Well, the receipts are in and 300 has smashed box office records! Surely the success of the film, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, will shoot that same GN to the top of the charts as well, right?
Well…Although the book is currently #5 on Amazon’s overall best-seller list, ICv2 went back in to find out how many copies are available, and the news wasn’t so great. The short answer is that Diamond doesn’t have any right this minute, although more are on the way.
Martens also clarified the news on the 15,000 copies of the 300 graphic novel that had “just arrived.” Those copies had arrived in the country and were en route to Diamond. When they are available for distribution (presumably this week), they’ll be used to fill the back orders that accumulated last week. Martens promised a favorable allocation of those copies for the direct market vs. the book channel, with some copies left to fill comic store orders that come in this week.
Last, the additional 15,000 copy order “en route” from Asia is around two months away, meaning that the copies currently in stock in retail stores, soon to be at Diamond, and at book wholesalers will be all of the supply available to the market for some time. Martens did say that additional copies had been ordered beyond those 15,000 copies in an attempt to catch up with demand.
It’s interesting to compare this situation with CAP #25. A few retailers are bleating that “they should have been told!” From where we sit, Marvel couldn’t have done any different here, and they had no idea the story was going to catch on in the media like it did. So retailers are happy to have sold a few hundred copies of a $2.99 comic book, when it seems to us the issue is really selling hundred of copies of a $30 hardcover.
V FOR VENDETTA was the best selling non-manga graphic novel last year, spurred by interest in the movie, which didn’t even do that well. As has been proven many times, comic book movies don’t really boost comics sales that much except when there is a readily understandable, discretely packaged book that tie-in directly with the movie.
300 is the inverse of Cap #25 — everyone knew it was coming for a year, and there was still a bumpy road. The system is still far from perfect.
[This post has been edited from the original.]