EDIT (05/08/2020): UPDATED to include the stats for the videos over the course of eight days, to assess not only if the rankings had changed but also the uptick in views over the intervening period…
Easy, tiger – we’re not going to get that personally objective on you, not just yet. The life and soul of the con is still fresh and the wounds of our collective absence is still sour.
But that doesn’t mean to say that we can get a sense of the Top 10 most popular video presentations of the digital version of San Diego Comic-Con – SDCC@HOME – which ran online over the weekend scheduled for the physical event, Thursday 23rd – Sunday 26th July; Preview Night, Wednesday 22nd July 2020. And we do that the most empirical method possible: view counts.
These are only the initial numbers, mind – collated from the views gathered on the Comic-Con International YouTube page, these are the numbers from 12pm PT, Tuesday 29th July, only a handful of days after SDCC came to a close (we’ll be updating the counts on Monday 3rd August to see how the counts have gone up in a week and also to check if any latecomers have altered the countdown.
And they’re pretty decent numbers that these ‘panels’ have garnered in these first few days, certainly not the utter disaster that articles as posted by the likes of Variety have made out. There are a couple of surprises to be sure, made possible by the rabid fanbases of some of the properties represented, so let’s check out which have been the big kahunas of this years con…
SDCC@HOME 2020 Panel View Counts
The first number in brackets after the titles represent the view counts from the Comic-Con International YouTube page as of 12pm PT, Tuesday 28th July 2020)
1. VIKINGS: CELEBRATING SIX SEASONS OF THE SERIES (244,232)
A surprise? Perhaps – but not to the fans of this incredibly popular show with a very dedicated, hardcore audience. Still, that’s quite the gap between first and second place, a solid quarter of a million views in just a few days. Speaks volumes of VIKINGS‘ appeal.
2. THE NEW MUTANTS (210,069)
Now, this panel may have got its impressive audience view count almost out of sheer morbid curiosity – THE NEW MUTANTS has seen its release date put back so many times that they jokingly reference it at the top of the video. That being said, the panel did have a new release date, it did have the full cast representing (in some cases, a little older, a little wiser – watching this film is going to be like opening up a Time Capsule for some of these actors!) and it also featured the airing of the thrilling opening sequence of the film….
3. AMC’S THE WALKING DEAD (90,321)
4. AMC’S FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (76,167)
Where THE WALKING DEAD goes, the fanbase is found shuffling not too far behind. TWD panels are always a huge draw at the physical Comic-Con and it’s not too surprising to see that replicated here… well, almost. FEAR THE WALKING DEAD?! I mean, the common conception is that this spin-off show has grown into itself, BETTER CALL SAUL-style, and could arguably be the better of the two shows, not hindered by having to follow the narrative of the comics.
5. CONSTANTINE: 15TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION (76,534)
Lo-fi, meagerly attended, for a film that barely set the world on fire on release… this panels’ place on the chart speaks volumes about how time has treated CONSTANTINE, how people have grown to forgive the filmmakers for the liberties taken with the character, and also the never-dimming appeal of one Keanu Charles Reeves…
6. STAR TREK UNIVERSE: VIRTUAL PANEL (65,606)
The first big panel of the weekend, it’s understandable that this would rack up some impressive initial numbers, just out of the gate. It’s be curious to see if that light might fade in time and its place slip over the coming weeks…
7. CHARLIZE THERON: EVOLUTION OF A BAD-ASS – AN ACTION HERO CAREER RETROSPECTIVE (57,998)
…where as this panels numbers will only climb, searchable online as a evergreen profile of one of Hollywood’s premier action heroes. Whether its THE OLD GUARD or MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, whether its ATOMIC BLONDE or even THE ITALIAN JOB, fans will come out for Charlize. And quite right, too.
8. THE BOYS SEASON 2 (55,332)
Big, bold, brash and incredibly, gleefully offensive – THE BOYS on Amazon Prime has got itself a tidy slide of the action straight out of the gate. And anticipation for the second season – the release date of which came out in this very presentation – is high. Hence making it in the Top 10…
9. AN EVENING WITH KEVIN SMITH (56,342)
…but will it stay there? It’s Kevin Smith, after all, and his tribe will look him up wherever he goes – even if it’s not on the Smodcast channel.
10. BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC (46,786)
…and Kevin makes his second appearance in this, arguably the slickest and more aesthetically appealing panel uploaded for SDCC@HOME. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reprise their roles as the titular Bill and Ted and they are joined in this session by a rollicking collection of cast and crew, including Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, William Sadler, director Dean Parisot, and writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll air guitar…
…and there you have it – shall we take a wander down the spreadsheet and cast our eye over the top ten least viewed panels of the convention this year? Nah, that would just be mean!
Now, safe to say, it’s very possible that a number of these panels could get themselves some strong tailwind – Kevin Smith fans are known to come out of the woodwork and may see his panel jump up a couple of places, maybe outshining THE BOYS, for example. But, for now. these are the Top 10 Most Popular Panels of San Diego Comic-Con!
Thoughts? Any impressions of the presentations? Comment below – and keep watching!!
EDIT (05/08/2020): I was going to do this section of the post yesterday on Tuesday, giving the viewing period of grace a straight week, but I guess eight days will have to do.
What I’m going to post here is the view counts of these top-performing videos on the Comic-Con International YouTube channel, first to see if the rankings have changed in the intervening week (and a day) and, most importantly, if the views have still been rolling in since the honeymoon glow of SDCC@HOME has faded.
…CONSTANTINE: 15th ANNIVERSARY REUNION moves up two places with a whopping 65% increase in audience numbers and overtaking AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD/FEAR THE WALKING DEAD panel view count, demonstrating once again the draw not only of the Keanu but also of that much-derided film, fifteen years later. As a long-time fan of that movie, I can only say, “…yay!”
…another panel with a very healthy uptick in views, with a 47% increase, is Kevin Smith‘s traditional Saturday Night Hall H panel, performing a leap and a bound up three places to the #6 slot. Something I’m sure will please the birthday boy immensely (Kevin celebrated his Fiftieth on Saturday 8th – Happy Birthday, Kev!)
…the Kevin Smith touch also waved its magic over the third highest climber of the chart, as host of the BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC panel. But I’m sure that the nearly 36% increase in views could also be attributed to Mr. Reeves and Mr. Winter, of course.
…THE NEW MUTANTS holds its #2 spot on the chart and yet had the lowest audience increase of only 0.5% – I guess all the fans came out that first showing. Not sure what to make of this – and not sure what it means for the eventual audience for the film when it finally arrives. I’m sure there are smarter people in studio marketing departments who can work that out.
The same could be said for the audiences for the VIKINGS: A LOOK BACK… (+3.6%) and THE WALKING DEAD (+1.6%) panels. Guess once you’ve seen them, you’ve seen them? And the rabid fans would have come out for these presentations on first debuting, of course. No pun intended.
…with all these panels rising the charts, some panels had to give and in this regard, it’s THE BOYS SEASON 2 panel, dropping from #8 to #10, and the CHARLIZE THERON: EVOLUTION OF A BADASS panel, taking a drop from #7 to #9. The fans came out for THE BOYS SEASON 2 but once the info about upcoming developments is out there, it appears fans have felt it’s not a necessary or compelling rewatch, And as for the Charlize Theron retrospective, it’s a single focus panel, granted, it’s one for the hardcore fans and it’s not like she’s totally dropped off the radar. And quite right, too – she’s Charlize Freakin’ Theron!
Here we go – here’s the chart as of 8am GMT, 5th August 2020:
1. VIKINGS: A LOOK BACK WITH THE LOTHBROKS (253,036) (+8,804 views (3.6%))
2. THE NEW MUTANTS (202,148) (+1,079 views (0.5%))
3. CONSTANTINE: 15TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION (126,649) (+50,115 views (65.48%))
4. AMC’S THE WALKING DEAD (91,737) (+1,416 views (1.57%))
5. AMC’S FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (88,945) (+12,778 views (16.78%)
6. AN EVENING WITH KEVIN SMITH (83,023) (+26,681 views (47.36%))
7. STAR TREK UNIVERSE VIRTUAL PANEL (69,639) (+4,033 views (6.15%)
8. BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC (63,445) (+16,659 views (35.6%))
9. CHARLIZE THERON: EVOLUTION OF A BADASS – AN ACTION HERO CAREER RETROSPECTIVE (62,453) (+4,455 views (7.68%))
10. THE BOYS SEASON 2 (58,603) (+3271 views (5.91%))