Diamond has released its full Top 300 lists for December, as well as posting online its Top 500s for the year, incorporated here and addressed in another post, thus completing the picture for the year. Click to see the Top 300 comics and trades for the month.
Preliminary estimates for December were confirmed in that no title for the month topped the 100,000 mark, and in fact, the top-seller, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, landed at almost exactly 90,000 copies, marking an all-time record low for a top-seller. First-month sales were actually 10,000 copies less than last month’s top seller, another Batman first issue priced at a dollar more. However, it’s unclear how Diamond’s holiday schedule figures into things. (Revision: There was a shipment on Dec. 29; it was in 2009 that Dec. 30 was a skip week. I indeed live in the past!)
As this is the sixth month with the top-seller in five figures and the fourth time in five months for it, the 100,000 figure may seem a less useful benchmark for the future — but given how much higher sales roles off the lows of 2000 (numbers that were not much different than these), it’s not time to put it away just yet.
We’re still looking at high unit sales levels for the 300th-place item — 3,811 copies for a comic book priced at $7.99 (!), the third-highest unit sales for the cut-off item all year. That said, the sales fall off fairly quickly just a dozen items after that in the list, with the 313th-place item at just over 3,300 copies.
The aggregate totals for December, and the year:
TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
December 2010: 5.56 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -12%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -15%
Versus 10 years ago this month: unchanged
4th Quarter 2010: 18.66 million copies, -10% vs. 2009
2010 Year-End: 69.2 million copies, -8% vs. 2009, -9% vs. 2005, unchanged vs. 2000
ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
December 2010 versus one year ago this month: -10.69%
2010 Year-End: -5.91%
December 2010: $20.33 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -10%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +2%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +29%
4th Quarter 2010: $61.39 million, -6% vs. 2009
2010 Year-End: $245.72 million, -5% vs. 2009, +11% vs. 2005, +29% vs. 2000
ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
December 2010 versus one year ago this month: -7.45%
2010 Year-End: -4.65%
December 2010: $6.52 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +24%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: unchanged
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +42%
4th Quarter 2010: $20.83 million, +20% vs. 2009
2010 Year-end: $76.31 million, -2% vs. 2009
ALL TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
December 2010 versus one year ago this month: +26.74%
2010 Year-End: -1.02%
December 2010: $26.85 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: -1%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: -4%
4th Quarter 2010: $82.23 million, -1% vs. 2009
2010 Year-end: $321.98 million, -4% vs. 2009
ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
December 2010 versus one year ago this month: +2.2%
2010 Year-End: -3.48%
December 2010: approximately $36.5 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +2%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +15%
4th Quarter 2010: $109.05 million, +4% vs. 2009
2010 Year-end: $418.63 million, -3% vs. 2009
The average comic book in Diamond’s Top 300 cost $3.74. The average Top 300 comic book that retailers ordered from Diamond cost $3.65. The median comic book price in Diamond’s Top 300 was $3.99, and the most common cover price on Diamond’s list was also $3.99.
Be sure to check out the Top Sellers for 2010 — it’s a big list!
Comichron founder John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 25 years, including a decade editing the industry’s retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises.
He is the author of novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Dawn, Star Trek: Discovery – The Enterprise War, and his latest release, Star Trek: Discovery – Die Standing. Read more about them at his fiction site.
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