Friday, December 13, 2013
by John Jackson Miller
Diamond Comic Distributors. The release was later than usual, owing perhaps to the late-falling Thanksgiving holiday: but it was that Black Friday week that sales likely topped the 2012 total.
Retailers ordered more than $42 million in comics products in November, bringing the year-to-date total to more than $475 million. The November amount was 3% more than was ordered in November 2012, the margin due entirely to graphic novel sales, led by Walking Dead Vol. 19.
This October was a big month in the Direct Market: it was the first time since Diamond became the exclusive distributor for all the major publishers that orders for comic books and trade paperbacks topped $50 million in a month. There was no topping that five-week month in four-week November, with sales off 16% from month to month; but we saw the same dropoff last November.
The aggregate changes are below:
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
|NOVEMBER 2013 VS. OCTOBER 2013|
|NOVEMBER 2013 VS. NOVEMBER 2012|
|YEAR-TO-DATE 2013 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2012|
Every issue in the Top 10 last November had orders of more than 110,000 copies: this November, unit sales were slightly off. The Zero Year issue Batman #25 led the list of top-selling comics for the month:
|2||HARLEY QUINN #0||$2.99||DC|
|3||AMAZING X-MEN #1||$3.99||MAR|
|4||SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #4||$3.99||DC|
|5||FOREVER EVIL #3||$3.99||DC|
|7||ALL-NEW X-MEN #18||$3.99||MAR|
|8||SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #22||$3.99||MAR|
|10||SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #21||$3.99||MAR|
|1||THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 19: MARCH TO WAR TP||$14.99||IMA|
|2||YU-GI-OH! 5DS VOLUME 5 GN||$9.99||VIZ|
|3||FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND HC||$22.99||DC|
|4||BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE OWLS||$19.99||DC|
|5||THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS VOLUME 3||$14.99||IMA|
|6||INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US VOLUME 1 HC||$19.99||DC|
|7||NOWHERE MEN VOLUME 1: FATES WORSE THAN DEATH||$9.99||IMA|
|8||BATMAN IN DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 2: SCARE TACTICS||$16.99||DC|
|10||HAWKEYE VOLUME 1 HC||$34.99||MAR|
The market shares and total number of titles released appear below. (UPDATE: Heidi MacDonald's article caused me to look again at these figures: I thought Marvel and DC's combined dollar share of 59.21% looked low-ish, but it is in fact the first time it's been under 60% since April 2003, when Dreamwave had the #2 book. The lowest the combined total has been in the Diamond Exclusive Era is 48.03% in February 1998, when bankruptcy-era Marvel had a truncated slate of titles. Click to see market shares across time.)
|PUBLISHER||DOLLAR SHARE||UNIT SHARE|
|PUBLISHER||COMICS SHIPPED||GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED||MAGAZINES SHIPPED||TOTAL SHIPPED|
We can now project that overall Direct Market orders for the year are likely to land at the lower end of the range estimated last month: likely between $514-516 million. A double-digit gain for the year would require December to be up nearly 17%; odds instead are that the market will just miss that, coming in up 8-9% for the year.
The final estimates will be along next week.
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