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December 2015 comics sales estimates online: Secret Wars #8 leads with 170k copies ordered

Monday, January 11, 2016

by John Jackson Miller

The final sales report for December is now out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and the sales estimates have been calculated here at Comichron. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in December 2015.

http://bit.ly/CCSecretW8We've already covered the end-of-year bottom line numbers in our preliminary 2015 post, but now we get to see some of the numbers in the narrower categories. Diamond sold 98 million comic books overall in 2015, we knew; now we see that 89.17 million of them, or 91% of them, appeared in Diamond's Top 300 lists during the year. Applying the weighted average price for Diamond's comics in 2015 to the 98-million-copy figure gives us $388 million in periodical sales overall; $353.18 million of that came from just the Top 300s.

The average price of comic books offered in Diamond's Top 300 lists each month of the year was $3.83. The weighted average price of those comics — total dollars divided by total units — was $3.96.

Diamond said it had sold "just over 8 million" graphic novels and trade paperbacks in the year. We know that the Top 300s each month added up to 4.45 million copies, so that tracks very well. The titles below 300th place would almost certainly on balance have higher average prices than those that made the lists each month.

In December proper, Secret Wars #8 was the top seller with nearly 170,000 copies sold. There were six comic books with sales above 100,000 copies. While that would seem to suggest poorer unit sales overall for comic books than November had—which had thirteen titles in six figures — in fact December's unit sales were much better. Where November saw 179 titles above 10,000 copies, December had 206. More of the Marvel relaunch books are now running—and, of course, December had an extra shipping week.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
December 2015: 7.95 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +18%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +43%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +21%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +44%
4th Quarter 2015: 24.18 million copies, +10% vs. 2014 
2015 YEAR-END: 89.17 million copies, +8% vs. 2014, +29% vs. 2010, +17% vs. 2005, +29% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
December 2015 versus one year ago this month: +18.63%
4th Qtr 2015 vs. 4th Qtr 2014: +6.43%
YEAR TO DATE: +4.21%

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
December 2015: $32.16 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +26%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +58%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +61%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +104%
4th Quarter 2015: $98.8 million, +20% vs. 2014
2015 YEAR-END: $353.18 million, +13% vs. 2014, +44% vs. 2010, +59% vs. 2005, +85% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
December 2015 versus one year ago this month: +25.05%
4th Qtr 2015 vs. 4th Qtr 2014: +13.84%
YEAR TO DATE: +8.99%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
December 2015: $7.22 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +11%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +11%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +11%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: -15%
4th Quarter 2015: $23 million, -5% vs. 2014
2015 YEAR-END: $89.43 million, +1% vs. 2014

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
December 2015 versus one year ago this month: +14.12%
4th Qtr 2015 vs. 4th Qtr 2014: -7.43%
YEAR TO DATE: +3.14%

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
December 2015: $39.83 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +23%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +20%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +35%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +104%
4th Quarter 2015: $121.8 million, +14%
2015 YEAR-END: $442.6 million, +10% vs. 2014

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
December 2015 versus one year ago this month: +21.85%
4th Qtr 2015 vs. 4th Qtr 2014: +7.2%
YEAR TO DATE: +7.17%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
December 2015: approximately $52.9 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +22%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +46%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +64%
4th Quarter 2015: $155.74, +7% vs. 2014
2015 YEAR-END: $579.18 million, +7% vs. 2014

RELEASES
New comic books released: 556
New graphic novels released: 306
New magazines released: 46
All new releases: 908

The average comic book in the Top 300 in December cost $3.90; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $4.04. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

Comichron.com curator 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 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, now available. 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.

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