Tuesday, January 24, 2017

December Sales Revisited

The over-shipping of several Marvel comics in December had a much bigger impact on the units sent to retailers than I originally thought.  Take Dark Knight III Master Race #7 and IVX #1 as an example:

TitleIssueMonthly Unit RankMonthly Dollar RankEstimated Sales
Dark Knight III Master Race732119,114

From the chart, IVX #1 is ranked 2nd for units with 167,703 units and Dark Knight III Master Race is ranked 3rd with 119,114 units.  But, according to the top 300 chart for December found on The Comic Chronicles site, these positions are reverse when you take into account the dollar ranking.  How is this possible if both comics had an equivalent price of $5.99?

This is where the over-shipping of IVX #1 helps out with the unit ranking.  For IVX to rank higher by units, Marvel had to over-ship by at least 48,590 units and it is most likely more.  Some websites are reporting that retailers received 50% more copies of this comic than ordered.

At least one Star Wars title did benefit from over-shipping, specifically the main title.  Comparing Star Wars #26 to Justice League Suicide Squad #2 shows the discrepancy:

TitleIssueMonthly Unit RankMonthly Dollar RankEstimated Sales
Star Wars26710104,563
Justice League Suicide Squad212882,485

Star Wars #26 is ranked 7th in units with 104,563 units and Justice League Suicide Squad #2 is ranked 12th with 82,485 units.  These positions are different for dollar ranking however, with Justice League Suicide Squad ranked 8th and Star Wars #26 ranked 10th, even though both comics have a price of $3.99.  This means retailers actually ordered less than 82,485 units for Star Wars #26 which is a difference of 22,078 copies or more.  What percentage overage Marvel shipped for Star Wars #26 is unknown.  Here are some possibilities:

Units OrderedPercentage Over-ShipUnits Sent

It has to be remembered we are dealing with estimates to begin with, so at the low end Marvel over-shipped by 25%, but it is possible Marvel over-shipped by as much as 50% more issues than ordered.  Star Wars #25 had estimated unit sales of 75,234.  Marvel did advertise Yoda was in Star Wars #26 and I'm of the opinion that probably had a positive impact on sales.  If the impact was positive, Marvel over-shipped by 25 - 35%, but if there was no impact and sales declined as they traditionally do from month-to-month, Marvel over-shipped by 40 - 50%.  (The assumption here is over-shipment percentage is a multiple of 5 and not a percentage like 38%.)

It does not appear any other Star Wars title was part of Marvel's program to send out more books to retailers than ordered in the month of December.

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