High Price Tags Don’t Deter Comic Shops
DC Wins Unit Share, Marvel Wins on $$ Spent
Spider-Man #25, with a hefty $9.99 price tag, was the #1 comic sold to comic shops in March. The high price did not seem to deter orders of the book. Similarly, the #2 comic was Dark Knight III #8, with a $5.99 price. Given comics shops (and presumably fans) willingness to pay high prices for the characters they love (Spider-Man and Batman) I don’t expect to see these pricing tactics to go away any time soon for “special” books starring the most popular characters.
Marvel and DC both shipped 92 comics in March, with Marvel shipping more “graphic novels”; 39 to DC’s 31. Marvel took $ share handily, 35.41% to DC’s 28.75%, but DC edged Marvel in unit sales 35.46% to 34.34%. Quantity shifted to DC, but the bottom line dollars still favor Marvel, due at least in part to DC continuing to offer comics with a $2.99 price tag that is long extinct at Marvel.
Marvel’s Top 10 is a mixed bag with Spider-Man, Iron Fist, X-Men, and Star Wars. DC’s Top 10, as always, is dominated by Batman, Batman, Batman, Batman, and Justice League (featuring Batman)… DC should be thankful every day to Bill Finger and Bob Kane.
Of interest, at least to me, is that Image Comics continues to plug away with an ~10% share in both dollars and units. Taking Image along with the other indie publishers we see that about a third of the comic shop market is devoted to something other than the super-hero fare which is the bread and butter of the “Big Two”.
– Bob Bretall (email@example.com)
Diamond’s Press Release:
(BALTIMORE, MD) — (April 7, 2017) — Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen kick off a new storyline with the Green Goblin in Marvel Comics’ oversized Amazing Spider-Man #25, March’s best-selling comic book according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.
Marvel Comics was March’s top publisher by dollars invoiced with a 35.41% dollar share and a 34.34% unit share, while DC Entertainment was the month’s top publisher by units shipped with a 28.75% dollar share and a 35.46% unit share. Image Comics topped ten percent market share in both the dollar and unit categories in March, placing third for the month with a 10.71% dollar share and a 10.02% unit share. In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 5.68% dollar share and a 4.72% unit share, followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 2.57% dollar share and a 1.45% unit share.
Marvel Comics had four titles in March’s top ten. In addition to Amazing Spider-Man #25, Ed Brisson and Mike Perkins’ Iron Fist #1 ranked #5, Mark Guggenheim and Ken Lashley’s X-Men Prime #1 ranked #6, and Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars #29 ranked #7. DC Entertainment lead the category with five titles in the top ten with Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson’s Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8 at #2, followed by Tom King and David Finch’s Batman #18 at #3, King and Finch’s Batman #19 at #4, Scott Snyder and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s All-Star Batman #8 at #8, and Bryan Hitch and Fernando Pasarin’s Justice League #16 ranked #10. Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead #185 from Image Comics ranked #9. Among the premier publishers, P. Craig Russell and Scott Hampton’s Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #1, adapting Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel to comics, was Dark Horse Comics’ best-selling title in March at #36, and IDW Publishing’s Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #5, a co-production with DC Entertainment, was their best-selling title at #107.
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga Volume 7 from Image Comics was March’s best-selling graphic novel. Also in the top ten from Image Comics were The Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War at #2 and Deadly Class Volume 5: Carousel at #10. DC Entertainment had five titles in the top ten: Harley Quinn Volume 1: Die Laughing at #3, Suicide Squad Volume 1: The Black Vault at #4, Titans Volume 1: The Return of Wally West at #6, Deathstroke Volume 1: The Professional at #8, and Batgirl Volume 1: Beyond Burnside at #9. Marvel Comics rounded out the top ten with two titles: Death of X at #5 and Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Wolverine: Old Man Logan at #7.
Jeffrey Brown’s Star Wars: Darth Vader & Family Coloring Book, a coloring book from Chronicle Books based on Brown’s Darth Vader & Son series of picture books, was March’s best-selling book. Dark Horse Comics had three titles in the top ten: World of Warcraft Chronicle Volume 2 at #2, The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts at #3, and The Art of Mass Effect: Andromeda at #6.
DC Collectibles’ DC Rebirth: Justice League Action Figure 7-Pack, featuring the core seven characters of the Justice League in their new Rebirth costumes, was March’s best-selling toy product. Also among the top ten for DC Collectibles were the Batman Animated: Batman Expressions Pack at #4, the DC Designer Series: DC Bombshells Harley Quinn Action Figure at #5, and the DC Designer Series: Superman and Lois Lane by Gary Frank Statue at #8. Mezco had two PREVIEWS Exclusive items in the top ten: the One-12 Collective: Marvel: The Punisher Deluxe Action Figure at #3 and the One-12 Collective: DC: Reverse Flash Action Figure at #10. Diamond Select Toys’ best-selling product in March was the DC Gallery: Batman the Animated Series: Lawyer Harley PVC Figure which ranked #38 for the month.
WizKids/NECA’s Marvel HeroClix: Deadpool and X-Force Booster Brick was March’s best-selling games product. IDW Publishing had three products in March’s top ten: the Machi Koro Card Game ranked #3, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game ranked #9, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past: April O’Neil Adventure Pack ranked #10.
TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
|DARK HORSE COMICS||3.48%||3.09%|
|VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC||1.14%||1.37%|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||8.62%||5.64%|
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
MARCH 2017 VS. FEBRUARY 2017
MARCH 2017 VS. MARCH 2016
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
FIRST QUARTER 2017 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2016
NEW TITLES SHIPPED
|PUBLISHER||COMICS SHIPPED||GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED||MAGAZINES SHIPPED||TOTAL
|DARK HORSE COMICS||25||14||0||39|
|VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC||7||2||0||9|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||130||161||20||311|
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25||$9.99||JAN170988-M||MAR|
|2||DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #8||$5.99||JAN170324-M||DC|
|5||IRON FIST #1||$3.99||JAN170951-M||MAR|
|6||X-MEN PRIME #1||$4.99||JAN170940||MAR|
|7||STAR WARS #29||$3.99||JAN171083-M||MAR|
|8||ALL-STAR BATMAN #8||$4.99||JAN170228-M||DC|
|9||THE WALKING DEAD #165 (MR)||$2.99||JAN170772||IMA|
|10||JUSTICE LEAGUE #16||$2.99||JAN170285-M||DC|
TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
|1||SAGA VOLUME 7 TP (MR)||$14.99||JAN170850||IMA|
|2||THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 27: THE WHISPERER WAR TP||$14.99||AUG168569||IMA|
|3||HARLEY QUINN VOLUME 1: DIE LAUGHING TP||$16.99||DEC160373||DC|
|4||SUICIDE SQUAD VOLUME 1: THE BLACK VAULT TP||$16.99||DEC160375||DC|
|5||DEATH OF X TP||$17.99||DEC161096||MAR|
|6||TITANS VOLUME 1: THE RETURN OF WALLY WEST TP||$16.99||DEC160376||DC|
|7||WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN TP||$29.99||JUL100692||MAR|
|8||DEATHSTROKE VOLUME 1: THE PROFESSIONAL TP||$16.99||DEC160372||DC|
|9||BATGIRL VOLUME 1: BEYOND BURNSIDE TP||$16.99||DEC160370||DC|
|10||DEADLY CLASS VOLUME 5: CAROUSEL TP (MR)||$14.99||JAN170822||IMA|
TOP 10 BOOKS
|1||STAR WARS: DARTH VADER & FAMILY COLORING BOOK||$14.95||JAN172321||CHR|
|2||WORLD OF WARCRAFT CHRONICLE VOLUME 2 HC||$39.99||NOV160049||DAR|
|3||LEGEND OF ZELDA: ART & ARTIFACTS HC||$39.99||JUL168360||DAR|
|4||THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 115 SC||$14.95||DEC162213||SAN|
|5||THE LEGION OF REGRETTABLE SUPERVILLAINS HC||$24.95||JAN172281||RAN|
|6||THE ART OF MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA HC||$39.99||NOV160081||DAR|
|7||DOCTOR WHO: T IS FOR TARDIS HC||$9.99||SEP168058||PEN|
|8||ICHI-F: A WORKER’S GRAPHIC MEMOIR OF THE FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR PLANT SC||$24.99||JAN171863||RAN|
|9||OTOMO: GLOBAL TRIBUTE TO THE GENIUS BEHIND AKIRA HC||$29.99||OCT168151||RAN|
|10||BATGIRL: NEW HERO OF THE NIGHT SC||$5.99||JAN172287||SCH|
TOP 10 TOYS
|1||DC REBIRTH: JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION FIGURE 7-PACK||AUG160372||DC|
|2||POWER RANGERS LEGACY 6-INCH ACTION FIGURES||NOV169036||BAN|
|3||ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: MARVEL: THE PUNISHER DELUXE ACTION FIGURE||JUN168911||MEZ|
|4||BATMAN ANIMATED: BATMAN EXPRESSIONS PACK||SEP160384||DC|
|5||DC DESIGNER SERIES: BOMBSHELLS HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE||OCT160334||DC|
|6||SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: SONIC NENDOROID EZ||AUG169297||GOO|
|7||MARVEL: LADY LOKI BISHOUJO STATUE||SEP162765||KOT|
|8||DC DESIGNER SERIES: SUPERMAN & LOIS LANE BY GARY FRANK STATUE||AUG160368||DC|
|9||DC COMICS: BATMAN & ROBIN ARTFX+ STATUE 2-PACK||OCT162923||KOT|
|10||ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: DC: REVERSE FLASH ACTION FIGURE||MAY168197||MEZ|
TOP 10 GAMES
|1||MARVEL HEROCLIX: DEADPOOL AND X-FORCE BOOSTER BRICK||NOV162996||NEC|
|2||LEGEND OF ZELDA CHESS||DEC163202||USA|
|3||MACHI KORO CARD GAME||MAY142831||IDW|
|4||MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: ELDRITCH MOON BOOSTER PACKS||MAY163104||WIZ|
|5||MARVEL HEROCLIX: DEADPOOL AND X-FORCE FAST FORCES 6-PACK||NOV162997||NEC|
|6||D&D: MONSTER MENAGERIE MINIATURE BOOSTER BRICK||AUG169525||NEC|
|7||FINDING DORY: DON’T WAKE HANK GAME||JUL158674||BAN|
|8||TRIVIAL PURSUIT: STAR WARS GAME||OCT168253||HAS|
|9||TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHADOWS OF THE PAST BOARD GAME||APR160482||IDW|
|10||TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHADOWS OF THE PAST: APRIL O’NEIL ADVENTURE PACK||AUG160440||IDW|
How does Diamond calculate the charts? It all starts at the comic book shop.
Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from sales made to thousands of comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world. Additional sales made to online merchants and other specialty retailers may be included as well.
Unit and dollar market shares are calculated based upon orders for comic books, graphic novels, and magazines invoiced and shipped to Diamond customers during any given month, which comprises pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable. Please note that comics marked with an asterisk (*) have had their reported quantities reduced due to retailer returnability, and thus may rank lower on the charts than their actual sales would reflect.
The New Titles Count Chart includes all titles that were invoiced by Diamond to retailers for the first time during the month and is not the official solicited title count for the month. Variant edition comic books and graphic novels at the same price point count as a single SKU. Variant edition comic books, lenticular covers, digital combo packs, and graphic novels at different price points count as separate SKUs for each edition.
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.