Monday, December 14, 2015
by John Jackson Miller
estimated sales for comics shipped in November 2015.
Orders of Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 were more than double the preorders for Dark Knight Strikes Again #1, back in December 2001; that title, which was priced nearly two dollars higher at $7.95, had first-month sales to retailers of more than 187,300 copies. In all, orders for Dark Knight III and the reprint volumes of earlier Dark Knight editions accounted for 5.35% of all dollars in the Direct Market in November; that would be enough to make those titles alone the fourth largest publisher in the industry last month. DC's market share without it would have been exactly 21%.
Marvel's relaunch continued to give comics sales a boost, 13 titles had sales over 100,000 copies, 11 of them from Marvel. Marvel's dollar sales within the Top 300 Comics grouping set a new high mark for the publisher in the Diamond Exclusive Era, as did its dollar sales when the Top 300 Graphic Novels are added to that grouping.
An ongoing thread to 2015 continued: Whereas in recent times the unit sales numbers at the top of the charts have been flattening while the sales of the lower tier titles have been increasing, the opposite has been true for most of this year. The 300th place title had orders of 4,197 copies, the lowest figure seen since March 2013. (Click to see the list of 300th place titles across time.) A lot has to do with the smaller number of titles Marvel and DC are offering: as almost everything those publishers produce charts in the Top 300, things drop off a little faster when their release slates shrink.
The aggregate changes are as follows:
TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
November 2015: 8.3 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +23%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +51%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +28%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +45%
YEAR TO DATE: 81.22 million copies, +7% vs. 2014, +28% vs. 2010, +17% vs. 2005, +27% vs. 2000
ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
November 2015 versus one year ago this month: +18.19%
YEAR TO DATE: +5.45%
TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALESNovember 2015: $34.73 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +38%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +72%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +79%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +124%
YEAR TO DATE: $321.02 million, +12% vs. 2014, +42% vs. 2010, +59% vs. 2005, +83% vs. 2000
ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
November 2015 versus one year ago this month: +30.05%
YEAR TO DATE: +7.54%
TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALESNovember 2015: $7.12 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -19%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -1%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: -4%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: -46%
YEAR TO DATE: $82.21 million, unchanged vs. 2014
ALL TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
November 2015 versus one year ago this month: -17.50%
YEAR TO DATE: +2.24%
TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALESNovember 2015: $41.85 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +23%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +43%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +52%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +136%
YEAR TO DATE: $403.22 million, +9% vs. 2014
ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
November 2015 versus one year ago this month: +13.84%
YEAR TO DATE: +5.89%
OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)November 2015: approximately $52.1 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +14%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +49%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +61%
YEAR TO DATE: $526.73 million, +6% vs. 2014
New comic books released: 470
New graphic novels released: 281
New magazines released: 39
All new releases: 790
The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.90; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $4.18, a new record. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.
Only $14 million in orders are needed in December for 2015 to top 2014. Comichron projects that 2015's Direct Market sales will finish at around $570 million, up by about 6%, or $30 million.
He is the author of several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, and Star Wars: A New Dawn. New Dawn appears with a new Miller short story as part of the Rise of the Empire compendium. His Star Trek: Prey trilogy is set for late 2016 release from Pocket books. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.