Henry Cavill breaks the internet (and what it says about how to build an audience in today’s hyper-political world)

By Kent R. Kroeger (July 31, 2020)

Freya Allan, Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con for “The Witcher.” (Photo by Gage Skidmore; Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

While The Witcher thrives with viewers, other sci-fi franchises are suffering

By industry standards, one season alone cannot establish The Witcher as an unqualified success. But the show has much to be proud of in its short history. For example, according to Parrot Analytics, a media demand measurement company, The Witcher’s US debut on December 20, 2019 was the third most-in-demand streaming series ever measured — behind Stranger Things and The Mandalorian. In just a week after its debut, The Witcher was the most-in-demand streaming series in the world, dethroning Disney’s The Mandalorian.

  • DC Comics’ 2020 “Birds of Prey” movie, an intended launchpad for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character, died a quick box office death.
  • Warner Brothers’ Supergirl TV series has seen its average season viewership over five seasons drop from 9.81 million (Season 1) to 1.58 million (Season 5).
  • And in case you thought this is just a rant against female-led sci-fi/fantasy shows, Fox’s Seth McFarland-led The Orville has seen its viewership decline from 8.56 million in its first episode (Sept. 2017) to 2.97 million in its most recent episode (April 2019).

Apart from the Marvel superhero movie franchise, the end of science fiction and fantasy in mainstream entertainment today is nearly complete.

But I don’t blame Marvel for this decline (though its enormous popularity has probably sucked some of oxygen away from other sci-fi franchises).

So why is The Witcher succeeding where others are failing?

Its hard to say sci-fi/fantasy franchises are failing when, in 2019 worldwide movie grosses alone, the genre took in over 8 billion dollars. But take out Marvel superhero and Star Wars movies and the numbers become more modest.

I am a survey and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion (You can contact me at: kroeger98@yahoo.com)

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