It looks like we’ll have to wait longer for She-Hulk’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) debut. Thankfully, though, the delay won’t be a prolonged one.
For those who may have missed the news: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the next MCU TV series to land on Disney Plus, has a new release date. However, Marvel fans are only being made to wait an extra 24 hours for its arrival, with She-Hulk landing on Thursday, August 18 – it was originally set to launch on Wednesday, August 17.
New Marvel hero. All new night. New episodes of Marvel Studios’ #SheHulk: Attorney at Law are streaming Thursdays starting August 18, only on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/oc6WVN2CtBAugust 3, 2022
So, what’s the deal here? Marvel Studios has settled into a routine of releasing its Disney Plus shows on Wednesdays ever since Loki season 1 launched in June 2021. Why change things now? As it turns out, shifting She-Hulk’s release date to a Thursday slot actually makes a lot of sense.
For starters, Marvel’s latest TV venture won’t have to battle the next major Star Wars production – read our guide on how to watch the Star Wars movies and TV shows in order – for audiences’ attention.
Andor, the next Star Wars TV series, comes to Disney Plus on Wednesday, September 21. The show will focus on Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor as he evolves from deadbeat rogue into a key Rebel Alliance member,and follows in the footsteps of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian in releasing midweek on Disney’s streamer.
If She-Hulk had retained its own Wednesday launch date slot, the two shows would have competed for viewers once Andor’s mid-September arrival rolls around. That would mean She-Hulk’s final four episodes releasing on the same days as Andor’s first six – Andor will debut on September 21 with a three-episode premiere, hence its higher episode count in this context.
Why does that matter? Well, two major Disney-owned franchises going head-to-head isn’t in the studio’s best interests – nor is it a good thing for Marvel or Lucasfilm, who produced She-Hulk and Andor respectively. The two Disney subsidiaries already competed for viewers in June when some Ms Marvel and Obi-Wan episodes launched alongside each other – a release strategy that, at the time, we said would lead to one show struggling to attract the viewing figures it deserved.
As reported by Samba TV (opens in new tab), Ms Marvel was only streamed in 775,000 US households in the first five days post-premiere. Okay, there are bound to be other mitigating circumstances behind this low number – Ms Marvel’s positioning as a Gen-Z-style show, her relative obscurity among general MCU fans, and its previously unknow lead star in Iman Vellani being three explanations.
Even so, Ms Marvel clearly struggled to compete against Obi-Wan, a far more recognizable character, when some of their episodes simultaneously aired between June 8 and June 22. Clearly, it’s a release date experiment that didn’t work for Disney and its subsidiaries, so it’s unsurprising to see Disney change tack, and release She-Hulk and Andor on separate days.
Well, why not release She-Hulk on Fridays instead? Again, Marvel has previous form for doing so, with new episodes of WandaVision, as well as Falcon and the Winter Soldier, landing ahead of the weekend. But the answer is a simple one, really: there’s less competition on a Thursday than a Friday.
If Marvel opted to release its next MCU Phase 4 project on a Friday, She-Hulk would square off against even more competition. Netflix, Prime Video, and Apple TV Plus release their new content on Fridays, so She-Hulk would certainly be up against it if it arrived on this day.
Sure, She-Hulk might hold her own against what those streamers can offer – after all, the quality of productions on these services isn’t always up to scratch. Yes, there are some top-tier Prime Video shows, quality Netflix TV series, and excellent Apple TV Plus programs to enjoy. But there are always some duds among that trio’s offerings, so a Marvel TV series could stand its ground against those less-than-stellar productions.
The problem She-Hulk would have, though, is if it came up against a Stranger Things or Squid Game-style show; one which is hugely popular among the fanbase of Netflix or another successful streamer. It’s a safer bet, then, for She-Hulk to come out on a Thursday and easily see off competition from projects releasing on streamers, such as Peacock and Paramount Plus, by doing so.
It’s unclear if future Marvel shows will also air on Thursdays. This may simply be a one-off experiment on Disney’s part to see if MCU and Star Wars TV series can both succeed if they launch on different days. Regardless, given what went down between Ms Marvel and Obi-Wan, She-Hulk’s new Disney Plus release date makes perfect sense – and it’ll be fascinating to see how its Thursday launch slot experiment pans out.
For more MCU-based content, check out our Marvel movies in order guide, or read up on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the final superhero film in Marvel’s Phase 4 slate.