Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Vader Down Lifts Star Wars Up; Over 1 Million Star Wars Comics Sold in November

The Comics Chronicles released the November estimated sales a few weeks back.  With the help of Vader Down #1, the Star Wars titles sold over 1 million comics in November, the best month ever.

TitleIssueMonthly RankEstimated SalesLast Estimated SalesPercent Change
Vader Down12384,969N/AN/A
Star Wars117126,780134,613-5.82%
Star Wars129123,133126,780-2.88%
Darth Vader1311113,44890,077+25.95%
Darth Vader121690,07792,866-3.00%

Vader Down #1 is the 2nd best selling modern Star Wars issue behind Star Wars #1.  It took 2nd place behind Dark Knight III: Master Race #1.  While Marvel did not publish as many incentive and exclusive covers for Vader Down #1 as they did for Star Wars #1, there are still more of them than the standard issue.  (My last count showed there were 36 different covers.)  Earlier, Marvel announced Vader Down #1 sold over 450,000 copies, so I am not sure where the nearly 70,000 copy discrepancy is between what Marvel reported and what The Comics Chronicles calculated.  Maybe we will see next month.  This event carries over into Darth Vader #13, also out this month, which saw a 25.95% increase over Darth Vader #12.  Undoubtedly, Star Wars #13 will see a similar rise next month.  This 6-issue event runs through Darth Vader #13 - 15 and Star Wars #13 and 14 and I expect these event issues to sell better than the last non-event issue of each title.

Both Star Wars and Darth Vader shipped 2 issues in November.  Star Wars #11 and 12 saw a modest drop in sales.  Darth Vader #12 also saw a modest drop and as mentioned above, Darth Vader #13 was up over 23,000 copies.  This month is the closest sales have been between the Star Wars and Darth Vader titles since their inception.  If you look at the top 300 comics for November, Star Wars #11 was the top selling issue in an ongoing title that is not a #1.  Uncanny X-Men #600 took the 8th spot on the chart, edging out Star Wars #12.  Not counting Uncanny X-Men #600, Darth Vader #13 was the second best selling issue in an ongoing title that is not a #1.  Both titles, almost a year after they began, are showing the same kind of longevity seen by DC's Batman title.

Chewbacca #4, with 58,051 copies, is now the lowest selling issue in a Star Wars mini-series, besting Lando #5 which sold 59,760 copies.  I expect Chewbacca #5 to sell less than #4.  The next mini-series is Obi-wan and Anakin.  It will be interesting to see if it reverses the trend of each new mini-series selling less than the previous mini-series.

Kanan shed a modest 1,303 issues this month with 42,824 copies sold.  Marvel has already announce that Kanan #12 will be the final issue in this title.  This might be understandable since the Star Wars mini-series have been outselling this ongoing title.  Whether or not Marvel replaces Kanan with another ongoing title or just adds another mini-series to the mix every month is unknown.  I suspect Marvel will be seeking a higher profile character or sub-brand for the next ongoing if that is the direction they go.

Here is a table with the number of Star Wars issues sold per month since January 2015 along with the average number of sales per issue.  Note this chart does not include reprints of which there were several in the month of November.

Month/YearTotal Estimated Sales# IssuesAverage Sale per Issue
January 2015985,9761985,976
February 2015526,4513175,484
March 2015596,2994149,075
April 2015537,8124134,453
May 2015324,8353108,278
June 2015396,931499,232
July 2015597,0235119,404
August 2015430,241586,048
September 2015551,8805110,376
October 2015953,2891095,329
November 20151,003,9548125,494

The average sale per issue would rank 9th on the top 300 chart for the month of November.  The 8 Star Wars issues alone account for roughly 1 out of every 8.3 top 300 comics sold!  When comparing Marvel and DC's market shares, this cannot be discounted as these titles account for 12% of Marvel's top 300 sales.

Take a look at the Star Wars Sales Estimate Chart and please read the blog posting Comichron November 2015 comics sales estimates online: Dark Knight III tops 440,000 copies.

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