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Comixology Sales Charts: (X-Men) Extermination Leads A Very Odd Fifth Week’s Chart – Week of 8/29/18

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The fifth week of the month can make for some odd sales charts and the sales chart for the week of 8/29/18 is no exception.  And given that it leads into a holiday weekend, that probably disrupts some of the sales that would normally happen over the weekend, so get ready for a fairly odd chart.

Comixology Rank Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1 Extermination (2018) Issue #2 (of 5) N/A
2 X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #34 28,839 57
3 Hunt For Wolverine: Dead Ends (2018) Issue #1 N/A
4 Marvel Two-In-One (2017-) Issue #9 26,872 70
5 Jessica Jones – Marvel Digital Original (2018) Issue #2 Digital First
6 Runaways (2017-) Issue #12 11,607 161
7 X-23 (2018-) Issue #3 36,340 44
8 Nightwing (2016-) Annual Issue #1 26,899* 69*
9 Ms. Marvel (2015-) Issue #33 13,232 148
10 Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016-) Annual Issue #2 18,829* 109*
11 Star Wars: Poe Dameron (2016-) Annual Issue #2 22,391* 90*
12 Batgirl (2016-) Issue #26 26,457 70-June
13 X-Men: Grand Design – Second Genesis (2018) Issue #2 (of 2) 35,559 46
14 New Mutants: Dead Souls (2018-) Issue #6 (of 6) 16,041 127
15 Batgirl (2016-) Annual Issue #2 26,457* 70-June*
16 Exiles (2018-) Issue #7 16,905 117
17 Scarlet (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
18 Edge of Spider-Geddon (2018) Issue #2 (of 4) N/A
19 Daredevil Annual (2018) Issue #1 23,971* 86*
20 Death of Superman, Part 1 (2018-) Issue #5 Digital First

The top selling comic on the Comixology bestseller list was Extermination.  How well did it do?  We really don’t have an accurate point of reference here.  It always used to be that Injustice could be used to approximate the equivalent of a comic that sold in the vicinity of 50K in print.  Injustice is over, so we don’t even have a hint where the 50K line is.  The #2 book of the week is the new issue of X-Men Blue, the last issue of which we have a print estimate for ordered into the Direct Market at a bit under 29K.  Did Blue get a sales bump for a Magneto storyline?  Hard to say, because the #3 book is the latest in a long, long line of Hunt For Wolverine mini’s.  It’s a first issue, so we don’t have a good baseline for it.

The #4 book is Marvel Two-In-One, where the previous issue ordered into the DM at a bit under 27K, so maybe we’re looking at an entire week of digital comics selling below the print equivalent of 30K… with the probable exception of Extermination.

The next book on the list is the second issue of the digital first Jessica Jones comic, which we don’t have a great baseline for, though you get the impression it’s the equivalent of a mid-20Ks title.  That’s followed by Runaways, which normally over-performs in digital.  That’s followed by the third issue of X-23, which would appear to be down around 1/3 from the print orders for #2… but that wouldn’t be that unusual for a third issue.

The #8 comic of the week is the Nightwing Annual.  Nightwing is a comic that usually over-performs in digital, but the annual seems to be performing more like the print orders for the June print issue, not overperforming.  It might even be a little below that.  Readers not looking for the annual or just a holiday weekend thing?  Hard to say.

Ms. Marvel follows and is over-performing in digital, as usual.  The Red Hood Annual is after that and would seem to follow the trend of this title over-performing in digital in recent weeks.  The Poe Dameron Annual follows at #11.  This Star Wars spin off is one that sometimes looks like it’s over-performing and sometimes not.  This week, it looks like a coin flip whether it’s above where the last print issue of the regular series would be.

Batgirl is in the #12 spot.  The previous issue, two weeks ago, seemed down a bit from the last issue in June and this would seem to continue that trend.

X-Men Grand Design follows and it’s definitely under-performing in digital… but that’s a title that emphasizes print production, so it’s not really a surprise.

From #14 (the last issue of the current New Mutants limited series) on down, we would appear to be in the sub-17K print equivalent zone.  The Batgirl Annual would seem to be taking a tumble from the sales of the regular issue.  Exiles is selling a bit lower than New Mutants in digital, reversing their print positions, but perhaps not drastically lower.  Scarlet’s return is likely in the print equivalent range of 16K-17K.  This is a fresh start without a true comparison, but for giggles, the last Icon issue in June 2016 had print orders of ~7.4K.  That would mean either there’s a BIG sales bump for the relaunch or Scarlet is over-performing in digital if you’re adjusting your expectations based on the previous series.

Edge of Spider-Geddon is in the #18 spot and doesn’t appear to be getting a ton of traction.  The Daredevil Annual is performing quite a bit lower than the regular issues and then we wrap up with the Digital First Death of Superman.

What’s notable by their absence from the Comixology top 20?  The DC/Looney Tunes crossovers didn’t make the list and those are supposed to be fifth week staples.   Not so much for digital apparently.  And no Venom titles cracked the top 20.  Venom has looked like a drastic under-performer in digital, but not to crack the top 20 in this slow a week?  That’s interesting.

Methodology and standard disclaimers:

The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 9/2) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron July chart, with the exception of Batgirl, whose last issue was on the June chart.

The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that he digital audience has more of less the same reading habits as the Direct Market Print audience.  I’ve had multiple publishers tell me that digital sales of new issues are roughly 10-15% of print sales and the titles more or less have the same proportional popularity in digital as in print.  Maybe a couple titles switch places on the sales ranking list, but largely the same.  The bestsellers on the newsstand were not always the same bestsellers as in the Direct Market, so it doesn’t seem like that should necessarily be the case with digital.  There will be a little bit of mismatch because these are more weekly than monthly ranks and it isn’t clear exactly how Comixology defines the reporting periods, but if you look at comics sales, you learn to live with the data available.

Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work?  Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics

1 COMMENT

  1. Hmm, the Batgirl figures are interesting: there’s been heavy publicity that the Batgirl of Bunside style and design is being replaced by a new darker look, in a bid to appeal to the more traditional Batcomic reader. But, if the digital figures are indicative, it appears that while those new readers who came onboard for the Burnside style (and who may traditionally have used digital instead of print, alongside Ms Marvel and Runaways) have abandoned the title but have not been replaced by the aforementioned traditional Batfan.

    It will be interesting to see if the print orders are higher to make up for this deficit.

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