Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is More Popular Than Marvel’s Netflix Shows, According To New Study

Marvel has a respectable presence on the small screen nowadays, with series spanning network TV, basic cable, and more than one streaming service. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the show that started it all for Marvel TV, but the show has struggled in the ratings in recent seasons, to the point that fans had to cross their fingers that it wouldn’t be cancelled. According to a new study, however, S.H.I.E.L.D. is actually more popular than any of the high-profile Marvel Netflix shows.

Yes, a new study courtesy of data science company Parrot Analytics (via Screen Rant) claims that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Marvel Television’s strongest brand worldwide, meaning that its brand is stronger than all of Netflix’s Marvel shows as well as the shows on other platforms. If this data is accurate, it’s not altogether surprising that S.H.I.E.L.D. has a stronger brand than series like Cloak & Dagger and Runaways, which air on Freeform and Hulu respectively and haven’t gained widespread attention just yet.

A bigger surprise is that S.H.I.E.L.D. reportedly has a stronger brand than Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the other Marvel shows on Netflix. Admittedly, the recent cancellations of Iron Fist and Luke Cage (as well as the apparent unlikelihood of another season of The Defenders like the first) indicate that the show’s brands weren’t as strong as some expected. Still, having a stronger brand than the bigger Marvel Netflix hits is a big deal for S.H.I.E.L.D., if accurate.

Parrot Analytics, which measures demand for a variety of TV shows and has worked to identify the most in-demand series for the Guinness Book of Records, indicates that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. holds a rank in the top 0.03% of in-demand shows all over the world. Yes, 0.03% sounds like a very small number, but the massive number of shows available in the United States market alone means that even small numbers can represent huge amounts of data.

According to the analysis, S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s place in the 0.03% places in among American shows like Criminal Minds, Better Call Saul, and Vikings. Shockingly, Parrot Analytics’ numbers place S.H.I.E.L.D. above Fear the Walking Dead, Arrow, Supergirl, and of course others. The study assesses peer-to-peer traffic, social media activity, global file-sharing, and more to reach its conclusions. Basically, if it’s a way that viewers interact with a certain show’s brand on the internet, it’s measured.

The strength of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brand certainly contrasts the show’s ratings, which were disappointingly low throughout its fifth season. That said, S.H.I.E.L.D. was also moved to a Friday night slot for Season 5, and Friday night time slots rarely yield impressive ratings. After the cancellation of its lead-in, the future looked somewhat bleak for S.H.I.E.L.D., and the renewal for an abbreviated sixth season later than usual came as a big relief.

While shortened seasons can be a sign that a network is looking to wrap things up for a series (as is happening with Gotham over on Fox and may be happening with Criminal Minds on CBS), it’s possible that there are larger reasons why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to have a shorter and delayed new season. Namely: the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War.

As Marvel fans everywhere know by now, Avengers: Infinity War ended in a way that had to shake up the entire MCU. Thanos triumphed over all the Avengers (other than Hawkeye), and his “snap” resulted in half the universe being erased. Many key MCU characters were turned to dust. Although none of the S.H.I.E.L.D. regulars appeared in Infinity War and S.H.I.E.L.D. actually explained why Quake wasn’t helping the Avengers, Thanos’ snap should have impacted the characters.

The Infinity War sequel is slated to hit theaters on May 4, 2019, and while an official premiere date has not yet been released for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6, all signs point toward a summer premiere. In fact, one S.H.I.E.L.D. star narrowed down the release window over the summer. If her words are accurate, S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 wouldn’t hit the airwaves until well after the fourth Avengers movie became available.

By holding the next season of S.H.I.E.L.D. until after the Infinity War sequel, ABC and Marvel don’t have to figure out a way for the show to deal with the events of the movie. Assuming the sequel finds a way to restore the majority of the dusted heroes to life — after all, Spider-Man and Black Panther have movies coming out — S.H.I.E.L.D. can just skip over the inconvenient details.

After S.H.I.E.L.D. basically had its original premise destroyed back in Season 1 thanks to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it would be nice for the show to focus on itself rather than deal with movie details. The show has split from the MCU more and more as the seasons passed, with even MCU plot twists like those of Captain America: Civil War not having the most significant impact.

Did S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s lower ratings contribute to Season 6 being held until the summer schedule? Probably. Still, avoiding all things Infinity War and the Infinity War sequel may be best for the show and fans. We’ll have to wait and see if airing in the summer results in S.H.I.E.L.D. losing some of its brand popularity compared to other Marvel series, especially considering Daredevil‘s long-awaited third season finally hit the web back in October. We’ll have to wait and see.

The next Marvel show to hit the airwaves will be Runaways Season 2, which releases on December 21. If you want to spend the holidays with the Runaways now that they’ve actually run away, check out Hulu before the end of the year. Interestingly, Runaways will reportedly make its first legit MCU connection in the second season. For some non-Marvel superhero action, you can find plenty on The CW thanks to the Arrow-verse and Black Lightning, as well as on DC Comics’ new streaming service, called DC Universe.

If you’re in the mood for some non-superhero viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, we can help you out. Swing by our fall TV premiere schedule and our 2018 Netflix premiere guide.

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Tom Cruise Is Flying In Top Gun 2, Just Not In The Way You’d Think

In the Mission: Impossible films, we’ve watched Tom Cruise perform some jaw-dropping stunts of his own, including his most recent death-defying, high-altitude, low-opening jump out of a plane in this summer’s sixth installment, Fallout. So when reports surfaced yesterday about Top Gun: Maverick halting production in order for Cruise to learn to personally fly Navy fighter jets in the film, it wasn’t a far-fetched undertaking for us to see the actor to pull off next.

In response to yesterday’s chatter about the Top Gun sequel, Entertainment Weekly spoke to sources from Paramount to clear the skies on whether Tom Cruise is getting in the pilot’s seat of some military-grade fighter jets for the project. The sources assured that Top Gun: Maverick is still on schedule with shooting until this spring and Cruise couldn’t fly the F/A-18 Hornets even if he wanted to, because civilians just aren’t allowed to. However, Cruise is a licensed pilot, has completed extensive training for his return to his iconic Top Gun role and the actor will do some flying in “certain aircrafts.”

While Paramount debunks much of yesterday’s reports, it does in turn confirm that it wasn’t entirely false, as Tom Cruise will be flying an aircraft himself of some sort for the upcoming sequel. News of the production being delayed didn’t add up since the film had already been pushed back a full year than previously expected from 2019 to 2020. Paramount’s comments are exciting for fans of the actor’s stunt work and of a franchise that began with the beloved 1986 film. In the original film, the actors did make it in the air for their fighter jet scenes, but only acted like they were flying the jets themselves.

Top Gun: Maverick will take place over 30 years after the events of the first film, this time with Tom Cruise as an instructor at the Top Gun flight school. Val Kilmer is also reprising his role as Iceman amongst a packed cast including Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Ed Harris. Cruise’s Maverick will become the mentor of the late Goose’s son, played by Miles Teller. The film is helmed by Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski and shooting began in late September.

Following the high-flying success of Top Gun, one would imagine chances are good for the sequel to be a big hit. The original was the highest grossing film of 1986 and became a pop culture phenomenon, namely for its unforgettable soundtrack. Once you add in the incredible stunt work Tom Cruise has always amazed audiences with in the Mission: Impossible movies, the film is sure to bring in some more excitement for the sequel. Top Gun: Maverick is still some ways away, as it doesn’t come to theaters until June 26, 2020.

Aquaman Director James Wan Explains The Significance Of That Huge Tidal Wave From The Trailer

Anyone who’s remotely familiar with Aquaman is likely not surprised that to learn there are tidal waves in the character’s upcoming movie. However, there’s one tidal wave in particular that’s been highlighted in the Aquaman trailers, as it’s shown crashing into the coastline while Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry is nearby. After clarifying which tidal wave he was being asked about, director James Wan explained why this tidal wave is important in Aquaman, saying:

Although we got a taste of the DC Extended Universe’s Atlantis last year in Justice League, Aquaman marks our first full exploration of the underwater civilization and its culture, and just like in the comics, it does not have a good relationship with the surface. Leading Atlantis at this point is Patrick Wilson’s Orm, better known to comic book fans as Ocean Master, who has had enough of surface dwellers polluting the oceans. He’s preparing to declare war, and this tidal wave is an opening show of force.

For those of you who think that might spoil too much of Aquaman‘s plot, James Wan added in his interview with EW that this is just a taste of what’s to come, and there’s plenty that still hasn’t been shown in the movie’s previews. As Wan put it:

James Wan didn’t comment further on the Aquaman story, but working off of the footage released so far, we can piece together some of what to expect. In the first Aquaman trailer, Amber Heard‘s Mera tells Arthur Curry that he needs to step up and take his rightful place as Atlantis’ king so that Orm can’t start a war with the surface. Arthur’s initially not on board with sitting on the Atlantean throne, but I’m guessing those tidal waves hitting the Atlantic coastline are what causes him to change his tune.

We’ve also seen Arthur and Orm locked in combat for the honor of being Atlantis’ king. It hasn’t been revealed yet who wins that fight, but even if Arthur comes out victorious, it doesn’t look like that will do much to stop Orm from carrying out his mission of vengeance against his humanity. It’s harder to piece together the sequence of events from there, but between Aquaman and Mera tangling with Black Manta and his goons in Italy, and factions of the seven kingdoms of the sea battling each other, there certainly won’t be any lack of excitement.

Aquaman dives into theaters on December 21, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. For now, you can find out when this year’s other remaining movies are coming out by looking through our 2018 release schedule, or look through our DC movies guide to discover what else the DCEU has in development.

Netflix’s Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Is Facing A $50 Million Lawsuit From Satanists

It has to be a scary feeling to have Satanists against you. The Satanic Temple has sued Netflix and Warner Bros. for allegedly stealing the temple’s version of the statue of Baphomet for scenes in four episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

As Variety noted, the $50 million lawsuit claims the statue features several elements that make it an “original expression” subject to copyright. The Satanic Temple said the statue cost around $100,000 to design and build, basing it on 19th century iconography. The original Baphomet statue shows two children looking up at a goat-headed man with awe. The statue shown on Netflix’s Sabrina series looks very similar. That statue is first shown on Episode 2, as a main feature of the Academy of the Unseen Arts.

The Satanic Temple has become known for objecting to various religious statues and monuments. The Baphomet statue is now in Detroit, but the Temple wanted to place it alongside a representation of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma, and also fought to have a Baphomet statue at the Arkansas State Capitol.

The Satanic Temple’s Sabrina lawsuit, filed November 8, asks for at least $50 million for each alleged infraction — copyright infringement, trademark violation, and injury to the business’ reputation. Co-founder Lucien Greaves told CNBC The Satanic Temple does not promote evil, and hails Satan as a “rebel against God’s authority, rather than an evil being.” He also tweeted comparisons between the real and show statues:

Other than being sued by Satanists, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina seems to have had a successful first season for Netflix. Kiernan Shipka’s powerful turn as Sabrina Spellman has hooked fans, who are now thirsty for the story to continue in an eventual Season 2.

Sabrina was originally developed as a companion series to Riverdale, since they are both set in the same Archie Comics universe, and share Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa as showrunner. It’s still possible for a future crossover between The CW’s Riverdale and Netflix’s Sabrina, although not everyone wants that.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has some company when it comes to recently ticking off Satanists. American Horror Story: Apocalypse is finishing up its season this coming week, starring Cody Fern as Michael Langdon, a.k.a the Antichrist. A recent episode mentioned The Church of Satan, and the real Church of Satan denounced the “lazy writers” for how it depicted church founder Anton LaVey.

Satanism is just TV’s latest trend, for some reason, so unless Jesus takes the wheel sometime soon, we may keep hearing angered Satanists pipe up about representation. For now, consider it your calling to follow our fall TV guide of new and returning shows.

HeroBlend #30: Avengers 4 Updates, Plus A Mixed Bag Of MCU And DCEU News

01:56 – Quick News Headlines

14:56 – Dissecting Jeremy Irons’ Watchmen Casting

22:31 – Avengers 4 Updates

26:33 – Kevin Feige Explains The Quantum Realm’s Role in the Larger MCU

33:37 – Shazam! Reshoots Have Started

38:56 – Why Robert Downey Jr. Factored Into Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord Casting

43:05 – What Doctor Strange is Really About, According to Scott Derrickson

Nintendo Will Remove A Controversial Animation From Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate due for release on December 7th as an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch, the game almost made it to the finish line without any controversy. Recently there were protests made by some members of the community regarding an animation in the game, now Nintendo has announced plans to remove it.

The news comes courtesy of a tweet made on the All Source Gaming Twitter account, where the outlet confirmed that during a livestream demonstration of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo featured one of the characters on display that happened to be Mr. Game & Watch from the old handheld system from back in the 1980s. The animation featured a fire attack from the character that was deemed offensive, so Nintendo stated that it would be changing the animation.

The two-frame animation of Mr. Game & Watch sees him transform into a Native American, complete with a sterotypical feather in a headband, wielding a torch as part of his attack. It’s in reference to the old Fire Attack handheld device where the character Mr. Game & Watch takes his name. In the game, a Native American attacks a fortress with torches and it was up to players to stop him from attacking the fortress or disable the torches. This was from back in the early 1980s, before the Game Boy became huge and before Tiger got into the portable gaming market with licensed products.

The Fire Attack handheld was one of dozens of different games where Mr. Game & Watch style characters would appear in various outfits and gimmicks — from boxing to pinball to being a pirate — they did it all, including appearing in the Donkey Kong games.

However, the reference to Native Americans in the special attack offended some groups, which ended up on a thread on ResetEra recetly following a tweet made by a user who pointed out that the attack referencing the Fire Attack game from Mr. Game & Watch was offensive. Given that some of the localizers from Nintendo’s Treehouse branch visit the ResetEra forums, the community there asked if any members of Treehouse could remove the reference from the upcoming game.

Several days later, Nintendo sent the response to Source Gaming stating that the Mr. Game & Watch Native American reference would be changed by removing the plume from the two frames.

The company also explained that the old games featuring Mr. Game & Watch were from back during a series of games released three decades ago. The company also stated that those values don’t represent what Nintendo is today.

The reference will be removed through a patch issued for the physical and digital versions of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so that you’ll no longer see the Fire Attack reference as it was originally depicted in the game based on the old handheld.

Nintendo also stated that the company originally missed the reference in the marketing material, but it wants to make sure that the game is “welcoming” and “fun” for everyone. You’ll be able to purchase Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch either digitally or physically on December 7th next month.

B.D. Wong’s Dr. Wu Is Coming To Jurassic World: Evolution

One of the big highlights of this year in the world of strategy gaming was the release of Frontier Development’s movie-based game Jurassic World: Evolution. I know, I know, it’s crazy to think that a movie-based game could be good, but it is! And the game is about to get a lot better when B.D. Wong‘s portrayal of Dr. Wu makes his debut in the game.

The new trailer for Jurassic World: Evolution features actor and Law & Order alum B.D. Wong in character as Dr. Henry Wu talking about the art of science, and how “evolution is just the start”. Wong reprises his role from the movie series as he breaks down how the kind of experiments and breakthroughs he’s made in the field isn’t a miracle, it’s science. The trailer then gives us a quick series of examples of the various types of mixed-gene creations that players will be able to create within Jurassic World: Evolution that defy the boundaries of science even more than they’ve already been defied during the base game.

The new content pack is called Jurassic World: Evolution — Secrets Of Dr. Wu and in addition to featuring B.D. Wong — who joins fellow actor Jeff Goldblum as another notable cast member from the live-action movie series who made the leap into the virtual world of Jurassic Park — it will also add all new dinosaur creations to the game, enabling you to expand your park in ways you probably never thought imaginable. Some of you might be wondering what the purpose would be of creating brand new species of dinosaurs that could rip your head off in one bite, and the reason is rather simple: money.

In Jurassic World: Evolution the game operates very much like the RollerCoaster Tycoon games where the more attractions you add to your park the more people are willing to come visit it to see or experience those attractions. In the case of Frontier Development’s take on the popular dinosaur-themed park that always seems to end in chaos, screaming, bloodshed and well-fed carnivores, the more unique dinosaurs you add to the park the more visitors will be inclined to visit the island and see the dinos in action.

With the expansion pack, The Secrets of Dr. Wu, you’ll be able to create a bevy of new and unique dinosaur species to help give your park some spark and flavor… or a reason for visitors to run to the hills in fear of their lives.

The expansion will contain some new storyline content and brand new campaign missions and objectives for players to complete, along with commentary from Dr. Wu himself as you venture to new dig sites, delve into new research, and send expedition teams to Isla Muerta and Isla Tacano.

The expansion offers players five new dinosaur species, new behavior mechanisms, and new opportunities for players to expand their horizons in Jurassic World: Evolution.

The expansion is due to drop on November 20th for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. You will need the base game installed in order to take advantage of the expansion pack. You’ll be able to purchase the expansion from the respective digital storefronts or learn more by visiting the official website.

YouTube Arrives On Nintendo Switch

Over on the Nintendo website, an official listing in the Game Store for the YouTube app is now active. Encouraging shoppers to “kick back and relax,” the streaming app lets you peruse everything YouTube has to offer. There are a handful of images showing off the app in action and, of course, they all feature Nintendo YouTube channels and videos. This is solid timing on Nintendo’s part, as the holiday season is just around the corner and, while I fully endorse avoiding awkward chats with family members by playing Mario Kart, I also fully endorse avoiding awkward chats with family members by searching YouTube for “world’s cutest kittens” and seeing where that particular rabbit hole takes you.

Rainbow Six: Siege’s Release In China Is Changing The Game For Everybody

As Ubisoft gets ready to roll out Rainbow Six: Siege in Asian territories, the developer is preparing changes that will actually have an impact on players all over the world. The good news is that these are 100 percent aesthetic changes that won’t have any impact on gameplay so, don’t worry, this is still the Rainbow Six so many folks have grown to know and love.

Over on the Rainbow Six blog, a recent post highlights the aesthetic changes that are being brought to Siege through an upcoming update. The post begins by explaining that these changes will affect all versions of the game, but it reiterates the fact that the changes will in no way impact gameplay. They offer some pretty solid reasons for making the changes universal, too.

But first, what kind of aesthetic changes are we talking about? In many Asian territories, skulls are considered a pretty extreme taboo and are not allowed to be depicted in video games. The same can be said for more extreme images of blood and gore or sexuality.

While Rainbow Six: Siege is violent by nature, no changes actually need to be made to the run and gun gameplay. Some images within the UI and environments, though, push (or flat-out step over) the boundaries of what’s allowed in the territory. So, in order to accommodate those issues, Ubisoft will be altering things like the icons in the game’s action feed. The knife that pops up to show a player has been defeated via melee, for instance, will now be a fist. Similarly, the skulls that typically show a player’s death will now be a body with a cross over the chest. The friendly fire icon is similar, only it’s on a triangular background.

Otherwise, the only big changes are to images within the game world. A logo sporting a skull originally will now feature a masked figure. Slot machines have also been removed, as well as aesthetic blood splatters and neon signs depicting what is clearly a naked woman. While the blood is simply being removed, the slot machines are being replaced by things like beer bottles, and the neon sign of the woman is now a neon sign of a hand pointing the way to adult entertainment.

As for the reason all versions of Siege will be receiving these changes, the blog post explains that it will be a much better use of resources to simply make the minor alterations and make them universal, thus making it so the developers don’t have to keep working on two separate builds of the game. The intent is to “reduce the duplication of work on the development side” and, by doing so, the team will be able to continue working with a singular vision toward staying aligned with global regulations. They go on to reiterate that the core game will not be altered in any way, they’re just making adjustments to art and visuals.

Apparently, Destiny 2 Has Been A Disappointment For Activision

Bungie’s Destiny 2 launched with some renewed sense of purpose last year for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Bungie wanted to prove that the vision the studio originally had for the first game was going to be fulfilled in Destiny 2. Despite the promises and pomp that came with the game’s promotion, apparently, Destiny 2 has been a disappointment for Activision.

The news comes courtesy of a recent earnings call reflecting the performance of Activision’s divisions within the last quarter [via Game Informer], where it was noted that Destiny 2 has been under-performing in the market.

There have been attempts to rectify this issue that were put into place rather quickly, such as having the game given away for free for PC gamers, and including Destiny 2 in the PlayStation Plus subscription package as part of the free games line-up for September. However, even with those efforts, it seems Destiny 2 just isn’t succeeding the way investors would like in terms of market performance and player engagement.

Activision’s long-term plan to make the game more successful is to have content made and released at quicker intervals, as well as ramp up the monetization for the game.

Now typically any core gamer who has been following the market over the last few years already sees the writing on the wall and knows exactly what “monetization” means in a case like this. Some headlines have already ripped apart the subtext and simply came out to say that this means more cash shop items, possibly loot boxes, or other aggressive forms of microtransactions.

The only other monetization alternative would be a subscription fee on top of the $60 for the base game and the $40 for the expansion packs. There have been some new deluxe bundle packs where you can get the base game and the expansion packs that have released up until this point for $50, but even suggesting that people have to pay subscription fees on top of the high entry prices would likely turn off even more gamers than those who have already abandoned the game at this point.

The main issue is that a lot of gamers have complained that Destiny 2 just isn’t worth the amount of money that Activision is trying to pilfer out of them. This was evident when gamers rebelled when the whole XP scaling issue cropped up in an attempt to get gamers to buy XP pots from the cash shop, or the shader scandal that tried to lure gamers into paying for premium content.

Many gamers have compared Destiny 2 to Digital Extremes’ Warframe and noted that the latter game offers so much more content with fair prices and cash shop content that actually compels players to want to spend money on the game.

Perhaps a better solution to fixing the Destiny problem isn’t to implement more of the systems that players despise, but instead work on turning the game into a must-play experience that compels gamers to want to spend money in the cash shop to support the development? Otherwise, relying on scandalous monetary tactics hasn’t worked out well so far, and it has only continued to push gamers away, which in turn has cost Activision money.