Most Streamed Marvel Movie Of 2022 Is Completely Unexpected

The most streamed Marvel movie of 2022 is the 2021 film, The Eternals.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

kumail nanjiana cast of eternals
The Eternals

The Neilson streaming data for 2022 is filled with interesting nuggets of information about the actual popularity of streaming movies and shows. One of the trivia bits that can be used to dazzle at your next party is that the much maligned Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, The Eternals, was the most streamed Marvel movie of 2022. Reported by Variety during their breakdown of the overall chart, not only was the Angelina Jolie film the most streamed MCU film, it was the only Marvel property to place on any of the charts.

Marvel comic adaptations have been all over Disney+ since the launch of the service, from originals like Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, to behind the scenes specials like Assembled, which makes The Eternals success all the more surprising. Widely considered one of the worst entries in the franchise, and currently with no overt references in other films despite the large Celestial stuck in the Pacific Ocean, The Eternals has always seemed like an odd fit for the MCU.

A true ensemble film starring Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Najani, Brian Tyree Henry, Lia McHugh, Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, and Selma Hayek, Marvel’s The Eternals attempted to take D-list characters to the biggest stage on the planet. Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film was a more meditative look at superpowered beings that have been on the planet since the very first humans started to develop the basics of civilization. Released while theaters were still dealing with Covid restrictions, the unique movie had an uphill struggle in the first place.

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Angelina Jolie as Thea in The Eternals

Attempting to translate the strangest of Jack Kirby’s Marvel characters to the big screen involved telling a story in two hours that spans over 20,000 years. The Eternals are the protectors of Earth created by the Celestials, god-like beings responsible for all life in the universe, tasked to keep the Deviants at bay. With the largest cast in a Marvel origin movie and a plot that has no clear cut villain requiring punching in the face, The Eternals was a box office disappointment, making only a half a million in theaters.

All of the reasons why Marvel’s The Eternals was a hard sell to a theater going audience help explain why it dominated every other MCU property in overall streaming minutes. With over 4 billion minutes streamed, it’s clear that the audience waited to catch the film from home, and potentially experience the story at their own pace with the ability to pause and resume when needed. More realistically, it’s likely that the middling word of mouth kept fans away from spending upwards of $50 on tickets to catch the film in theaters, but the lower barrier to entry with streaming makes it much more attractive.

With no word yet on if Marvel is going to be making a sequel to The Eternals, fans will have to wait to see any further adventures of The Black Knight, Sersi, Icarus, and Gilgamesh. In the comics this past year, The Eternals were the main focus of the massive A.X.E. Judgment Day crossover event, being treated as an equal group on par with the Avengers and X-Men. The next MCU film is Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, arriving February 17th and officially kicking off phase five of the MCU.