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‘Marvel’s Iron Fist’ Was Netflix’s Most-Binged Drama Premiere

Variety logo Variety 3/31/2017 Daniel Holloway
© Provided by Variety

“Marvel’s Iron Fist” drew some of the most scathing reviews that any Netflix series has earned. But the critical dog pile apparently did little to dampen enthusiasm for the show.

The superhero drama’s March 17 premiere was the most binge-watched this year for a Netflix drama, according to data from research firm 7Park Data, which measures number of streams on subscription video services. The company found that 54.7% of “Iron Fist” streams on the premiere date were of episodes three or higher. The average hour-long show on Netflix has a binge score of 46.9%.

“Iron Fist” also accounted for 14.6% of all Netflix streams on March 17 — the highest percentage of any series premiere that 7Park measured, topping “Stranger Things” (4.0%), “Marvel’s Luke Cage” (12.8%), “Marvel’s Daredevil” Season 2 (13.8%), and “Orange is the New Black” Season 4.

“The relationship between critic reviews and mass appeal has always been a complicated one,” said 7Park Data senior analyst Christopher Coby. “Consider the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and the long list of shows with top audience numbers but few Golden Globes or Emmy’s to show for it. The actual streams data tells us that what critics consider the best shows and what streaming viewers consider the best are sometimes two very different things. ‘Marvel’s Iron Fist’ is a case in point.”

Produced by Marvel Entertainment, “Iron Fist” tells the story of Danny Rand, an heir to a lucrative business empire who fights crime as the Iron Fist. The series is based on the classic Marvel Comics character.

Leading up to its premiere, “Iron Fist” drew near-universal scorn from critics, earning a 37 score on Metacritic and a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes — the lowest score of any Marvel show on either review aggregator. In her review for Variety, Maureen Ryan wrote, “The action scenes lack spark, snap, and originality. None of the flat, by-the-numbers characters makes any lasting impression. And as origin stories go, the tale of Danny Rand (Finn Jones), at least as rendered by this creative team, is about as exciting as a slice of Velveeta cheese left out in the sun too long. “

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