Marvel fans are showing franchise fatigue, while DC fans are more likely to prefer a single superhero over the universe, new fandom study says

More than a third of Marvel fans are feeling fatigued by the constant stream of content being offered in theaters and on Disney+ this year, according to a new study released Thursday by fan platform Fandom. But the research also shows that Marvel fans are also much more likely to watch each Marvel project compared to DC fans, who in turn are more likely to consume movies and TV about a specific superhero than the entire DC catalog.

Those are some of the extensive findings in the study, which came from a survey of 5,000 entertainment and gaming fans ages 13 to 54, as well as what Fandom calls “patented insights” from its platform of more than 300 million monthly users across the globe. country. 250,000 different wikis.

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The most intriguing claim of the study is that fans can be divided into four sub-categories of roughly descending order of intensity.

The lawyers: They are the main fan base, described as “deeply invested in the IP”, so much so that it is “part of who they are”. They are most likely to view the content within the first few days of its release. Some franchises with a large number of lawyers are Marvel, “Rick and Morty”, “Harry Potter”, DC, “Star Wars”, and “Stranger Things”.

The intentionalists: These fans — who on average make up the largest portion of a franchise’s fan base — are more critical, influenced by marketing and strong reviews, narrative themes, and actors and filmmakers behind the projects. They will most likely look within the first two weeks. Franchises with a large number of intentionalists include “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Only Murders in the Building.”

The Culturists: They are “heavily influenced by the buzz” surrounding a popular release, seeing watching as a chance to connect with friends and family, as well as the larger cultural conversation. They will most likely look within the first month. Franchises featuring a large number of Culturalists include “Chicago Fire,” “Ted Lasso,” “True Detective,” “The Challenge,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

The flirt: As the name implies, these are the dabblers, who are most interested in entertainment where they can “get in and out” and “will allow them to find common ground with others around them.” They will most likely look when they have time. Franchises with a large number of Flirts include a large number of legacy shows such as “The Office”, “SpongeBob Squarepants”, “Gilmore Girls”, “South Park” and “Friends”, as well as reality shows such as “The Bachelor” and “Real Housewives.” ”

“The words ‘fan’ and ‘superfan’ are constantly used to describe entertainment consumers, but those terms are too general for today’s entertainment world — fandoms are complex,” Fandom CMO Stephanie Fried said in a statement. “Understanding the layers of fan identity and authentically connecting with them at the right time and place will be critical for marketers looking to maximize success across streaming, theatrical, and video game releases.”

Having more lawyers and intentionalists in a fandom, as Marvel (at 66%) does versus DC (at 61%) can be an advantage for a franchise, but it’s not quite as cut and dried. According to Fandom’s research, 81% of Marvel fans would watch anything released in the franchise, while 67% of DC fans would do the same. Conversely, only 38% of Marvel fans say they are focused on specific superheroes rather than the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, compared to 57% of DC fans who care more about one or two superheroes than the entirety of it. DC Universe. That could be a major factor why only 20% of DC fans say they’re fatigued by the number of releases in a year, versus 36% of Marvel fans who feel this way. Through September, Fandom reports that “The Batman” was the worldwide site’s “biggest theatrical release.” DC fans are also over 20% more likely than Marvel fans to buy products – collectibles, clothing, even superhero-inspired menu items.

Fandom’s general assumption is that, on average, about half of a franchise’s potential fanbase consists of Culturalists and Flirts, suggesting that marketing that can appeal to these fans can further expand a franchise’s reach, especially for original projects that are not part belong to preset IP.

“Reaching consumers in an impactful way is not a standard formula,” said Perkins Miller, CEO of Fandom. “Understanding the spectrum of fan identity and how it influences fan behavior has never been more important in the ever-expanding entertainment landscape.”

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