Sunday, September 4, 2016

Star Wars Is Top Ongoing Marvel Title in Tough July

The Comics Chronicles released the July 2016 estimated sales last month.  DC dominated the top of the charts with their DC Rebirth relaunches.  Marvel's top title, the Civil War II mini-series, took the 4th and 7th position on the chart.  Marvel's next title to chart was Star Wars, in position 23 and the only Star Wars title to break into the top 25 titles for the month.  This was also Marvel's top ongoing title for the month.

TitleIssueMonthly RankEstimated SalesLast Estimated SalesPercent Change
Star Wars212390,86396,047-5.40%
Han Solo22683,738152,596-45.12%
Darth Vader233077,43077,610-0.23%
Poe Dameron44457,71260,889-5.22%
The Force Awakens25149,42379,626-37.93%

Every Star Wars title saw a drop in units sold, although the Darth Vader title had a very negligible dip of a 100+ units.  The Star Wars and Darth Vader issues were the lowest selling issues for each title to date and, like last month, failed to rank in the top 10 comics.  Darth Vader #25 is the final issues for that series and so far Marvel has not solicited a Star Wars title to replace it.  Interestingly, Darth Vader was Marvel's third best selling ongoing title for the month, behind Star Wars and Amazing Spider-Man.  One can only imagine Marvel will want a replacement title that does as well as Darth Vader has.

Poe Dameron saw a loss of 3,000+ units compared to last month which is a decent slowing of the number of units shed.  It sold approximately 5,500 more units than Kanan #4, a gain of 1,000 units over last month.  If this decline slowdown continues, Poe Dameron should find a decent sales floor above the Kanan title.

Han Solo had the largest percentage drop of the Star Wars titles with a decrease in unit sales of 45.12%.  Here is a table of the other modern mini-series with 2nd and 1st issues sales as well as the percentage change between those issues:

TitleIssue #2 Estimated SalesIssue #1 Estimated SalesPercent Change
Princess Leia96,262253,655-62.05%
Shattered Empire119,508208,884-42.79%
Obi-Wan and Anakin58,431102,861-43.19%

The Han Solo title's percentage drop is inline with the other mini-series.  This mini-series was well received, unlike the Chewbacca mini-series, so on the surface, it is surprising that issue #2 only sold 9,400+ units more than Chewbacca #2.  Much of this has to do with how comics are ordered; orders for issue #2 would have been sent in before issue #1 went on sale.  It is possible Marvel will issue a 2nd printing for Han Solo #2.  I'm also expecting a much smaller decline for the 3rd issue.

The Force Awakens mini-series continues to outperform the previous 2 movie adaptations: the Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.  When comparing The Force Awakens to the other mini-series Marvel has published, it had the lowest percentage change from issue #1 to issue #2.  Hopefully these numbers are sufficient for Marvel to continue to adapt future Star Wars movies to comics.  Since Marvel also releases hardcover collections of the movie adaptations and The Force Awakens will undoubtedly get the same treatment, Marvel should be looking at these as long term investments that they can publish collections for every few years.

The following table shows the total number of Star Wars units sold per month since January 2015 along with the average number of sales per issue.  Note this chart does not include reprints.

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
December 2015507,545684,591
January 2016465,698593,139
February 2016288,355472,088
March 2016355,554571,110
April 2016533,9765106,795
May 2016299,189474,797
June 2016545,833690,972
July 2016359,166571,833

The average sale per issue would rank 37th on the top 300 chart for the month of July, the lowest ranking average for the Star Wars titles to date.  Star Wars trade paperbacks and reorders are not accounted for with these numbers.  The Star Wars trade paperbacks are strong sellers.

Take a look at the Star Wars Sales Estimate Chart and please read the blog posting July 2016 comics sales estimates: 16 issues top 100,000 copies sold, DC takes 30 of Top 40.

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