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May 2014 comics sales estimates now online; Amazing Spidey #1 up to 545k

Monday, June 16, 2014

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCOrig1
As first reported Friday, Marvel's Original Sin #1 led the market in a month that saw the smallest number of new comic book releases in six months. That smaller slate, plus one less shipping week, combined to make May's comic sales to retailers dip slightly year-over-year, according to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors. You can find the Comichron estimates for comics sold to retailers in May 2014 here.

Comic shops purchased a little over $43 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in May, down 4.52% versus the year before; periodical sales were down only 2%. Year-to-date sales are now essentially flat at a little less than $208 million, down about a third of a million dollars versus the same period in 2013.

Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1 from April added another 13,240 copies sold, bringing its year-to-date total to more than 545,800 copies. I would expect that the May totals account for any copies returned on account of damage, so the fact that the number is positive means that adjustment has been made and absorbed. Issue #2 of the series had orders of close to 124,000 copies, so that suggests the  sales level of the title going forward.

The aggregate changes:


TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
May 2014: 6.65 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -5%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +18%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +6%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +2%
YEAR TO DATE: 31.93 million copies, -8% vs. 2013, +10% vs. 2009, +8% vs. 2004, +2 vs. 1999
ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
May 2014 versus one year ago this month: -6%
YEAR TO DATE: -6.72%
---

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
May 2014: $25.06 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -1%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +34%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +41%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +48%
YEAR TO DATE: $121.02 million, -3% vs. 2013, +24% vs. 2009, +44% vs. 2004, +51% vs. 1999
ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
May 2014 versus one year ago this month: -2.01%
YEAR TO DATE: -1.13%
---

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
May 2014: $7.26 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -7%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +6%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +39%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +112%
YEAR TO DATE: $35.47 million, -10% vs. 2013
ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
May 2014 versus one year ago this month: -9.47%
YEAR TO DATE: +1.96%
---

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
May 2014: $32.32 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +16%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +28%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +60%
YEAR TO DATE: $156.5 million, -5% vs. 2013
ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
May 2014 versus one year ago this month: -4.52%
YEAR TO DATE: -0.16%
---

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
May 2014: approximately $43.08 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: -5%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +20%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +79%
YEAR TO DATE: $207.85 million, unchanged vs. 2013

RELEASES
New comic books released: 427
New graphic novels released: 246
New magazines released: 18
All new releases: 691

That's a pretty big drop in the number of magazines released.

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.73; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $3.77. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

June's sales will give us the halftime report for 2014: Last year's first half came in at just under $250 million for all comics, trade paperbacks, and magazines sold, which means about a $42 million June is necessary to top it. Both this June and last June are four week months and the market had sales of $43 million in May, so the odds of a positive score at halftime are favorable.

John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Star Wars: Kenobi and the upcoming hardcover Star Wars: A New Dawn. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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