BATMAN Tops in March, But Marvel Exerts Market Dominance in Down Comics Sales Month

Batman #29
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

Despite publishing the four bestselling comic books in the Direct Market in March 2014, DC couldn't prevent Marvel from posting some of their strongest comparative market shares in the DC New 52 era, and overall sales were down vs. 2013 for the third consecutive month.

According to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Marvel sat on top of both market share categories in March, selling 34.31% (dollar) and 38.17% (unit) of all comic books and graphic novels to comic shops during the month, better than 8 and 9 percentage points ahead of DC's 25.94% (dollar) and 29.02% (unit) share; again, this is despite Batman #29, Superman Unchained #6, Forever Evil #6, and Sandman Overture #2 being the four bestselling comic books, respectively.

The Walking Dead vol 20 - All Out War Part 1
The Walking Dead vol 20 - All Out War Part 1
Credit: Image Comics

Standard graphic novel chart-topper The Walking Dead led that chart with its 20th volume All Out War Part 1, and The Walking Dead #124 (still in the  midst of the "All Out War" storyline) again appears in the comic book Top 10, helping Image along to  very strong double-digit 11%+ market shares. Image Comics' continuous chart emergence remains a 2013-2014 story to keep an eye on.

But despite what Marvel and Image could regard as good news, the overall market once again showed slippage vs. 2013. An 18.31% gain in graphic novel sales mitigated a -9.47% decline in comic book sales vs. March 2013, for an overall slight -1.48% overall dollar decline, although units were a more troubling -9.28% down.

With the first quarter of 2014 now compete, overall sales are down -4.40% in dollars and -9.85% in units year-to-date vs. 2013.

Is help on the way for comic book retailers, particularly in the comic book unit category? Despite not having an issue of Forever Evil in April, DC will have the first four issues of new weekly series Batman: Eternal to boost bottom lines and Marvel confirms they currently have orders for 500k+ units of Amazing Spider-Man #1, with four more ordering days to go.

The March 2014 Market Share, Comparative Sales Data, and New Titles Shipped charts, along with Top 10 Comic Books and Top 10 Graphic Novels charts follow below.

Look for more March 2014 sales analysis from Comichron soon.

TOP PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

34.31%

DC COMICS

25.94%

IMAGE COMICS

11.38%

DARK HORSE COMICS

6.19%

IDW PUBLISHING

5.29%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.61%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.99%

EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD

1.59%

AVATAR PRESS INC

1.14%

RANDOM HOUSE

1.04%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.53%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

38.17%

DC COMICS

29.02%

IMAGE COMICS

11.04%

DARK HORSE COMICS

5.72%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.51%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.56%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.84%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.95%

ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

0.95%

AVATAR PRESS INC

0.94%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

4.29%

TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

DC COMICS

84

28

1

113

MARVEL COMICS

75

34

0

109

IMAGE COMICS

54

13

0

67

IDW PUBLISHING

42

22

0

64

DARK HORSE COMICS

42

15

0

57

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

34

5

0

39

BOOM! STUDIOS

28

7

0

35

AVATAR PRESS

11

4

0

15

RANDOM HOUSE

0

15

0

15

EAGLEMOSS

0

0

12

12

OTHER

63

104

16

183

 

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

MARCH 2014 VS. FEBRUARY 2014

COMICS

4.11%

6.32%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

24.00%

25.00%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

10.22%

7.93%

MARCH 2014 VS. MARCH 2013

COMICS

-9.47%

-11.83%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

18.31%

22.85%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-1.48%

-9.28%

FIRST QUARTER 2014 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2013

COMICS

-14.30%

-13.77%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-11.59%

-1.59%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-13.45%

-12.82%

FIRST QUARTER 2014 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2013

COMICS

-6.89%

-11.40%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

1.39%

10.06%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-4.40%

-9.85%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013

COMICS

-6.89%

-11.40%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

1.39%

10.06%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-4.40%

-9.85%

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN #29

$4.99

DC

2

SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #6

$3.99

DC

3

FOREVER EVIL #6

$3.99

DC

4

SANDMAN OVERTURE #2 (MR)

$3.99

DC

5

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #29

$3.99

MAR

6

DAREDEVIL #1

$3.99

MAR

7

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #30

$3.99

MAR

8

SILVER SURFER #1

$3.99

MAR

9

THE WALKING DEAD #124 (MR)

$2.99

IMA

10

UNCANNY X-MEN #19.NOW

$3.99

MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 20: ALL OUT WAR PART 1 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

2

SAGA VOLUME 3 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

3

NEMO: ROSES OF BERLIN HC (MR)

$14.95

TOP

4

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER VOL. 7: RIFT PART 1 TP

$10.99

DAR

5

CHEW VOLUME 8: FAMILY RECIPES TP (MR)

$12.99

IMA

6

JUSTICE LEAGUE: TRINITY WAR HC (N52)

$29.99

DC

7

HARLEY QUINN: WELCOME TO METROPOLIS TP

$19.99

DC

8

ADVENTURE TIME VOL. 3: SEEING RED OGN

$11.99

BOO

9

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 1 TP

$24.99

MAR

10

STRAY BULLETS UBER ALLES EDITION TP (MR)

$59.99

IMA


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