Sales Charts: Rebirth tightens the race in May but a million comics sales are missing

DC Universe Rebirth.jpg

The Top Ten and other charts are out for May, and as expected Rebirth #1, the one shot ushering in a new age for Dc COmics, was the #1 periodical, with Civil War right behind. You can see all the charts below. The shares gap between Marvel and DC tightened up a bit (and should do even better in June with all the Rebirth titles doing well, according to retailers) but the overall numbers for 2016 are not good, with dollar shares for both comics and GNs down 5.11% and units down 12.72%. If you’re into fractions, that’s an eighth of sales gone in units. Obviously rising cover prices are propping things up more than we’d like to admit. Sales were also down i year to year and month to month.

A new edition of the venerable The Killing Joke was the top GN.

John Jackson Miller has his own analysis of the month and he estimates Rebirth #1 sold about 236,000  copies: a solid number but not life changing. More than a million fewer comics were sold in May 2016 than May 2015. And it’s the blockbuster sales that are declining; lower tier publishers sales remain steady. And there’s a lack of blockbusters he says, as well as other changes in the release pattern that bear watching:

Four comic books posted sales of more than 100,000 copies, down from 10 last year — confirming our Friday view that most of the difference between this May’s and last May’s performance comes from a lack of blockbusters. Last year had the launch ofSecret Wars with over half a million copies sold of #1 and more than 200,000 copies sold of #2 — and the charts also included the last of the Loot Crate-charged titles, Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1, which added half a million comics to the unit sales totals. There was alsoConvergence in the mix back then.

May 2016’s top-sellers simply didn’t have the same high volumes. In total, the Top 300 comics sold 6.37 million copies in the month, down 20% from almost exactly 8 million last May — but really, that should be down 15% from 7.5 million, since the Loot Crate copies were never part of the Direct Market. That leaves a deficit of 1.13 million copies, which is almost entirely explained by softer sales in the Top 100.

On the other hand, all comics in 140th through 300th places outsold those in the corresponding rankings on the list from last year; this month’s 300th place title sold 4,986 copies, which is a very respectable number. (Click to see the sales of 300th-place titles across time.)

So why are the midlist and low-end entries doing better? One reason is that they’re more likely to be Marvel titles this year as opposed to last year. Marvel placed 102 titles in the Top 300 this May; last May, there were only 81. There are fewer comics coming from the middle-tier publishers this year, so if Marvel is taking those spots on the list, its generally higher volumes would have an impact. To be clear, we’re describing the relative performance of titles at the same rank on the charts, not the performance of specific ongoing titles over time. But it is another example of the shape of the comics sales chart evolving. Depth continues, even if the bestsellers aren’t reaching the same heights.

All in all, the sales slump that everyone has been predicting is now well established for 2016.

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TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 39.64% 44.80%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 26.45% 26.34%
IMAGE COMICS 8.38% 7.95%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.70% 4.99%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.25% 2.31%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.51% 2.34%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.66% 1.51%
TITAN COMICS 1.39% 1.48%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 1.09% 1.25%
ONI PRESS INC. 0.98% 0.89%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.95% 6.13%

 


NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 102 34 0 136
DC ENTERTAINMENT 74 28 0 102
IDW PUBLISHING 50 23 0 73
IMAGE COMICS 43 22 0 65
DARK HORSE COMICS 20 24 0 44
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 24 12 0 36
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 19 6 0 25
TITAN COMICS 16 3 4 23
ONI PRESS INC. 10 3 0 13
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 10 2 0 12
OTHER NON-TOP 10 111 114 19 244

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
MAY 2016 VS. APRIL 2016
COMICS -6.54% -4.15%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -6.31% -11.10%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -6.46% -4.77%
MAY 2016 VS. MAY 2015
COMICS -14.34% -17.60%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 4.52% -3.39%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -9.05% -16.58%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2016 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2015
COMICS -9.23% -14.01%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 4.80% 3.46%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -5.11% -12.72%

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1 $2.99 APR160273-M DC
2 CIVIL WAR II #0 $4.99 MAR168949-M MAR
3 THE PUNISHER #1 $3.99 MAR160728-M MAR
4 BATMAN #52 $3.99 MAR160223-M DC
5 CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS #1 $4.99 MAR160721-M MAR
6 STAR WARS #19 $3.99 MAR160891-M MAR
7 JUSTICE LEAGUE #50 $5.99 FEB160134-M DC
8 DARTH VADER #20 $4.99 MAR160897-M MAR
9 BLACK PANTHER #2 $3.99 MAR160829-M MAR
10 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12 $3.99 MAR160781-M MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION HC $17.99 NOV070226 DC
2 DESCENDER VOLUME 2 TP (MR) $14.99 FEB160680-M IMA
3 CIVIL WAR TP $24.99 JAN072436 MAR
4 BLACK SCIENCE VOLUME 4: GODWORLD TP (MR) $14.99 FEB160656 IMA
5 WE STAND ON GUARD DELUXE HC (MR) $24.99 FEB160645 IMA
6 CHEW VOLUME 11: LAST SUPPERS TP (MR) $14.99 FEB160669 IMA
7 THE JOKER: ENDGAME TP $24.99 FEB160224 DC
8 STAR WARS: KANAN VOLUME 2: FIRST BLOOD TP $17.99 JAN160963 MAR
9 SPIDER-GWEN VOLUME 1: GREATER POWER TP $17.99 FEB160962 MAR
10 SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL: DON’T CALL IT A TEAM UP TP $34.99 FEB160956 MAR

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DOCTOR WHO OFFICIAL ANNUAL 2015 $12.99 JAN148356 PEN
2 THE WALKING DEAD ADULT COLORING BOOK (MR) $14.99 FEB160615 IMA
3 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161967 RAN
4 COURAGEOUS CAPTAIN AMERICA LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161966 RAN
5 APES & BABES SC (MR) $19.99 MAR160659 IMA
6 SPIDER MAN: TRAPPED BY THE GREEN GOBLIN LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161974 RAN
7 SPIDER MAN: HIGH VOLTAGE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161973 RAN
8 MIGHTY AVENGERS LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161970 RAN
9 THE INCREDIBLE HULK LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161968 RAN
10 ANT-MAN LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK $4.99 MAR161965 RAN

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC COMICS VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: BATMAN TIMELESS SPARTA FIGURE AUG158823 SQU
2 BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT: RED HOOD FIGURE SEP150345 DC
3 POP! STAR WARS: RANCOR WITH LUKE & SLAVE OOLA FIGURE 3-PACK SEP158902 FUN
4 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: CAPTAIN PHASMA ARTFX+ STATUE NOV152442 KOT
5 FFG DC COMICS COLLECTION: POISON IVY STATUE DEC158120 YAM
6 DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: CHEETAH STATUE SEP150344 DC
7 BATMAN V SUPERMAN DAWN OF JUSTICE: SUPERMAN STATUE AUG150304 DC
8 FINDING DORY FEATURE FIGURES JUL158665 BAN
9 ALIEN: WARRIOR DRONE ALIEN ARTFX+ STATUE NOV152445 KOT
10 STAR TREK STARSHIPS SET #2: SHUTTLECRAFT JAN162289 EAG

 


TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 MARVEL HEROCLIX: UNCANNY X-MEN BOOSTER BRICK MAR162746 NEC
2 MARVEL DICE MASTERS: CIVIL WAR MAR162740 NEC
3 MACHI KORO CARD GAME MAY142831 IDW
4 MARVEL HEROCLIX: UNCANNY X-MEN FAST FORCES 6-PACK MAR162748 NEC
5 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES DICE MASTERS BOX SET FEB162984 NEC
6 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES HEROCLIX JAN162805 NEC
7 MARVEL DICE MASTERS: CIVIL WAR STARTER MAR162744 NEC
8 3D GAME OF THRONES: KINGS LANDING PUZZLE JAN168015 4D
9 STAR WARS: EDGE OF THE EMPIRE RPG CORE RULEBOOK MAR132242 FAN
10 STAR WARS: ARMADA BOARD GAME DEC142545 FAN

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