Secret Invasion debuted ahead of Mrs. Marvel, but behind almost every other Marvel show on Disney+, including Moon Knight.
According to What’s On Disney Plus, the new Marvel series Secret Invasion seems to be having a hard time finding its audience. Set in the MCU, the series follows Nick Fury as he works with a band of allies to combat a surreptitious Skrull invasion of Earth. Fury is joined by Talos, himself a Skrull who has adapted to life on Earth, Maria Hill, and Everett Ross, all of whom join him to rescue humanity. The first episode of the series dropped last week on Disney+.
What’s on Disney Plus cites Secret Invasion numbers from Samba TV, which indicates that the series premiere was viewed in its first five days by 994,000 US households. This puts it just ahead of the Ms. Marvel debut, which was seen by 775K households in the United States. Both of these numbers are well behind those of premieres like WandaVision (1.6 million), Moon Knight (1.8 million), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (1.8 million), and so far, Marvel’s best series debut, Loki (2.5 million). While international viewership numbers will be higher, this shows a drop in US viewership.
There are a number of factors that might be causing lower views of Secret Invasion. Firstly, viewership overall is down following the pandemic years when most people were stuck at home the vast majority of the time. After 15 years of superhero movies and TV series, franchise fatigue is also potentially a problem for Marvel overall.
Disney has certainly begun scaling back and spreading out their MCU offerings of late, but that also coincides with budget slashing and an ongoing writers’ strike.
The actual streaming numbers for Secret Invasion are unknown since Disney does not generally release that information unless they have a big success. Interest in MCU properties has seemed to lag in recent years overall, though, with Guardians of the Galaxy 3 standing out as a bright spot amidst some fairly fading stars. On the series front, that has been especially true of offerings like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which garnered wide critique and little enthusiasm.
There have also been a spate of controversies at Marvel, including the use of AI art in the production of the opening title sequence for Secret Invasion, a move the company responsible for the sequence insists only assisted human creators and did not result in any job losses.
More troubling, though, are the accusations of sexual abuse against Marvel stars like Tenoch Huerta and Jonathan Majors, the former of which resulted in Huerta pulling out of his latest Netflix movie. Marvel Studios also caused a stir at San Diego Comic-Con by canceling their usual event announcing upcoming projects amid the WGA strike.
All of this means Secret Invasion has some uphill climbing to do, but the MCU has tended to be resilient over time and has offered some of the best-reviewed content on Disney+. Whether the new Nick Fury-centric series will pull up in ratings will depend a lot on word of mouth and reviews as each new episode drops. The second in the series releases today, with new episodes premiering each Wednesday.