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February 2014 comics sales estimates now online

Monday, March 17, 2014

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCBatman28The final comics sales estimates for February are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and as reported here on Friday, winter plus a lighter slate of releases appears to have kept orders low during the month. Comics shops in North America ordered close to $37 million in new comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in February, down 6.71% from a year ago. The figure is still up 3% from February 2012. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in February 2014. 

One major difference between this month's numbers and last month's appears is the absence of a big-ticket title in the upper ranks like last month's Detective #27. On the other hand, Marvel's $75 Infinity hardcover made the top 10 for graphic novels, helping that category to narrowly beat its 2013 total.

The Top 300 comic books had orders of 5.92 million copies, the lowest figure since January 2012. However, the figure is 5% higher than five years ago in February, and 10% higher than 10 years ago.

It's noteworthy that almost the exact same number of comic books sold within the Top 300 in February 2014 as sold fifteen years earlier, in February 1999. On one hand, 1999 was year near the pit of the comics collapse of the last 1990s and nothing to shoot for — but on the other hand, it took a  larger number of comics shops to sell those units back then, so today's comics shops are selling relatively more units. Further, while the sales at the top of the charts were more or less comparable then and now — 130,000 versus 114,000 now — the sales at the bottom of the charts are much better. The 300th place comic book in February 1999 sold 1,157 copies to retailers; this February, the title at that level sold 4,263 copies.

The aggregate changes:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
February 2014: 5.92 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -16%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +5%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +10%
Versus 15 years ago this month: unchanged
YEAR TO DATE: 12.08 million copies, -12% vs. 2013, +7% vs. 2009, +15% vs. 2004, unchanged vs. 1999
ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
February 2014 versus one year ago this month: -14.77%
YEAR TO DATE: -11.18%
---

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
February 2014: $21.71 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -14%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +13%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +42%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +43%
YEAR TO DATE: $45.02 million, -9% vs. 2013, +17% vs. 2009, +51% vs. 2004, +46% vs. 1999
ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
February 2014 versus one year ago this month: -10.39%
YEAR TO DATE: -5.53%
---

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
February 2014: $6.18 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -5%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +29%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +43%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +25%
YEAR TO DATE: $11.98 million, -13% vs. 2013
ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
February 2014 versus one year ago this month: +2.83%
YEAR TO DATE: -6.69%
---

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
February 2014: $27.86 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -12%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +4%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +30%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +53%
YEAR TO DATE: $57 million, -10% vs. 2013
ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
February 2014 versus one year ago this month: -6.71%
YEAR TO DATE: -5.89%
---

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
February 2014: approximately $36.92 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: -7%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +29%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +63%
YEAR TO DATE: $75.86 million, -6% vs. 2013

RELEASES
New comic books released: 443
New graphic novels released: 224
New magazines released: 25
All new releases: 692

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.65; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $3.67. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

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