Loki season 2 is a Marvel hit, but it isn't the biggest Disney Plus show premiere of 2023

O.B, Loki, Hunter B-15, and Mobius look out onto the Temporal Loom in Loki season 2
Loki's season 2 premiere drew in nearly 11 million viewers on Disney Plus. (Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

Loki season 2 is a big hit among Marvel's fanbase – but it isn't the most-watched Disney Plus TV show premiere of the year.

In a press release, Disney revealed that Loki season 2's opening episode drew in 10.9 million viewers in its first three days on Disney Plus. That figure is magical enough to make it the second most-streamed TV episode of 2023 on the company's primary streaming platform.

So, which Disney Plus series prevented Loki's latest outing from securing top spot? That'll be The Mandalorian season 3, although Disney declined to provide any data to back that up. It's unclear, then, just how close Loki season 2 was to toppling the Star Wars series and taking its Disney Plus TV crown.

It is, of course, difficult to fully determine how well Loki season 2 has performed. Entertainment studios can skew their streaming data to make it look like a TV show or movie has done better than expected, with this being one such example. 

Indeed, Disney has only recently started to make its audience data public, so there are no official figures to compare Loki season 2's viewership against The Mandalorian's third season. Furthermore, Disney explained that a view is "defined as total stream time divided by runtime". That means it compiles every minute of content streamed by viewers, including those who might have turned season 2 episode 1 off if, say, they were bored.

However, the Marvel Phase 5 show's viewing figures might be more impressive then we first realize. As Disney noted in its press blast, Loki season 2 episode 1 achieved its near 11 million figure in its first three days on one of the world's best streaming services. Compare that to Star Wars: Ahsoka, which racked up 14 million views (per the Walt Disney Company) in its first five days, and Loki's second season is seemingly off to a strong start. 

If we average Loki 2's data out over three days, it pulled in around 3.6 million viewers every 24 hours. Multiply that by five, and it theoretically should draw in 18 million people across its first five days on Disney Plus. It's unlikely Loki season 2 will reach that figure – Marvel's biggest fans will have already streamed it, after all – but it's a good yard stick to measure Loki's sophomore outing against.

OB, Hunter B-15, Loki, and Mobius stand in front of a cataclysmic event happening off-screen in Loki season 2

Loki season 2 is off to a good start on Disney Plus (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Despite the fact that it conjured up 10.9 million views in its first 72 hours, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) TV show wasn't as popular as some of the best-performing shows of the year on Netflix, aka Disney's biggest streaming rival.

For instance, One Piece season 1 made a mightily impressive debut on Netflix, with the streamer's live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda's wildly popular manga pulling in 18.5 million viewers in its first four days. Meanwhile, Sex Education season 4 taught Loki season 2 a lesson with its 12 million haul three days after it premiered on Netflix. While we called Loki season 2 a "spellbinding and subversively clever sequel to Marvel's best Disney Plus show", then, it wasn't strong enough to rein in some of the best Netflix shows on the wider streaming landscape.

Still, it's hard to argue against the fact that Loki season 2 is off to a stellar start. With the mixed reception to numerous Marvel Phase 4 and Phase 5 projects, Marvel can rest a bit easier knowing that one of the best Disney Plus shows has given it some respite from the criticism it's faced.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.