Diamond Announces Top Sales for December 2016

DC Places 5 Titles in Top 10 but Marvel Wins for 3rd Month
Year-Over-Year for December is Down, 2016 Finishes Up Slightly

The “Rebirth Bump” is officially over.  For a 3rd straight month DC has failed to regain the #1 position it held briefly during the several months when they staggered out the Rebitrth #1 issues and comics buyers have gone back to the “steady state” that has existed for years with Marvel on top in dollar sales and units by a decent margin.  DC had the #1 comic (Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1) and 4 more Batman books placing in the Top 10, because the comic shop constant other than Marvel on Top in overall sales is that fans love buying Batman comics.

As for overall sales: December 2016 was down 9.69% in dollar sales compared to November…and down 14.84% compared to December 2015.  That said, exceptionally strong sales for the DC Rebirth relaunch, though they didn’t sustain at the high levels, were enough to keep 2016 as a year a slight 0.3% above 2015 in overall sales.

Gimmicks and relaunches continue to pump up sales compared to the issues on either side of them, but seem to be diminishing in their “bump power” each year.  The variant cover craze for driving sales seems to have gone away.  There are so many variant and chase covers that they are totally commonplace and the burned out readers seem to have mostly fallen into a mode of buying whatever cover they like best or that is readily available as opposed to upping their orders and buying copies of each cover en masse.  Similarly, while #1 issue continue to bump sales, the sales bumps seem to also be diminishing as the renumbering becomes more and more common.   Comic fans like things that feel really special.  When there’s a variant for every issue and a new #1 every 6 months, they fail to feel all that special any more.   That said, I expect Marvel & DC to continue to beat the “new #1” drum until the trend has well and truly been driven into the ground.

I look forward to the day that may or may not come when the Big Two worry more about telling good stories and worry less about creating the APPEARANCE that something is special.  When sales drop like a rock by issue 3 or 4 we can see that readers are not sticking around because they are held captive by an entertaining story and really do want to “see what happens next”.  That is the lifeblood of serialized comics.
– Bob Bretall (bob@comicspectrum.com)

Diamond’s Press Release:

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (January 12, 2017) — The Justice League discovers the existence of the Suicide Squad and is determined to bring them to justice in DC Entertainment’s Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 from Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok, the first crossover event of DC Rebirth and the best-selling comic book of December 2016, according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.

Marvel Comics was December’s top publisher with a 36.73% dollar share and a 40.50% unit share. DC Entertainment was the month’s number two publisher with a 29.47% dollar share and a 29.04% unit share. At number three was Image Comics with an 8.81% dollar share and a 7.70% unit share. IDW Publishing was fourth with a 5.49% dollar share and a 4.10% unit share, followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 3.17% dollar share and 2.43% units share.

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Comic and graphic novel sales in December, a four shipping week month, declined by 9.69% from November, a five shipping week month, as well as by 14.84% from December 2015, also a five shipping week month.  Despite the decline, comics and graphic novel sales on the year finished up 0.30% over 2015.

DC Entertainment had five titles in the top ten. In addition to Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson’s Dark Knight III: The Master Race #7 ranked #3; Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Hugo Petrus’ Batman #12 ranked #4; King and Janin’s Batman #13 ranked #5, and Scott Snyder, John Romita, Jr., and Danny Miki’s All-Star Batman #5 ranked #10. Marvel Comics also had five titles in the top ten: Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Leinil Francis Yu’s Inhumans vs. X-Men #1 ranked #2; Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez’s Civil War II #8, the final chapter of Marvel’s 2016 event, ranked #6; Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars #26 ranked #7; Kieron Gillen, Kev Walker, and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1, a new ongoing series spinning out of Star Wars: Darth Vader, ranked #8; and Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon’s Hulk #1, a new series starring Jennifer Walters, ranked #9. Among the premier publishers, Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead #161 was Image Comics’ top book in December at #11. IDW Publishing’s top book was Batman/TMNT Adventures #2 at #65. Finally, Dark Horse Comics’ Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse #3, based on Joss Whedon’s film Serenity, was their top book of the month at #112.

IDW Publishing’s Love is Love anthology, a tribute to the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, produced with the assistance of DC Entertainment and featuring dozens of writers and artists, was December’s best-selling graphic novel. DC Entertainment had two titles in the top ten led by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman Volume 9: Bloom at #2 for the month. Image Comics’ three titles in the top ten were led by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender Volume 3: Singularities at #3. Marvel Comics rounded out the top ten with four titles topped by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Wolverine: Old Man Logan at #4.

Penguin Books’ Doctor Who: The Death Riders, a Doctor Who novel starring the eleventh Doctor for young readers, was December’s best-selling book and one of three Doctor Who novels from the publisher among the top ten. IDW Publishing’s The Princess Bride: A Storybook to Color, an adult coloring book based on the beloved film, ranked #3 for the month. Dark Horse Comics had three adult coloring books among the top ten, led by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Adult Coloring Book at #4. Also in the top ten, Image Comics’ The Walking Dead Adult Coloring Book ranked #10 for the month.

DC Collectibles’ DC Designer Series: Harley Quinn by Bruce Timm Statue was December’s best-selling toy product and one of their nine products among the top ten. Also among the top ten, Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Gallery: The Hulk PVC Figure ranked #2 for the month.

Diamond Select Toys’ Back to the Future Monopoly, a custom edition of the venerable board game, returned to the top of the sales charts as December’s best-selling game product. IDW Publishing had two products in the top ten, led by the Machi Koro Card Game at #2. Also in the top ten, Dark Horse Comics’ Game of Thrones Playing Cards, a decorative deck based on the hit HBO series, ranked #7 for the month.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 36.73% 40.50%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 29.47% 29.04%
IMAGE COMICS 8.81% 7.70%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.49% 4.10%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.17% 2.43%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.40% 1.64%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.99% 6.97%
TITAN COMICS 1.16% 0.99%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 1.10% 1.20%
VIZ MEDIA 1.09% 0.34%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.59% 5.09%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS

DECEMBER 2016 VS. NOVEMBER 2016

COMICS -9.01% -1.79%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -11.19% 1.10%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -9.69% -1.56%
TOYS -12.28% -11.75%

DECEMBER 2016 VS. DECEMBER 2015

COMICS -18.84% -8.39%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -4.24% 18.44%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -14.84% -6.66%
TOYS -36.78% -46.07%

FOURTH QUARTER 2016 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2016

COMICS -7.42% -5.96%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 0.07% 1.88%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -5.36% -5.42%
TOYS -1.80% -11.85%

FOURTH QUARTER 2016 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2015

COMICS -8.92% -0.53%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 1.53% 12.21%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -6.11% 0.30%
TOYS -22.29% -30.42%

YEAR 2016 VS. YEAR 2015

COMICS -0.11% 1.02%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 1.24% 2.10%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 0.30% 1.10%
TOYS -9.74% -14.18%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 89 42 0 131
DC ENTERTAINMENT 84 33 1 118
IMAGE COMICS 47 18 1 66
IDW PUBLISHING 42 17 0 59
BOOM! STUDIOS 26 12 0 38
DARK HORSE COMICS 26 10 0 36
TITAN COMICS 21 5 4 30
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 18 9 0 27
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS 11 2 0 13
VIZ MEDIA 0 13 0 13
OTHER NON-TOP 10 114 133 25 272

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD #1 $3.99 OCT160147-M DC
2 INHUMANS VS. X-MEN #1 $5.99 SEP160868-M MAR
3 DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #7 $5.99 OCT160259-M DC
4 BATMAN #12 $2.99 OCT160173-M DC
5 BATMAN #13 $2.99 OCT160175-M DC
6 CIVIL WAR II #8 $4.99 SEP161000-M MAR
7 STAR WARS #26 $3.99 OCT160988-M MAR
8 STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #1 $4.99 OCT160975-M MAR
9 HULK #1 $3.99 OCT160788-M MAR
10 ALL-STAR BATMAN #5 $4.99 OCT160160-M DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 LOVE IS LOVE SC $9.99 OCT160480 IDW
2 BATMAN VOLUME 9: BLOOM TP $16.99 SEP160335 DC
3 DESCENDER VOLUME 3: SINGULARITIES TP $14.99 SEP160801 IMA
4 WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN TP $29.99 JUL100692 MAR
5 I HATE FAIRYLAND VOLUME 2: FLUFF MY LIFE TP $14.99 OCT160683-M IMA
6 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOLUME 1: REBOOT TP $17.99 OCT161021 MAR
7 STAR WARS: POE DAMERON VOL. 1: BLACK SQUADRON TP $19.99 AUG160999 MAR
8 DOCTOR STRANGE VOLUME 1: WAY OF WEIRD TP $19.99 SEP161127 MAR
9 BATMAN VOLUME 10: EPILOGUE HC $22.99 AUG160317 DC
10 BLACK SCIENCE VOL. 5: TRUE ATONEMENT TP (MR) $14.99 OCT160677 IMA

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DOCTOR WHO: DEATH RIDERS SC $9.99 JUN158023 PEN
2 DOCTOR WHO: SYSTEM WIPE SC $9.99 JUN158025 PEN
3 THE PRINCESS BRIDE: A STORYBOOK TO COLOR TP $16.99 SEP160611 IDW
4 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 AUG160020 DAR
5 THE POKEMON COOKBOOK HC $14.99 OCT162035 VIZ
6 STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 AUG160018 DAR
7 STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 AUG160019 DAR
8 DOCTOR WHO: THE GOOD THE BAD & THE ALIEN SC $9.99 NOV158049 PEN
9 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 112 SC $14.95 SEP162252 SAN
10 THE WALKING DEAD ADULT COLORING BOOK (MR) $14.99 FEB160615 IMA

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC DESIGNER SERIES: HARLEY QUINN BY BRUCE TIMM STATUE MAR160333 DC
2 MARVEL GALLERY: THE HULK PVC FIGURE AUG162570 DST
3 DC TV: ARROW/THE FLASH ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK APR160456 DC
4 DC FILMS: ARMORED BATMAN PREMIUM ACTION FIGURE MAR160323 DC
5 BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES: NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE MAR160314 DC
6 HARLEY QUINN: RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE APR160452 DC
7 BATMAN ANIMATED SERIES: NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES CLAYFACE DELUXE ACTION FIGURE MAR160318 DC
8 DC COMICS DESIGNER SERIES BY LEE BERMEJO: BATMAN FIGURE FEB160280 DC
9 DC DESIGNER SERIES: THE FLASH BY FRANCIS MANAPUL STATUE JUL160449 DC
10 DARKSEID AND GRAIL ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK APR160448 DC

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BACK TO THE FUTURE MONOPOLY JUL152198 DST
2 MACHI KORO CARD GAME MAY142831 IDW
3 MOUSE GUARD ROLEPLAYING GAME BOXED SET (2ND EDITION) FEB151158 BOO
4 EXPLODING KITTENS CARD GAME NSFW EDITION OCT163224 EXP
5 EXPLODING KITTENS CARD GAME ORIGINAL EDITION OCT163223 EXP
6 PANDEMIC: IBERIA BOARD GAME AUG163183 ZMA
7 GAME OF THRONES PLAYING CARDS JAN120128 DAR
8 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHADOWS OF THE PAST BOARD GAME APR160482 IDW
9 BATMANL THE ANIMATED SERIES DICE GAME SEP163193 PSI
10 STAR TREK 50TH-ANNIVERSARY 3000-PIECE DIECUT JIGSAW PUZZLE JUN168685 NMR

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ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS (DCD)—Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture merchandise. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, servicing thousands of specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com.

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