December 2007 Sales Figures

The December 2007 sales estimates have been out for several weeks now. In fact, January 2008 estimates should be coming out soon. So instead of trying to quickly cobble together a feeble analysis, I’ll defer to Paul O’Brien’s December 2007 edition of his Marvel Month-to-Month Sales column at The Beat, the comics blog for Publisher’s Weekly. O’Brien uses a different source for his figures than I do, but the difference is less than +/- 100 copies and usually less than +/- 50 copies, and so is rather negligible for these purposes. Of course, take everything with a grain of salt. Neither my analysis or O’Brien’s should be translated into factual statements on a given title’s success or lack thereof.

With that, here are some New Warriors-related excerpts from O’Brien’s column.

30 Avengers: The Initiative #8 – $2.99 – 58,091
31 Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 – $3.99 – 57,586

The monthly series continues to bleed readers at a terrifying rate. On the bright side, for what it’s worth, the Annual manages to sells quite close to the core title. Normally they lag further behind.

But realistically, this is a book with serious problems. This is the third straight issue to drop by more than 10%, and there’s no sign yet of the book leveling out. It literally cannot carry on like this.

As ‘Somebody’ points out in the comments, the Annual was a Secret Invasion: Infiltration tie-in, with accompanying banner. This could have accounted for the Annual selling closer to the core title.

71 New Warriors #6 – $2.99 – 32,962
85 New Warriors #7 – $2.99 – 30,159

Another title with serious problems. The last five issues have seen an average drop of 8%, with the most recent issues being above that average. Once again, this simply isn’t sustainable beyond the very short term. If NEW WARRIORS carries on losing sales at 8% per issue, it’ll drop below 20K within six months.

83 Nova #9 – $2.99 – 30,451

Losing readers far too quickly for comfort. The drops should have levelled out by now, but there’s no real sign of it. Despite generally positive reviews, it’s hard to see NOVA sticking around in the long term if these numbers are anything to go by.

136 Marvel Holiday Special 2007 – $3.99 – 15,638

The annual Christmas anthology. The number is marginally up from last year.

245 Iron Man/Power Pack #2 – $2.99 – 4,852

As you surely know by now, these books are not aimed at the direct market, and they do most of their business elsewhere.

Read the entire article by Paul O’Brien

See the Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.


November 2007 Sales Figures

The estimates for November’s sales figures were released last week. While New Warriors itself took the month off, there were plenty of New Warriors-related comics that came out.

Avengers: The Initiative returned with issue #7, barely dipping below the Top 25 and still bringing in well over 65,000 readers. It lost over 7,500 readers, possibly due to the absence after a fill-in artist. This was marketed as an important pre-One More Day issue for Spider-Man, and also promised the reveal of who is behind at least one of the Scarlet Spider masks. Such intrigue didn’t seem to give the title any discernible sales boost, but the book remains a strong seller.

Nova #8 is the first issue to not boast a Marvel event across the cover like Annihilation, the Initiative or Annihilation: Conquest, although the latter is certainly referenced. The good news is that the over 2,500 lost readers from last issue really isn’t a significant increase in decline from previous issues. The issue sold over 32,000 copies, a very decent place to be at this point in the series especially considering Nova’s past sales history.

Thunderbolts took another month off, and released another one-shot to keep the masses happy. Breaking Point, like Desperate Measures before it, didn’t perform as well as the regular “monthly” series. Perhaps due to some dissatisfaction with Desperate Measures, Breaking Point sold close to 10,000 copies less. Still, it’s a respectable showing, nearly exactly the same sales as Nova #8, and certainly better for Marvel than making nothing from a skip month, so I’m sure we’ll see more of these whenever Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato fall behind. There’s already another one scheduled for February.

The one-shot What If: Annihilation featuring Nova didn’t do much worse. Nearly 30,000 copies were sent to comic shops, sending a signal to Marvel that either the rejuvenated What If? brand, the Annihilation brand, or both still have life in them.

Penance: Relentless #3 only mildly dropped from last month. This seems to have leveled off pretty quickly, with about 22,000 readers this month. It will probably be around 20,000 next month. Again, this isn’t all that great. I’m sure Marvel was hoping for this to do a bit better after all the work they put into the Speedball/Penance overhaul from Civil War.

Loners finally wraps up after being delayed last month. The mini-series ended with over 13,000 readers, not really the greatest despite spinning off from the well-received Runaways. After an epilogue in this month’s Marvel Holiday Special 2007, there seems to be plans for a sequel of some kind next year. Perhaps Marvel’s sales threshold has been lowering due to Marvel’s financial success over the last handful of years. It just doesn’t seem like this mini-series did well enough to merit a sequel. Perhaps they want to give the property another chance and time to find its audience and footing.

Iron Man & Power Pack #1 brings up the bottom, as usual. The new #1 gives the Power Pack series of mini-series another mild bump, although it will probably dip below 5,000 by the second or third issue, the first time for the rejuvenated property. However, as I say every month, the digest-sized collections are where Marvel really makes their money, so it’s not a tremendous concern.

November 2007
22 Avengers: The Initiative #7 – $2.99 – 66,431
69 Nova #8 – $2.99 – 32,099
70 Thunderbolts: Breaking Point #1 – $2.99 – 32,030
79 What If: Annihilation #1 – $2.99 – 29,705
107 Penance: Relentless #3 – $2.99 – 22,453
163 Loners #6 – $2.99 – 13,352
233 Iron Man & Power Pack #1 – $2.99 – 5,525

Click here for the updated listing of Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

October 2007 Sales Figures

Doing a bit of catching up, the estimates for October’s sales figures were released late last month. Let’s dig in and see how the New Warriors-related comics are selling in the direct market of comic book retail stores.

New Warriors volume 4 #5 lost another 3,000 readers, which is more or less consistent with the title’s decline since issue #2. An estimated 37,000 readers are keeping the book in the top 100 of Diamond’s charts. It would be nice to slow that decline just a bit more but over all things remain fairly decent. It’s still vastly out-selling the last New Warriors mini-series, which admittedly was geared to a difference audience, and is also doing at least 10,000 copies better than New Warriors volume 2.

The monthly Thunderbolts series returned for issue #117, part two of the second story arc after a no-show in September and July (although July had a one-shot to serve as a stop-gap). Readers could be feeling a loss of momentum or dissatisfaction with the storyline, as 5,000 readers left after #116. Fortunately, the book is still in the top 50 and selling nearly 50,000 copies, certainly a great place to be in today’s market.

Nova #7 concludes the Annihilation: Conquest tie-in story arc. As I semi-predicted, the issue sold around 35,000 copies, almost exactly in line with the fourth and final Annihilation: Nova issue. As mentioned before, the estimates for issue #8, the first issue to not tie into something else, should reveal a lot about how much of the book’s readers are on-board because of the event, and how many are there because they’re enjoying the stories.

The second Penance: Relentless issue mini-series drops from just over 30,000 to about 24,000 copies. Not too bad for a second issue drop, but not really impressive numbers in general. The mini-series will probably end below the 20,000 mark, which is entering the danger zone for Marvel comics.

Finally, Fantastic Four & Power Pack #4 concludes with just over 5,000 readers. This is an all-time low for the series of All-Ages Power Pack mini-series. However, the digest-sized collections sold at book stores and other outlets typically make up for the traditionally low sales of the singles, so this may not even matter. November’s numbers should go back up for it anyway due to another new #1, as Iron Man & Power Pack begins.

No Avengers: The Initiative or Loners this month, but they returned in November.

October 2007
49 Thunderbolts #117 – $2.99 – 47,101
62 New Warriors #5 – $2.99 – 36,898
69 Nova #7 – $2.99 – 34,840
107 Penance: Relentless #2 – $2.99 – 24,321
254 Fantastic Four & Power Pack #4 – $2.99 – 5,147

Click here for the updated listing of Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

September 2007 Sales Figures

Last month’s estimates on sales figures have come in. With its fourth issue New Warriors volume 4 barely tips below 40,000. The decline is showing signs of slowing, but it’s just a little too much. I was expecting it to get into the 30K range in another issue or so. We’re still good, but it would be nice if the book started leveling off.

Avengers: The Initiative took another surprising hit this month for its sixth issue, shedding about 10,000 copies. It might be the title leveling off now that the previous tie-in banners of World War Hulk and The Initiative are gone. There could be a few readers not showing up for the fill-in artist. The book is still in the Top 20, just barely, and moving nearly 75,000 copies, so its far from panic time, but some stabilizing would be nice.

Nova drops a little on its third tie-in issue to the Annihilation: Conquest event. The book now sits at just under 37,000, around the same level as the third issue of the Annihilation: Nova mini-series. If the parallel holds up, next issue should be around 35,000 but I suspect it will be less than that, as the Annihilation: Conquest lead-in mini-series haven’t been selling as well as the original Annihilation lead-in mini-series.

Spinning off of the ongoing Thunderbolts, which was late and didn’t ship in September, the Penance: Relentless mini-series debuts at just over 30,000 copies. The Thunderbolts: Desperate Measures one-shot performed better in July with a little over 40,000 copies. It could be the lack of the Thunderbolts brand on the cover, although Civil War was rather prominently splashed across the top. It could also be the lack of Warren Ellis’ name in the credits. Or could just be that there aren’t as many people interested in a solo Penance series. Still, it did okay and certainly performed better than a solo Speedball mini-series probably would have done a year ago. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have any numbers on how the original Speedball series sold back in 1988 and 1989, although given the general differences in the strength of the industry it most likely did better. Still, it would be interesting to compare.

Loners #5 is released a month late and finally levels off. Unfortunately it’s leveled off at 15,500 readers, which isn’t nearly enough to support an on-going series. Although, I suspect hopes for that were abandoned at least two or three months ago. There’s still hope for the characters. Some or all of them are supposed to show up in this winter’s Marvel Holiday Special and a second Loners mini-series pitch is supposedly in the works by writer C.B. Cebulski. With any luck, the trade paperback that comes out in December will make up for the lackluster sales here.

Finally, Fantastic Four & Power Pack #3 brings up the back with standard sales for the All-Ages Power Pack mini-series. As usual, the real money is made in the digest-sized collections at book stores and other outlets. So while there is a very gradual and slight decline, it’s probably not much of a concern at all. It would be nice to see the recently announced Power Pack: Day One mini-series, after next month’s Iron Man & Power Pack mini-series wraps up in February, bump things back up a little bit.

September 2007
19 Avengers: The Initiative #6 – $2.99 – 74,161
52 New Warriors #4 – $2.99 – 39,985
60 Nova #6 – $2.99 – 36,967
77 Penance: Relentless #1 – $2.99 – 30,444
127 Loners #5 – 15,556
216 Fantastic Four & Power Pack #3 – 5,398

Click here for the updated listing of Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

August 2007 Sales Figures

Estimate sales figures for comics released in August 2007 have been released.

New Warriors volume 4 continues to find its leveling off point with the third issue. While it can’t exactly be considered a breakout hit like volume 1, it’s still in healthy territory, sales-wise. New Warriors #3 sold over 42,000 copies, down from last month’s nearly 46,000. It could end up settling in the mid- to high-30,000 range, which is typically still acceptable for Marvel in the current market. When it dips into the 20,000 range, it’s time to worry.

Avengers: The Initiative took a somewhat surprising dip in its fifth month, shedding around 8,000 readers. North American retailers ordered over 86,000 copies, as opposed to last month’s nearly 95,000. Despite this, it only dropped one position in the Top 300 chart ranking, another indicator of how misleading those numbers can be from month to month. Despite the dip, which could be a fluke, the book is the healthiest New Warriors-related book, and among the most well-received among fans.

Thunderbolts returns after last month’s hiatus, and loses even more readers than The Initiative. Perhaps last month’s one-shot stop-gap Thunderbolts: Desperate Measures soured or misled some to the title or its direction. Or perhaps some left the title after the close of the first story-arc in June. Or maybe it’s the same ordering fluke that hurt The Initiative. Either way, while dropping from nearly 65,000 for issue #115 to 52,500 for #116 is a little startling, it’s still a successful title and certainly worth the critical acclaim.

Nova firmly digs into its Annihilation: Conquest numbers. The book, easily the flagship title and best-seller for the related Conquest books, barely dropped at all from last month, which is pretty rare. The book is definitely doing well and certainly has healthy word-of-mouth buzz. So far, however, the book has had the help of other events, like The Initiative and Conquest, pushing interest. The real challenge will be maintaining these numbers after Conquest and with the upcoming artist change.

Loners didn’t ship in July for its fifth issue, and has been pushed back to the end of this month for the final issue.

Fantastic Four & Power Pack #2 took the traditional second-issue dip, a couple hundred copies less than the second issue from the previous Power Pack mini-series. If this title was relying on monthly sales, it would’ve been canceled with the first mini-series. Fortunately, the industry now includes a very healthy book market that is more receptive to material that doesn’t always do well in the direct market. The sales of the digest-sized collections of the Power Pack mini-series are what allows new mini-series to be made, so the monthly sales are almost irrelevant.

August 2007
14 Avengers: Initiative #5 – $2.99 – 86,530
42 Thunderbolts #116 – $2.99 – 52,500
64 New Warriors #3 – $2.99 – 42,657
72 Nova #5 – $2.99 – 39,540
234 Fantastic Four & Power Pack #2 – $2.99 – 5,749

Click here for the updated listing of Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

July 2007 Sales Figures

Estimated sales figures for comics released in July 2007 have been released.

New Warriors #2 takes the fairly standard second-issue dip in sales, slipping just out of the Top 50 and selling a little over 45,000 copies to North American retailers. This is a good indicator that the book is performing healthy enough to sustain its ongoing status.

Meanwhile, Avengers: The Initiative continues strong in the Top 20. The fourth issue moved just under 100,000 copies, recovering slightly from last month’s minor drop.

The Thunderbolts: Desperate Measures one-shot performs below the regular Thunderbolts series, as expected. Despite a different creative team, it still keeps the franchise in the Top 100 and moves over 40,000 copies.

Nova #4, the first issue to tie in to the Annihilation: Conquest event, didn’t hold the two-issue bump from the Initiative tie-ins. The book brought in 40,000 North American readers. The book could be leveling off following its strong debut despite the Annihilation connection. Another mild drop is likely to occur following the Annihilation: Conquest issues, perhaps to the respectable levels of the Annihilation: Nova mini-series.

Deadpool/GLI: Summer Fun Spectacular closed out the Top 100 with an estimated 23,000 copies sold to North American retailers. Not bad for a seasonal one-shot starring characters that aren’t exactly marquee headliners. The higher cover price likely made returns better.

Loners continues its disappointing decline. Over 15,000 copies were moved, losing about another 2,000 readers. The title’s sales are now comparable to Marvel’s Official Handbook series, which has a higher cover price and reportedly lower production costs. While hopes of the mini-series becoming an ongoing are certainly over, a sequel isn’t impossible. Like Runaways, Loners could still do well in the book market. A model similar to Power Pack’s series of mini-series is also possible, although they are probably assisted by the team-up nature of their books.

Speaking of which, Fantastic Four & Power Pack #1 got the standard bump from a first issue in relation to last month’s Hulk & Power Pack #4. However, there continues to be an ever so slight decline in sales from one mini-series to the next. As mentioned, the digest-sized collections of these mini-series is where Marvel gets their money, so this may not even be a concern. A gradual decline in sales over time is a standard in the industry.

July 2007
13 Avengers: Initiative #4 – $2.99 – 94,740
57 New Warriors #2 – $2.99 – 45,804
62 Thunderbolts: Desperate Measures #1 – $2.99 – 41,541
65 Nova #4 – $2.99 – 40,159
100 Deadpool/GLI: Summer Fun Spectacular #1 – $3.99 – 22,856
133 Loners #4 – $2.99 – 15,645
211 Fantastic Four & Power Pack #1 – $2.99 – 6,574

Click here for the Sales Estimates figures dating back to 1996 and more information on what the numbers mean.

Sales Estimates

Compiled in one place for the first time, I have extracted the sales estimates for all New Warriors-related comic books listed on this site released from September 1996 to present. There are also sporadic sales estimates for books released prior to September 1996. The information was mostly compiled from Diamond Comic Distributor’s monthly Top 300 lists and the The Comics Chronicles sales charts calculated by John Jackson Miller. This page will be updated as new estimates are released.

Continue reading “Sales Estimates”