last two years.
Also interesting how much this list leans towards superhero franchises, considering that 2020 was the first year in over a decade without a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Maybe the excitement surrounding Avengers: Endgame helped boost the rest of the related franchises higher up in the rankings. Yet again, while most major entertainment has staggered in the wake of the coronavirus, The Mandalorian has continued steadily, releasing two seasons over the polling period, making it one of the more consistent franchises that made the top 20.
Beyond The Mandalorian, the NRG reports some other interesting statistics for other audiences. For groups aged 13-24, SpongeBob Squarepants and Shrek are amongst the favorite franchises, although a large part of that is due to memes and videos online surrounding those series. Black audiences tended to lean towards series that featured cultural representation, such as Black Panther, Black-ish, Insecure, and Atlanta. The most popular unscripted franchise centered around everyday people, rather than celebrities, with shows like Survivor, Shark Tank, and The Amazing Race making the cut.
NRG theorizes that with franchises like Fast and Furious, James Bond, and several Marvel films coming in 2021, these placements might shift due to old franchises returning and possibly reinventing themselves in interesting ways. Yet keep in mind with the third season of The Mandalorian scheduled for next year as well, it might be hard to beat the king.