Just when you thought Marvel could do no wrong with their Netflix series, after delivering three home runs in a row with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, along comes Iron Fist to ruin the hot streak. Or did it? While critics ripped into it quite hard, with the show earning some pretty scathing reviews, reception from fans has been mostly positive, as a lot of people are saying they’ve enjoyed it just as much as what came before.
For further proof that Netflix subscribers are digging the Finn Jones-led series, one need not look any further than some interesting figures released earlier today. Variety are the ones with the report, telling us that Iron Fist is the most binge-watched drama premiere for Netflix in 2017. Apparently, 54.7% of those who watched the show when it premiered went on to binge it (which, technically speaking, means they viewed at least 3 episodes).
The numbers come from 7Park Data, and earlier today, analyst Christopher Coby had this to say about their findings:
The relationship between critic reviews and mass appeal has always been a complicated one. Consider the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and the long list of shows with top audience numbers but few Golden Globes or Emmys to show for it. The actual streams data tells us that what critics consider the best shows and what streaming viewers consider the best are sometimes two very different things. Marvel’s Iron Fist is a case in point.
To put things into perspective, the average hour-long show on Netflix has a binge-watch rate of about 46.9%, so Iron Fist was quite a bit higher. Furthermore, it also accounted for 14.6% of all streams on the day it premiered. That puts it right at the top for that particular stat, knocking Daredevil season 2 off its perch (13.8%).
So, what does this all tell us? Well, frankly, not too much. Sure, there’s obviously a disconnect between critics and fans, as there always has been, but before you go ahead and call Iron Fist a huge success, it’s important to remember a few things. For one, we’re only in March – there’s still 9 months of the year left. While the show’s numbers are definitely strong, we imagine that by the end of 2017, it won’t still be the most binge-watched drama premiere of the year.
Aside from that, it should also be noted that given Iron Fist‘s ties to The Defenders, it already had a built-in audience who were always going to watch it, and watch it to completion. Many people may have not particularly enjoyed it, but still sat through it all just to be caught up for when the aforementioned miniseries arrives, or just so they could browse the internet and not have to worry about spoilers.
Just because someone finishes a show doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoyed it. With a standalone project, maybe, but for something like this, when it’s so deeply tied to Marvel’s other Netflix series, a lot of people may have watched it out of necessity, to stay up to date.
Regardless, I think we can all agree that Iron Fist was far from the studio’s strongest outing. Did it deserve the beating it got from critics? No, probably not. But it was most definitely the weakest of the Netflix shows thus far and was nowhere near as compelling as something like Jessica Jones or Daredevil.
That’s our opinion, but what’s yours? Did you enjoy Iron Fist? Were you one of the people who binge-watched it? Let us know in the usual place!