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HBO Max’s ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ Was Watched By 1 Million Households … Which Is 18% of What ‘The Sopranos’ Averaged 20 Years Ago

HBO's 'The Many Saints of Newark'
(Image credit: The Many Saints of Newark)

What are you gonna do?

The debut of David Chase‘s long-anticipated movie-prequel follow-up to The Sopranos was seen by 1 million HBO Max-subscribing households over the weekend, according to data published by Samba TV, which measures audience samples of smart TV users. (We don't love this media strategy, but Samba released these figures exclusively through Deadline.)

For perspective, 20 years ago, the third season of The Sopranos on HBO averaged a linear household rating of 5.7, according to Nielsen. Each household ratings point represented 1% of a total U.S. TV universe of 102.2 million. Doing the math, that was more than 5.8 million households. 

So, The Many Saints of Newark drew 18% of the households averaged by The Sopranos two decades ago. 

And for the three seasons of The Sopranos for which Nielsen measured household usage on HBO, that wasn’t even the biggest full-season performance — The Sopranos averaged 6.4 million households for season 4 back in 2002. 

Granted, a level of apples-and-submarines emerges when you try to compare household measurements gathered by two different research companies, using different methodologies 20 years apart. But the point gets made nonetheless — despite WarnerMedia‘s reports of rabid catchup binging of The Sopranos on HBO Max during the pandemic, Many Saints--which drew a so-so 75% critics aggregation score on Rotten Tomatoes — wasn't a hit. 

In fact, if you're reaching for hack mob references, you could even say it got whacked. 

And it's not like folks ran out to their local multiplex, if it was even open, to see The Many Saints of Newark. The movie drew just over $4.5 million in North American box office revenue at 3,181 locations over the weekend.

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.