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May 2011 comics sales estimates online

Monday, June 13, 2011

by John Jackson Miller

The full data for the month of May is out Diamond Comic Distributors, and as mentioned in the preliminary report here last week, the month softer year-over-year in all categories. The sales estimates for May 2011 can be found here.

Again, unit sales were off by the greatest amount year-over-year, which should not be too surprising: unit sales were at about the same levels as in February, while May 2010 saw the release of 2010's best-selling issue, Avengers #1, among other heavy hitters. This year, Marvel's Fear Itself #2 took the top slot, followed by DC's Flashpoint #1. Marvel, which has many biweekly releases slated for summer, had barely begun to double up releases in May. We'd expect to see the real effect of this move, if any, beginning in June. (While June will also be our first month for any market reaction to DC's September restart, caution is again advised in interpreting that data when it releases, as most of the June ordering decisions were made back in April.)

The 300th place title, a key indicator of sales levels, was Robert E. Howard's Savage Sword #2 at 2,913 copies, the second-highest total for that placement for the year and almost the same as the 300th place title sold last May. So the market has the same depth as this time last year — it's the volumes higher on the list that have been shaved off.

Crossed 3D Volume 1As mentioned here before, Avatar had the top-selling graphic novel, the 3-D Crossed 3D Vol. 1. It's a reminder that while digital may have come a long way, there are still plenty of tricks in the print comics bag (and 3-D comic books go back more than 50 years).

The average price of comic books in the Top 300 was $3.54; the average comic book ordered (or weighted price) was $3.47. $2.99 was both the median and most common price for comics in the Top 100.

The combined comics and trades market lost a point in dollar sales versus 2010, and is now off 7.5%. The aggregate figures appear below:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
May 2011: 5.14 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -16%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -32%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +6%
YEAR TO DATE: 25.99 million copies, -10% vs. 2010, -20% vs. 2006, +5% vs. 2001

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
May 2011 versus one year ago this month: -15.46%
YEAR TO DATE: -8.8%

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TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
May 2011: $17.83 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -17%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -24%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +37%
YEAR TO DATE: $90.63 million, -10% vs. 2010, -9% vs. 2006, +34% vs. 2001

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
May 2011 versus one year ago this month: -14.39%
YEAR TO DATE: -8.5%

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TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
May 2011: $5.63 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -6%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: -6%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: -29%
YEAR TO DATE: $25.87 million, -8% vs. 2010

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
May 2011 versus one year ago this month: -4.42%
YEAR TO DATE: -5.41%

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TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
May 2011: $23.46 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -15%
Versus 5 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: -22%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +30%
YEAR TO DATE: $116.49 million, -9% vs. 2010

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
May 2011 versus one year ago this month: -11.21%
YEAR TO DATE: -7.51%

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OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
May 2011: approximately $31.2 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: -11%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -17%
YEAR TO DATE: $152.95 million, -7% vs. 2010

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