Hawkeye is slacking behind Loki

Marvel’s Indian fans disappointed over Disney latest offering

Entertainment

December 4, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

Hawkeye is slacking behind Loki

Marvel Cinematic Universe misses the mark with Hawkeye (Photo: Marvel, https://www.marvel.com/tv-shows/hawkeye/1)

Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU is known for its superhero movies and TV series. However, its latest television series Hawkeye has disappointed fans and it lags far behind its predecessors Wanda-Vision, Loki as well as Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

On November 24, the first episode of Hawkeye was aired in India on the Disney+ Hotstar, OTT platform that is a subsidiary of Disney+. In rest of the world, the latest creation of Disney was aired on Disney+ over the Wednesday-Sunday holiday stretch.

According to Samba TV, an analytics firm based in San Francisco, California, Hawkeye was a huge flop going by Disney’s past releases. It captured only 1.5 million household watchers for the first episode and the number for the second episode fell further to 1.3 million.

Hawkeye lags behind Loki by 40 pc, which was watched by 2.5 million homes over June 9-13. Hawkeye’s debut is also lagging behind Loki’s finale which had 1.9 million home watches over the 5-day period. Not only compared to Loki, but the series is also lagging behind the 3-day premiers of Falcon and Winter Soldier which had 1.8 million and Wanda-Vision which captivated 1.6 million household views.

Globally, subscriber count of Disney+ stands at a 181.1 million, of which India accounts for 34 million subscribers.

Hawkeye features Jeremy Renner as the titled avenger and Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. The show has gotten a rating of 94 pc on film rating site, Rotten Tomatoes. Despite such good critic and praise, the viewership for the show is astonishingly low. When comparing the actors bringing the characters to life, Jeremy Renner himself is a beloved actor like Anthony Mackie who played the ‘Falcon’, Sebastian Stan who played the Winter Soldier and Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch.

Indian fans too let down

The Indian fans of Disney and Marvel’s creations too remain unimpressed by the newest baby from the usually reliable stable that has produced some of the biggest shows and films in superhero and animation domains.  “It has a fair share of branding issues. Unlike Loki, Wanda or Falcon and Winter Soldier, Hawkeye has a very small fanbase and is also not very popular as a comic strip,” Akhil S George, an avid MCU fan tells Media India Group.

George goes on to list other reasons behind the failure. “Also, it is a matter of timing,

The timing for Wanda-Vision was excellent as MCU came out with its next show after more than 18 months. There was hype for the couple as well, as one was human and another a self-conscious android. While for Loki, the character itself has a wide fan base. He is one of the few loved villains in the cinematic world,” adds George.

Akshat Sadat is another avid Marvel-Disney fan in India and has religiously watched their shows and films regularly. He says there were problems with the presentation of Hawkeye, the avenger. “The reason that the series despite being about a core Avenger has less popularity among the fans could be the fact that we weren’t shown any aspect of the character which we could relate to. Other characters’ background was presented to us but not of Hawkeye’s character. Marvel tried to spark the interest in the character by showing glimpses and snippet but failed to do so,” Sadat tells Media India Group.

“Being a fan and having watched the majority of content produced by MCU, I can say that while watching the new series, I felt that Marvel has released this series to set the record of the character straight. People will be able to relate with him more as the hardships he has faced is expected to be shown in the upcoming episodes,” he says.

George agrees with this reasoning. “Hawkeye’s debut episodes are still finding the story. The first episode showed the avenger’s personal life, and the second episode showed the background of Kate Bishop who is assuming the façade of Hawkeye and fighting crime,” he says.

The Avengers: Infinity War set the Loki series up. People were curious as to know that had Loki died and if so, then how as he was an immortal god. The Falcon and Winter Soldier cultivated a stronghold among the fans due to the involvement of Captain America giving up his shield. People wanted to know what will happen to the Cap’s legacy,” George goes on to add.

With Indian subscribers already accounting for over 20 pc of worldwide subscription base of Disney+, it is evident that India is a key market for the entertainment giant, who will be increasingly looking at pleasing the Indian fanbase and augment the numbers significantly, going ahead.

This was evident two years ago, when Joe Russo, an integral member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU and the co-director of Avengers: Endgame, in an interview with Outlook had said that India was a vast and growing market for them.

At the time of the recent release of Avengers: Eternals on November 7, the first-day earnings totalled INR 73.5 million and this goes to show MCU’s focus on the Indian market.

MCU in the past has never failed to spark an interest in the superhero characters among the fans, which later helps them generate humongous revenues from their movies and TV series, but Hawkeye is one character on which work is needed to be done by MCU to give him the stand that he deserves with the other Avengers.

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