Thursday, November 17, 2016

DC Comics Sales in October 2016

On May 27th, DC Comics kicked off the Rebirth era to great acclaim from critics and fans alike. In June they released their first batch of Rebirth #1's and saw a solid boost in comic sales. In July and August and September they actually surpassed Marvel Comics in terms of market share, which is a very rare thing (at least over the last 15 years).

In this post, I will share some of the numbers from the October sales reports from Diamond Comic Distributors (U.S. physical sales), as crunched by Comichron. For October 2016, Marvel returned to its typical roost atop the sales charts, but DC is hanging around much closer than it was doing in 2014, 2015, or the early part of 2016. Since acquiring the Star Wars line, Marvel has been a comic sales powerhouse. And along those lines, Marvel posted a dollar share of 35.9% to DC's 30.7% (Image 9.5%), and Marvel had a unit share of 36.5% to DC's 34.8% (Image 8.8%). The two market share figures are not the same because DC has a lower average price per issue, thanks to the $2.99 cover price on most DC books, which I personally appreciate a lot.

Marvel's sales were boosted by a few prominent #1's (e.g., Champions, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerer Supreme) and the next installment in their drawn out Civil War II event. Star Wars #25 also came out for them as a big seller. Meanwhile, DC ticked slightly down because they have exited their phase of Rebirth #1's and they are now into the heart of the ongoing series.

Even though DC was slightly behind Marvel for October, it is important to realize that the pie itself has gotten significantly bigger since Rebirth began. The total number of units sold in the US is up 11% over last year and up 16% over five years ago. This is astounding when one realizes that that industry growth is not counting digital sales, which are obviously way up since five years ago as well. So it's really a win-win right now for DC and Marvel.

If you're curious, the top sellers for DC in October were mainly the Batman-related books. Batman Dark Knight III The Master Race, Batman, and All-Star Batman posted issues in the top ten. Detective Comics also posted issues in the top twenty, as did Justice League and The Flash.

Note: Take this however you wish, but while we're on the topic of money and DC/Marvel comparisons, you might be interested to know that Marvel CEO Perlmutter gave millions of dollars to the Trump campaign for president, last winter and right up through October.

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