The Mandalorian is a nationwide favorite, along with Marvel and Netflix, according to a survey conducted by the National Research Group.
The Mandalorian tops a new survey of the most popular entertainment franchises in the US, according to the study conducted by the National Research Group. The show, set in the Star Wars universe, premiered a little over a year ago to critical acclaim. With help from Baby Yoda, the show became one of the most talked-about Star Wars properties outside of the Skywalker Saga in quite some time. With its unique take on the Star Wars universe, tied into the larger history of the franchise, fans have fallen in love with the bounty hunter Din Djarin.
Its second season has been similarly well-received. The debut of the live-action version of Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) in last week’s “Chapter 13: The Jedi” has caused a frenzy. So, too, has the reveal of Baby Yoda’s true name. The appearance of the show’s first Jedi has only sparked more excited conversation about the future of The Mandalorian and the Star Wars franchise in general. The Mandalorian has far exceeded Disney’s expectations but the studio has kept mum about its plans for the future of the franchise.
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According to Variety, the investment in stories outside of the Skywalker Saga has paid off for Dinsey. The survey conducted by the National Research Group asked people in the US about 700 different entertainment franchises to find out which ones were considered the best by consumers. The Mandalorian topped the list, followed by a huge showing from Marvel and Netflix properties. In the #2 spot is Avengers, followed by Netflix’s Stranger Things at #3. Marvel and Disney dominated with 70% of the spots, followed closely by Netflix. The streamer took the rest save for two, with their The Witcher and Ozark joining Stranger Things.
The contents of the list should come as no surprise to anybody who pays attention to the industry. Most year-end box office lists of late have been dominated by the MCU and Star Wars. Even most live-action remakes of classic Disney originals also make those box office lists, which makes The Lion King‘s inclusion in the survey results no surprise. Increasingly, Disney properties like Star Wars and Marvel are becoming the norm, pushing mid- and low-budget comedies and dramas to the sidelines in favor of big-budget spectacle. With the industry in turmoil because of the pandemic, many of those original, lower budget films are relegated to debuting on streaming, while blockbusters hold out for the day theaters can reopen to full capacity.
Many decry Disney’s domination as the death of originality in Hollywood and while it is discouraging that original stories are not as popular as they used to be, it would be a mistake to ignore the power of the studio. When Disney swallowed 20th Century Fox in its historic merger, many feared that the end times were near. While the list of original properties debuting in 2021 is unfortunately short, Disney is adapting. They are finding ways to tell new and exciting stories within already established universes. At the end of the day, the success of something like The Mandalorian is no longer guaranteed without the Star Wars name attached. Franchises don’t have to be the death of originality—they can be a springboard for all kinds of stories told within a universe that is already beloved by fans.
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