January Sales Estimates – How Did Marvel NOW Hold Up?

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superior 195x300 January Sales Estimates   How Did Marvel NOW Hold Up?The January sales estimates are up at The Comics Chronicles.  It’s a big January and is looking like a win for Marvel, more so with their launches.  We’re starting to see the tiers establish themselves for the relaunch, and the reorders are a bit less I was expecting to see, in what I’m very close to proclaiming “New 52 Lite” from a sales perspective.

Superior Spider-Man seems to be the culmination of a long-running story, rather than a pure Marvel NOW! relaunch, but it certainly brought the heat in January.  188K for issue #1 and 112.5K for #2.  That’s a pretty strong launch.

The way this seems to be going is Marvel offers a metric ton of variant covers and incentive discounts for the #1 issues, so we see a big drop for #2 and then the adjustments start to set in for #3 on.  Figure we’re talking about issues 4,5,6 that will give the real baselines, depending on how many two issue months Marvel is cranking out for a given title.

Here’s the breakdown

Debuts:

  • Superior Spider-Man – 188K/112.5K
  • New Avengers – 112K / 79.4K
  • Savage Wolverine - 102.5K
  • Uncanny X-Force – 86K
  • Young Avengers – 71K
  • Morbius The Living Vampire – 43.8K
  • Deadpool Killustrated – 36.7K

And you can sort of see the A-List/B-List separation there.

Month #2

  • Avengers – 92K / 83K
  • Cable & X-Force – 51K
  • Thunderbolts – 41K
  • Avengers Arena – 38.4K

Month #3+

  • Uncanny Avengers – 93.9K
  • All-New X-Men – 76K/80K
  • Captain America – 59.8K
  • Indestructible Hulk – 59.4K
  • Deadpool - 57K
  • Iron Man – 50.9K
  • Fantastic Four – 50.5K
  • Thor – 50.4K
  • A + X – 48K
  • FF – 41K
  • X-Men Legacy – 34.8K

Is all this really selling out and generating big reorders?  Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of big.  There’s a lot of Spidey-related reorders, led by Avenging Spider-Man #15.1 with 10.6K.  There’s still a huge gap between orders of 15.1 and #700, which I find curious, given the high numbers of Superior Spider-Man.  Not enough stores bothered reordering and there’s a gap?  Not enough readers actually care about that issue?  Superior Spider-Man‘s actual consumer demand is less than those high orders?  We’re looking at a cumulative ~210.9K for Amazing Spider-Man #700 vs. 188K/112.5K for Superior Spider-Man #1/2 vs. 52.1K for Avenging Spider-Man 15.1.  I’d think Avenging ought to be closer to 75K.

But what about non-death-event reorders?

  • Variant editions of All New X-Men #3 and #4 – 6.3K/6K
  • Avengers #2 – 5K
  • Deadpool 1&2 – 4.3K/4.6K

There’s Deadpool performing better than you’d expect… again.  But the X-Bendis books are variants, which might need a grain of salt to be taking with it, given the #1 variants.  Any other reorders are outside the top 300, even if it’s a rather high threshold for the top 300.

We’re still not seeing a Batman - level breakout hit or Justice League, for that matter.  Avengers looks to be retaining a some readers, but seems like it might be joining All-New X-Men in the 70K-80K range, longer term.  You can see the 50-60K sales band starting to form.

The best-selling non-relaunched title is Wolverine & The X-Men at 44.7K/43.9K.  Hawkeye is next at 37K.  Notice a big difference between the existing lineup and the relaunch? Wolverine & The X-Men was one of Marvel’s better sellers before the relaunch.  I don’t know if that’s normal attrition or some people switched their money to new #1s.  It’s something to keep an eye on.

If you go back to January 2012, ~50K – 63K was the sales band for Marvel’s top books – X-*.*, Avengers and Spidey.  Everything else is below it.  The second string looks to be occupying that 50-60K band right now, with Avengers, X-*.* and Spidey trying to find their levels somewhere above that band.  Which is to say, not all that different from January 2010, if you throw out the #1s.

Comments

  1. I’m surprised people are so surprised by the gap between Amazing and Avenging. Avenging is a secondary title by a secondary writer–and I’m not talking quality there, but this is clearly Slott’s story, and no matter how much Marvel would like us to buy all their comics, the big stuff was not going to happen in the other book.

    Wolverine & The X-Men is an interesting case–it was launched alongside Uncanny vol.2 as one of the two real core books of the X-world, but more and more it seems to be moving away from that central position and now leaving the franchise headliners to Bendis, which I think is actually much better for a ridiculous, quirky book like this, but it’s reflected in the sales.

  2. Dreamer says:

    Thanks for the analysis. :-)

  3. I definitely agree with Neals on both topics. I buy Amazing cause of Slott. Avenging is a vestigial book.

    Wolverine and the X-Men, however, is not, and it’s a shame it’s being treated as such. Aaron and his artists are KILLING it on that book, it’s my favorite read every time it comes out.

  4. Mikael says:

    Look at the sales charts for the New 52 around Month 8 or 9. And you’ll see far more of those titles selling the same or better than most of the Marvel Now only 2-3 months in. Quality aside, it really is Marvel Now-lite.

  5. As much as the sales figures from Marvel’s slightly-less-New-than-New 52-NOW! launch interest me, I’m more interested in sales that Valiant is getting/not getting with its work. I think Valiant killing it in the quality department, and deserve a greater share of the market than they’re getting. And Superior would be getting my dollars if Marvel followed through with the premise (at least temporarily) of a new, interesting character without Parker-ghost as a constant, annoying reminder that it amounts to a stunt.

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