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March 2016 Comics Sales Estimates online; Batman tops 163k copies, Walking Dead Vol. 25 sells 19k

Monday, April 11, 2016

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCBat50
The full report on North American comics shop orders in the month of March has been reported by Diamond Comic Distributors, and as reported here on Friday, a very strong month for graphic novel orders was enough to erase the shortfall during the first two months of the year. The first quarter ended up 1.32%, with the graphic novel portion up 12.67%. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in March 2016.

Batman #50, priced at  $5.99 price, led the comics chart with orders topping 163,000 copies, followed by Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 with nearly 120,000 copies shipped. Many variant covers helped the Boom Studios release, and while there were launch parties that provided a number of free copies to retailers, judging from the quantity/dollar ranking split those copies do not appear to have impacted the title's final placement in the charts.

Meanwhile, Walking Dead Vol. 25 topped the graphic novel list in its debut month with more than 19,000 copies shipped to retailers. The performance of top-sellers and a significant number of high-profile hardcovers combined with a larger volume of new releases to result in graphic novel sales in March being up 36.36%: deep discounting does not appear to have played as much of a role this time out.

Overall, performance on the periodical side continues to lag graphic novels. In particular, we are continuing to see degradation in the depth of the market when it comes to new comics: this month's 300th place title sold 4,269 copies, which is the lowest such figure for a month with five shipping weeks since February 2012. Click to see the sales of 300th-place titles across time.

We have a new record for the average cover price of all comics placing in the Top 300: $3.96, eclipsing the previous high by a cent. The average is still flirting with topping the modal $3.99 level, which would be a significant benchmark to cross.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
March 2016: 6.09 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -11%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +1%
Versus 10 years ago this month: -14%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +22%
YEAR TO DATE: 18.45 million copies, -11% vs. 2015, +19% vs. 2011, -1% vs. 2006, +21% vs. 2001
ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
March 2016 versus one year ago this month: -8.45%
YEAR TO DATE: -9.16%

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
March 2016: $24.72 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +20%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +13%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +79%
YEAR TO DATE: $72.8 million, -9% vs. 2015, +35% vs. 2011, +29% vs. 2006, +75% vs. 2001
ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
March 2016 versus one year ago this month: +0.53%
YEAR TO DATE: -3.4%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
March 2016: $8.67 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +4%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +16%
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: +96%
YEAR TO DATE: $24.49 million, +30% vs. 2015
ALL TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
March 2016 versus one year ago this month: +36.36%
YEAR TO DATE: +12.67%

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
March 2016: $33.39 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +4%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +16%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +4%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +96%
YEAR TO DATE: $96.67 million, -2% vs. 2015
ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
March 2016 versus one year ago this month: +11.04%
YEAR TO DATE: +1.32%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
March 2016: approximately $46.58 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +11%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +35%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +34%
YEAR TO DATE: $129.58 million, +1 vs. 2015

RELEASES
New comic books released: 488
New graphic novels released: 371
New magazines released: 81
All new releases: 940

As noted, the average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.96; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $4.06. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

Another first quarter weathered. Comichron reminds readers that because of lower volumes, the winter months tend not to impact the end-of-year results as much as other seasons do. But while Winter 2016 has not dug a hole for the industry, neither has it given it much of a head-start.

http://bit.ly/STPrey1
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, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. His trilogy for 2016, Star Trek: Prey, ships in consecutive months in September, October, and November.

Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

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