The numbers are in! And DKIII was a hit! According to ICv2, it sold 440,234 copies; I’ve seen the “half a million copies” number floating around, when you add in the deluxe edition I’m sure its up to that. Throw in the $5.99 price tag and you have a nice $2.637 million at retail added to booksellers coffers. (The actual number is less but you get the idea.) Marvel was no slouch either, with 384,969 copies of the $4.99 Star Wars: Vader Down #1 sold.
After declines in Q3 and October (see “Comics Sales Slide Continued in October”), sales of comics and graphic novels via Diamond Comic Distributors moved strongly upward in November, with a nearly 14% jump vs. November 2014. Comics sales were up 30.05%, overpowering a 17.5% decline in graphic novel sales for a 13.84% increase overall.
John Jackson Miller has his own analysis here, noting that DKIII #1 doubled the preorders of 2001’s Dark Knight Strikes Again #1, and confirming something of a comeback month:
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 big sales in November seem go against a certain sense of belt tightening at several publishers. Some of my usual commenters are pointing to the importance of big ticket items like DKIII and Daver Down as a sign of weakness. on the other hand, there big ticket items are performing well and at a higher price point. I think Miller’s analysis of the bottom of the chart bears watching.
Also, no one addressed the double digit decline in trade sales from a year ago. I’ll try to investigate that a bit.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.