In the past week, Disney and some other entities seem to be pushing out the idea that WandaVision is this immensely popular zeitgeist similar to The Mandalorian. We’ve seen some articles out there stating that WandaVision beat everything in streaming with its latest episode. Well, we’re looking at hard data rather than guessing, and we’ve got some interesting things to share with you.
Before we dive on in, it’s important to remember just how important mid-December was for The Mandalorian. The Luke Skywalker episode finally gave Disney+ it’s #1 streaming spot with The Mandalorian overtaking The Office for the most streamed content for the month. While we don’t have access to the data held privately by streaming companies, we do think that Nielson had that one correct, and we believe that because we have hard data via Google Trends. You see, although we live in the Age of Disinformation, we can still figure out what people are really thinking and how people really feel by looking up objective data on what they’re searching for across the web. We don’t have to depend on surveys, polling, or spun data from corporations. While our data from Google Trends doesn’t provide us with streaming hours, it definitely provides us with a true gauge for national and global interest.
And let me say, I am not against WandaVision. I really like parts of the show, I do not enjoy other parts. I’m actually pulling for it overall because of how good Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olson are.
Given what we know about The Mandalorian, and knowing what level of popularity it takes to become the #1 streaming content in America, let’s see how WandaVision is comparing in people searching (thus showing interest) in the show:
The blue line represents The Mandalorian and its searches on Google for the past twelve months. The red line represents WandaVision. What you’ll notice is that WandaVision is pulling online interest at a level that is (at most) half of the interest shown for the Luke Skywalker finale of Mandalorian Season 2. So all the spinning in the world cannot convince me that WandaVision is the top streaming program in America. There’s just no way. Maybe if it was pulling 75% of the Luke Skywalker episode… but the chart doesn’t lie.
More importantly, WandaVision isn’t just being walloped by The Mandalorian, which Disney has now blown up with controversy. No, WandaVision is being beaten by interest in…
You see that red line? That’s the online searches for Gina Carano. To Disney’s certain dismay, Carano is more popular in searches than WandaVision for the past week. And while some would have you believe that Carano is a controversial figure and, thus, the searches don’t indicate support… the dislike ratio on Kathleen Kennedy’s latest Oscars video says otherwise. If Kennedy is pulling 99 to 1 dislike to like ratios when she shows her face, it’s time to start wondering just how controversial Gina Carano is versus Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm, Star Wars, and even Disney.
So the Gina Carano situation is overshadowing the supposed top streaming program in the country, WandaVision, right? Oh… it gets better.
That chart is Google searches via Google News. The red line is Gina Carano, the blue line is WandaVision. When it comes to people searching for news articles, Gina Carano is far-and-away the biggest story for The Walt Disney Company. It is highly, highly unlikely that the reaction to Carano’s firing is anything like what you’d find on Twitter…. because it turns out the real world isn’t very much like tweeters.
So no, it objectively does not look like WandaVision is anywhere near as popular as The Mandalorian. Hard data shows otherwise. And no, the Gina Carano story is not a small tale of extremist online outrage… it’s the biggest story Disney is dealing with at the moment. Gina Carano is bigger than Wanda Maximoff. So while Disney+ is unlikely to crater in subscriptions, this is something Disney definitely needs to take action on, because politicizing their company, making Gina Carano a martyr, seeing the immense negativity the public holds for Kathleen Kennedy — all this could slow the growth of Disney+, it could destroy everything Favreau and Filoni have been working on with Star Wars, and it could snowball past that if more bad decisions are made.
Don’t listen to the spin; look at the real, objective data.
At least while we’re still allowed to do so.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered blog that objectively covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.