I binge-watched The Punisher with two of my sons this weekend.
Three thumbs up from our group. We’ve binged almost every one of Netflix’s Marvel series and enjoyed (almost) every one of them. This weekend the talk inevitably went to whether or not there would be a third season of The Punisher. Of course my teenager, wise beyond his years, is convinced that Netflix doesn’t know how to run their business because of the recent Marvel cancellations. In his world, the series are hugely popular.
I asked him how many people watched the different series. He didn’t know. I asked if Netflix viewers watch other series more than the Marvel shows. He didn’t know. How about over and over again? Still, he didn’t know. I reminded him that we don’t actually know the statistics. Just because we enjoy Matt, Luke, Jessica, and Danny, and so do most of our friends, doesn’t mean it’s more popular than that Netflix Christmas show that had 53 people watch it for 18 days straight. I’d like to think it is but I really have no idea.
What we do know is Netflix is tracking the data and they’re not sharing it, but we have to believe that they’re making the best decisions for their general audience so the company can continue to bring us great entertainment. We do the same at Comicpalooza. We know which guests were the most popular historically, we know how much it will cost us and our attendees, we track emerging trends, we look at the requests that come in from our web submission forms, we review the post-show surveys and figure out how to create an even better experience next year. There are a lot of factors that go into it. Maybe that’s why I empathize with Netflix.
We’ve also learned that the fans are not always in agreement. I remind myself daily that you can’t please everyone, every time. Did you know there are people that choose Star Trek over Star Wars and vice versa? Personally, I like them both. I even enjoy the franchise reboots so I’m not sure what that tells you about me. I hope, like many people I think, there’s a super-secret plan where all of The Defenders will re-emerge. If not, I’m sure I’ll enjoy something else that comes out. Maybe next Christmas I’ll even check out A Christmas Prince on Netflix.
There are additional considerations like production costs and creative direction. It’s possible that Christmas movie costs the same, I have to confess I have not seen it, but maybe it’s considerably less.