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2004 monthly sales figures now online

Sunday, November 30, 2008

And the posting of earlier months continues — this time with the full year 2004 and then back to fill in the end of 2003 for good measure. This is the year with Identity Crisis and "Avengers Disassembled," culminating in December with New Avengers #1.

February 2004 marked the first month that Diamond released indexed sales figures for its Top 100 Trade Paperbacks; previously, it had been the top 50. This marked the increasing importance of front-list trades to Diamond's business. I adjusted the comparatives for each month to account for the change — thus, while the February 2004-and-onward aggregate totals reflect the dollar value of the full Top 100, the percentage change is an apples-to-apples comparison using whatever portion of the chart Diamond was reporting earlier. It only reported the Top 25 in 1999, so the five-year comparisons are for just the Top 25, and so on.

This brings the number of products with sales figures on-site above the 25,000 mark. Still not quite to the halfway mark with the Diamond data, but there is less of it the further back we go because of that trade paperback change.

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October 2008 comics set sales records

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The October 2008 comics sales estimates are online at The Comics Chronicles, and it turned out to be a record-setting month in a number of categories.

The Top 300 Comics Dollar sales were the highest they’ve been since the beginning of the Diamond Exclusive era, in April 1997. Likewise, the Top 300 Comics Plus Top 100 Trade Paperbacks (although only the Top 25 and then the Top 50 trades were reported up until a few years ago). The Overall Comics, Trade Paperback, and Magazine sales figure also set the highest mark since that category became trackable in 2003.

And the average cost and average weighted cost of new comics in the Diamond Top 300 is higher than at any time in the Diamond era, and almost certainly in the history of comics. The average cost of all comics in the Top 300 was $3.38 — and the weighted average, total dollars divided by total units, was $3.31. The Top 25 comics had an average price of $3.39, so the top of the list was particularly pricey.

The Top 300 Unit and Dollar sales and Top 300+100 TPB dollar sales remain off for the year, but by a lesser margin now. It is not impossible that these categories will completely catch up by the end of 2008, but we’d need to have a couple more record months. The gap in Top 300 Dollars for the year is $7.4 million, or 3%. But we’re up by $6 million in the Overall category, or 2%.

The "uncaptured" portion of sales — Overall Comics, Trades, and Magazines minus the dollars for the Top 300 Comics and Top 100 Trades — stood at $11.36 million, meaning the Trade Paperback total was in the neighborhood of $14-15 million. This gets trickier to estimate because the midlist has been pushed so far down the list, that the 300th place book had sales in the 4,000s. Only 23 publishers had titles in the Top 300.

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
October 2008: 7.52 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +5%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +2%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +7%
YEAR TO DATE: 67.91 million copies, -5% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
October 2008: $24.9 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +9%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +16%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +33%
YEAR TO DATE: $218.26, -3% vs. 2007

TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
October 2008: $5.79 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +4%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 50 vs. the Top 50: +40%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +114%
YEAR TO DATE: $48.87 million, +4% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
October 2008: $30.69 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +8%
Versus 5 years ago this month, counting just the Top 50 TPBs: +19%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +38%
YEAR TO DATE: $267.48 million, -2% vs. 2007

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
October 2008: $42.05 million ($47 million with UK)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +8%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +36%
YEAR TO DATE: $363.74 million, +2% vs. 2007

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Average retail prices for comic books, 1996-2008

This is something I'll be setting up in table form along with some other pricing information on Comichron, but here are the average prices of comics in the Diamond Top 300 back to the beginning of the Exclusive Era. The first column is the flat average (all prices divided by 300), while the second column is the dollar value of all comics ordered that month divided by units. (This method winnows out the outliers that are priced too high or too low.)

We can see that October 2008's figures are indeed the highest all-time, but we also see the increase has been rather less steep than conventional wisdom might presume, with the march from $3 to $3.38 taking most of the 2000s.

I do need to go into some of the data sets in the early 2000s during the 10-cent promotional comic wave and pull them out, but there was only usually one such book each month. They'd affect the weighted average but not the flat average.

Average . . . Weighted Average
Sep-96 . . . . . $2.56 . . . . . $2.34
Oct-96 . . . . . $2.75 . . . . . $2.41
Nov-96 . . . . . $2.92 . . . . . $2.50
Dec-96 . . . . . $2.69 . . . . . $2.51
Jan-97 . . . . . $2.71 . . . . . $2.49
Feb-97 . . . . . $2.64 . . . . . $2.40
Mar-97 . . . . . $2.63 . . . . . $2.34
Apr-97 . . . . . $2.47 . . . . . $2.21
May-97 . . . . . $2.63 . . . . . $2.40
Jun-97 . . . . . $2.57 . . . . . $2.39
Jul-97 . . . . . $2.64 . . . . . $2.46
Aug-97 . . . . . $2.60 . . . . . $2.51
Sep-97 . . . . . $2.65 . . . . . $2.45
Oct-97 . . . . . $2.67 . . . . . $2.56
Nov-97 . . . . . $2.65 . . . . . $2.50
Dec-97 . . . . . $2.67 . . . . . $2.56
Jan-98 . . . . . $2.61 . . . . . $2.38
Feb-98 . . . . . $2.64 . . . . . $2.38
Mar-98 . . . . . $2.64 . . . . . $2.45
Apr-98 . . . . . $2.67 . . . . . $2.50
May-98 . . . . . $2.66 . . . . . $2.43
Jun-98 . . . . . $2.66 . . . . . $2.43
Jul-98 . . . . . $2.62 . . . . . $2.43
Aug-98 . . . . . $2.81 . . . . . $2.63
Sep-98 . . . . . $2.73 . . . . . $2.44
Oct-98 . . . . . $2.84 . . . . . $2.65
Nov-98 . . . . . $2.85 . . . . . $2.59
Dec-98 . . . . . $2.76 . . . . . $2.54
Jan-99 . . . . . $2.79 . . . . . $2.56
Feb-99 . . . . . $2.84 . . . . . $2.57
Mar-99 . . . . . $2.79 . . . . . $2.51
Apr-99 . . . . . $2.84 . . . . . $2.58
May-99 . . . . . $3.11 . . . . . $2.60
Jun-99 . . . . . $2.95 . . . . . $2.55
Jul-99 . . . . . $2.96 . . . . . $2.55
Aug-99 . . . . . $2.98 . . . . . $2.62
Sep-99 . . . . . $2.79 . . . . . $2.62
Oct-99 . . . . . $2.85 . . . . . $2.68
Nov-99 . . . . . $2.85 . . . . . $2.61
Dec-99 . . . . . $2.85 . . . . . $2.68
Jan-00 . . . . . $2.87 . . . . . $2.56
Feb-00 . . . . . $2.94 . . . . . $2.64
Mar-00 . . . . . $2.85 . . . . . $2.64
Apr-00 . . . . . $2.92 . . . . . $2.67
May-00 . . . . . $2.86 . . . . . $2.71
Jun-00 . . . . . $3.07 . . . . . $2.88
Jul-00 . . . . . $3.00 . . . . . $2.86
Aug-00 . . . . . $3.01 . . . . . $2.82
Sep-00 . . . . . $2.93 . . . . . $2.84
Oct-00 . . . . . $2.97 . . . . . $2.85
Nov-00 . . . . . $2.98 . . . . . $2.71
Dec-00 . . . . . $3.05 . . . . . $2.85
Jan-01 . . . . . $3.10 . . . . . $2.76
Feb-01 . . . . . $3.01 . . . . . $2.68
Mar-01 . . . . . $3.17 . . . . . $2.76
Apr-01 . . . . . $3.21 . . . . . $2.72
May-01 . . . . . $3.16 . . . . . $2.69
Jun-01 . . . . . $3.08 . . . . . $2.78
Jul-01 . . . . . $3.00 . . . . . $2.81
Aug-01 . . . . . $3.12 . . . . . $2.73
Sep-01 . . . . . $3.04 . . . . . $2.79
Oct-01 . . . . . $2.98 . . . . . $2.83
Nov-01 . . . . . $3.18 . . . . . $2.88
Dec-01 . . . . . $3.12 . . . . . $3.04
Jan-02 . . . . . $2.98 . . . . . $2.85
Feb-02 . . . . . $3.13 . . . . . $2.89
Mar-02 . . . . . $3.11 . . . . . $2.73
Apr-02 . . . . . $3.07 . . . . . $2.82
May-02 . . . . . $3.05 . . . . . $2.80
Jun-02 . . . . . $3.14 . . . . . $2.84
Jul-02 . . . . . $3.04 . . . . . $2.75
Aug-02 . . . . . $3.00 . . . . . $2.75
Sep-02 . . . . . $3.05 . . . . . $2.77
Oct-02 . . . . . $2.99 . . . . . $2.74
Nov-02 . . . . . $3.09 . . . . . $2.83
Dec-02 . . . . . $3.19 . . . . . $2.70
Jan-03 . . . . . $3.16 . . . . . $2.78
Feb-03 . . . . . $3.03 . . . . . $2.82
Mar-03 . . . . . $3.05 . . . . . $2.81
Apr-03 . . . . . $3.01 . . . . . $2.78
May-03 . . . . . $3.09 . . . . . $2.77
Jun-03 . . . . . $3.18 . . . . . $2.91
Jul-03 . . . . . $3.06 . . . . . $2.80
Aug-03 . . . . . $3.08 . . . . . $2.79
Sep-03 . . . . . $3.06 . . . . . $2.93
Oct-03 . . . . . $3.00 . . . . . $2.90
Nov-03 . . . . . $3.08 . . . . . $2.90
Dec-03 . . . . . $3.08 . . . . . $2.85
Jan-04 . . . . . $3.34 . . . . . $2.82
Feb-04 . . . . . $3.25 . . . . . $2.85
Mar-04 . . . . . $3.16 . . . . . $2.92
Apr-04 . . . . . $3.12 . . . . . $2.82
May-04 . . . . . $3.17 . . . . . $2.85
Jun-04 . . . . . $3.06 . . . . . $2.83
Jul-04 . . . . . $3.16 . . . . . $2.91
Aug-04 . . . . . $3.17 . . . . . $2.85
Sep-04 . . . . . $3.01 . . . . . $2.85
Oct-04 . . . . . $3.05 . . . . . $2.88
Nov-04 . . . . . $3.10 . . . . . $2.90
Dec-04 . . . . . $3.08 . . . . . $2.90
Jan-05 . . . . . $3.12 . . . . . $2.79
Feb-05 . . . . . $3.10 . . . . . $2.86
Mar-05 . . . . . $3.06 . . . . . $2.84
Apr-05 . . . . . $3.18 . . . . . $2.85
May-05 . . . . . $3.12 . . . . . $2.91
Jun-05 . . . . . $3.15 . . . . . $2.94
Jul-05 . . . . . $3.19 . . . . . $2.92
Aug-05 . . . . . $3.17 . . . . . $2.92
Sep-05 . . . . . $3.01 . . . . . $2.88
Oct-05 . . . . . $3.20 . . . . . $2.96
Nov-05 . . . . . $3.19 . . . . . $3.00
Dec-05 . . . . . $3.27 . . . . . $3.05
Jan-06 . . . . . $3.21 . . . . . $2.98
Feb-06 . . . . . $3.25 . . . . . $3.01
Mar-06 . . . . . $3.15 . . . . . $3.08
Apr-06 . . . . . $3.20 . . . . . $3.12
May-06 . . . . . $3.24 . . . . . $3.11
Jun-06 . . . . . $3.28 . . . . . $3.04
Jul-06 . . . . . $3.24 . . . . . $3.06
Aug-06 . . . . . $3.27 . . . . . $3.11
Sep-06 . . . . . $3.21 . . . . . $3.09
Oct-06 . . . . . $3.29 . . . . . $3.13
Nov-06 . . . . . $3.26 . . . . . $3.09
Dec-06 . . . . . $3.28 . . . . . $3.15
Jan-07 . . . . . $3.26 . . . . . $3.12
Feb-07 . . . . . $3.29 . . . . . $3.15
Mar-07 . . . . . $3.27 . . . . . $3.20
Apr-07 . . . . . $3.32 . . . . . $3.06
May-07 . . . . . $3.28 . . . . . $3.15
Jun-07 . . . . . $3.24 . . . . . $3.19
Jul-07 . . . . . $3.26 . . . . . $3.14
Aug-07 . . . . . $3.28 . . . . . $3.20
Sep-07 . . . . . $3.33 . . . . . $3.21
Oct-07 . . . . . $3.30 . . . . . $3.21
Nov-07 . . . . . $3.17 . . . . . $3.13
Dec-07 . . . . . $3.26 . . . . . $3.22
Jan-08 . . . . . $3.23 . . . . . $3.11
Feb-08 . . . . . $3.36 . . . . . $3.13
Mar-08 . . . . . $3.24 . . . . . $3.15
Apr-08 . . . . . $3.31 . . . . . $3.20
May-08 . . . . . $3.35 . . . . . $3.28
Jun-08 . . . . . $3.34 . . . . . $3.21
Jul-08 . . . . . $3.35 . . . . . $3.25
Aug-08 . . . . . $3.35 . . . . . $3.25
Sep-08 . . . . . $3.34 . . . . . $3.24
Oct-08 . . . . . $3.38 . . . . . $3.31

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October 2008: Secret Invasion #7 in top slot

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It will be a little while before I can attend to estimates, but the Diamond charts for October have been released (story at Newsarama). Usually in October I can make a good projection as to the overall year, but 2008 versus 2007 so far is looking like a very close-run thing, so we'll have to see what the margins are in each category.

Secret Invasion #7 is the top book, meaning that the Marvel title has topped the charts for every single month of 2008 since it began. This is the longest such run in the Diamond era since Uncanny X-Men had a ten-issue run topping the charts in 1999. Civil War's run was broken up by not shipping in two months, but it also had seven issues at the #1 slot.

Historically, Uncanny X-Men likely had longer runs than that at #1 in the 1980s, though further research is required to say exactly how long it went for consecutive months unbroken.

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Avengers/JLA... JLA/Avengers... whatever

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The October Diamond numbers won't be out for a few days, but in advance I have posted the October 1998 and October 2003 figures for comparison. October 2003 was topped by the second issue of the long-awaited Avengers/Justice League crossover — though in a sense, Avengers/JLA #2 was actually the first issue with that name. (Following past practice, the publisher actually printing and distributing the issue got top billing — and Marvel and DC alternated publication on this series. So the next issue was JLA/Avengers #3, the third issue of the storyline but actually the second issue by that name.)

Anyway, these two pages are up in advance, bringing the site above the 20,000 sales-figure mark; a raft of months will be up soon.

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Marvel 3Q report tops estimates

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Marvel announced earnings this morning topping analyst expectations, Reuters reports. "It now expects earnings of $2.45 to $2.65 a share on revenue of $640 million to $670 million," the report says. " Marvel had earlier forecast earnings of $1.55 and $1.75 a share for 2008, on sales of $450 million to $480 million. Net profits for 3Q 2008 were $50.6 million on net sales of $182.5 million, or 64¢ a share — more than the 52¢ that had been predicted.

Publishing is a big chunk of Marvel's business, but the piece gets into the contribution from films and licensing. It also says Marvel tried to reduce expectations for 2009.

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Title spotlight section started

Monday, November 3, 2008

I realized there was still one section yet to be restored from the previous incarnation of the site — only, it wasn't really a section then, and it wasn't how I wanted to present it. The Yearly Comics Sales section presents rankings of comics sales figures reported in postal Statements of Ownership — but that's only one way to present that data, and it only shows a small part of it.

So take a look at the first of the Title Spotlights — which really are Postal-Statement spotlights, as, in the case of Batman, they only go up to when DC stopped mailing subscriptions Second Class (1987). But here — particularly in the case of a "completed" title from my database's standpoint, like Doom 2099, you can see almost every fact reported in the Statements (except for the ownership data itself, and the "most recent issue" data, which is always statistically less useful).

My hope is that I can get these tables online a few at a time. As there are more than 300 such titles, I'll probably end up with a different directory system for them when they appear online. You may also see me giving preference to posting short-run titles — it's better to post a completed title than one where data collection is in progress — although there will be cases where the page itself represents a call for data. In the case of Batman, you'll see that while I've got the sales figures for some years, because I used secondary sources, I didn't always have the print run data, etc. Those are places where your help is invaluable — and you'll see an e-mail address on these Title Spotlight pages. (For now, I'm only looking for the missing numbers on the titles I've got Spotlights for — I will probably post a more detailed "want list" later on.)

Finally, it is the season — so anyone who hits copies of Marvel or Archie comics (or any comics) with 2008 Statements, please drop me a line at jjm [ AT ] comichron.com. Clear scans are best, although simple numbers work too — please, also report the issue number and cover date the statement was found in.

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