Well, it seems despite the decidedly mixed reception Eternals got from critics, that it has a more positive reception from the average audience member. I mean, how else do you explain it when it was the most-streamed Marvel film of 2022?

Eternals Not as Bad We Thought?

'Eternals' key art from IMDb.
Well, it certainly has some pretty key art, that’s for certain.

Neilsen has just published some new data, among which are the top 15 most-streamed films of 2022. According to that list of films, Eternals is the most-streamed Marvel Cinematic Universe film of that year. According to it, this mediocrely received MCU film currently has 4.236 billion minutes viewed on Disney+.

Now how can that be when Eternals was competing with other MCU films like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Well, The Direct and other websites posit that its long runtime of 2 hours and 36 minutes may have had something to do with it. However, if runtime was the sole factor here, then logically, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should also be on the list at least due to its 2 hours and 41 minutes runtime. This is clearly not the case though, so runtime alone can’t be it.

The Direct does also point out that Eternals broke the Disney+ viewing record for MCU films in general though, with 2 million households streaming it in over a period of just 5 days. This is in spite of Rotten Tomatoes giving it an average score of 47% based on 403 reviews. However, Rotten Tomatoes also notes that the average audience gave it a 77%. It’s not amazingly high, but it is much higher than what critics gave it. This seems to suggest that Eternals may be a hidden gem that everyone overlooked. Or it could be due to some quirk of streaming. We’ll have to see if Eternals develops into a full-on franchise later on.

2022: Not Marvel’s Year for Streaming

Alas, even Eternals can’t save Marvel in general.

Unfortunately, while Eternals is indeed the top-streaming Marvel film of 2022, it’s only the only Marvel film even on the top 15 list of most-streamed films from Nielsen. In fact, it’s not even in the top 10 of that list. While there are certainly other Disney+ films on that list, it seems 2022 was just not the year for Marvel Studios. Curious about the entire list? Then you can check out the full list of top 15 streamed films of 2022 below, along with which platform streamed it and how many view counts it has (measured by minutes viewed):

  1. Encanto (Disney+ / 27.416 billion)
  2. Turning Red (Disney+ / 11.427 billion)
  3. Sing 2 (Netflix / 11.347 billion)
  4. Moana (Disney+ / 8.629 billion)
  5. The Adam Project (Netflix / 6.141 billion)
  6. Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+ / 5.697 billion)
  7. Don’t Look Up (2021) (Netflix / 5.141 billion)
  8. Frozen (Disney+ / 5.133 billon)
  9. Luca (2021) (Disney+ / 4.974 billion)
  10. The Gray Man (2022) (Netflix / 4.972 billion)
  11. Zootopia (Disney+ / 4.437 billion)
  12. Coco (Disney+ / 4.253 billion)
  13. Eternals (2021) (Disney+ / 4.236 billion)
  14. Frozen II (Disney+ / 4.195 billion)
  15. Uncharted (2022) (Netflix / 4.179 billion)

Source: Nielsen, The Direct