Throughout its production, Iron Fist was a heavily scrutinized project for Marvel and Netflix. Early reports claimed Marvel was having a difficult time adapting the source material, and the series was met with considerable backlash after Marvel stuck to the source material and cast Finn Jones in the lead — after many voiced their desire to see an Asian American in the role. The negativity was seemingly made worse when early reviews for the series were extremely negative.
The poor reviews and early negative attention created a situation in which Iron Fist might have become a flop for Marvel and Netflix. That’s not the case, however, as less than week after its premiere, the show is reportedly the streaming giant’s second biggest Marvel series yet.
Parrot Analytics (via Inverse) tracks viewership data for Netflix properties since the streaming service does not release such information. Parrot calculates these ratings by looking at a variety of data that includes actual streaming numbers and even social media chatter — but that which is only positive. According to their data on Iron Fist and the rest of the Marvel lineup, the “demand expressions” three days out hit 63,249,549. This is roughly six million below what Luke Cage registered last year, but considerably more than Jessica Jones and Daredevil.
Despite the poor reviews, the Marvel faithful still turned out during the series’ “opening weekend.” However, it should be noted that while this is still a great launch for Iron Fist, it does mark the first time a new Marvel series failed to outperform its immediate predecessor. Daredevil launched to 23 million expressions, which Jessica Jones topped that with almost 51 million. Jones was then beat by Luke Cage‘s 69 million.
This is where the negative buzz may have factored in, as these 63 million expressions likely came from those who planned to watch regardless of the critical reception. If Iron Fist had earned more positive reviews, it is possible the series could have topped the numbers put up by Luke Cage. With this response, it will be interesting to see what numbers The Defenders racks up later this year. With viewers potentially more interested in seeing a massive team-up of heroes, the miniseries stands a chance at being Netflix’s biggest Marvel series yet.
Season 1 of Iron Fist is now streaming on Netflix along with Daredevil Seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones Season 1, and Luke Cage Season 1. The Defenders arrives sometime this summer, with The Punisher coming later in the year. Premiere dates for the newest seasons of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage have not yet been revealed.