Star Wars is Dead

The Dark Herald checks his watch and calls it.

The second episode of The Mandalorian aired last Wednesday and I have yet to hear a peep out of Fort Mickey. Whenever the streamer studios have one of their exceedingly rare wins they screech it from the rooftops… Today Samba.TV released its numbers for the opening episode of The Mandalorian and they are b-a-a-a-a-d.

Disney+ ate its own seed corn when the Book of Boba Fett was bombing. Tearing off Mando’s admittedly good third-season starter and stuffing it into the Book of Boba Fett was like pouring an entire bottle of expensive perfume on a pile of shit. It wastes the perfume without making the pile smell any better. Favreau had to slap together a replacement season opener out of spare parts and abandoned scripts. It was a weak start when it needed to come out strong.

Obi-Wan Kenobi’s premier was 2.14 million unique views.

The Mandalorian third season opener was 1.5 million unique views.

This is truly dire for Disney because The Mandalorian has lost half of its audience. It only edged The Book of Boba Fett by 2%.

And apparently the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rapidly going the way of the Star Wars Universe.

The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger signaled that the company plans on cutting back on Marvel franchise films in the wake of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania performing abysmally in the box office.

During an appearance at a Morgan Stanley conference, The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Weprin reported Iger signaled the company plans on cutting back on how many films they make around certain characters.

Iger said, “What we have to look at at Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how many times we go back to the well on certain characters.”

He elaborated, “Sequels typically work well for us, but do you need a third or a fourth, for instance? Or is it time to turn to other characters? There’s nothing in any way inherently off in terms of the Marvel brand. I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we are mining.”

Convergence kills. There is no way back for any of these franchises. They’re not necessarily going to go straight downhill, as there will be overperformances and underperformances, there always are, but the general trend is perfectly clear. And as AI improves, the cost of producing alternative entertainment is going to decline as well, thereby creating new opportunities for Arkhaven and other independents.