Thursday, September 22, 2016

Star Wars Titles Showing Signs of Fatigue in August

The Comics Chronicles released the August 2016 estimated sales earlier this month.  DC Rebirth titles again dominated the top of the charts.  Marvel's top title, Amazing Spider-Man #16, took the 4th position on the chart.  Marvel's next title to chart was Star Wars, in position 20, and for the second month in a row is the only Star Wars title to break into the top 25 titles for the month.

TitleIssueMonthly RankEstimated SalesLast Estimated SalesPercent Change
Star Wars222085,12690,863-6.31%
Darth Vader243175,40177,430-2.62%
Han Solo32667,81683,738-19.01%
Poe Dameron54452,58157,712-8.89%
The Force Awakens35141,57549,423-15.88%

For the second month in a row, every Star Wars title saw a drop in units sold.  Like last month, Darth Vader had the smallest drop, with a loss of over 2,000 units.  The main Star Wars title fell a surprisingly high 5,700+ units.  In just 2 months, the main title has shed over 10,000 units.  The recent announcement of a Yoda tale pre-The Phantom Menace in issue #26 should prove a much needed lift for this title.  It has to be remembered that every comic has to compete for reader dollars and the best way to capture a reader's attention is to generate buzz for the title.  Darth Vader is approaching it's end with issue #25 which has readers speculating which character's are going to live and die including fan favorites Doctor Aphra, 0-0-0, and BT-1.  Star Wars has not had an attention grabbing story since the Vader Down crossover.  This is not to say the stories since Vader Down have been bad, but to remain a top selling title these days requires an event to pull in readers.

Poe Dameron's loss is inline with the drop for Kanan's 5th issue.  So far, Poe Dameron has proven to be a better seller.  With the followup movie for The Force Awakens still over a year away, Poe Dameron could survive as one of Marvel's mid tier sellers until then.

Han Solo #3 fell another 19.01%, which is pretty normal for a mini-series.  Han Solo #1 sold another 6,885 units in August.  The Force Awakens #3 shed just under 8,000 units.  Overall, both mini-series are performing as expected.

Marvel has not announced any new mini-series past Han Solo and The Force Awakens which will end in November.  It has announce a new ongoing title which will debut in December, the same month Rogue One is due to hit theaters.  The content of the title is being kept under wraps.  This should help lift the Star Wars line out of the doldrums it has seen the last few months.

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
August 2016322,499564,500

The average sale per issue is the lowest for the modern Star Wars line and it would rank 42nd on the top 300 chart for the month of August.  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 20 years counting: Two decades of sales reports -- plus August 2016's comics sales estimates.  I want to congratulate and thank John Jackson Miller for the work he has put into his reports for 20 years.  That is an accomplishment worth recognizing.

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