DEATH OF WOLVERINE is #1, But FUTURES END Powers DC to September Comic Book Sales Win

Marvel Comics September 2014 solicitations
Credit: Marvel Comics

The first two issues of Marvel’s Death of Wolverine event were the bestselling comic books of September 2014 in the Direct Market, but this year’s Futures End edition of DC’s now annual September event month, along with their 3D lenticular covers and the fact DC shipped over 40 more items in September than Marvel, helped the publisher to now-rare Market Share wins over their chief rival.

According to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, DC led all publishers with 36.58% of Dollar Share, compared to 32.04% for Marvel, and 40.76% of Unit Share, compared to Marvel’s 34.11%. In a press release Friday morning, DC announced that 40.76% of Units equals 3.5 million comic books sold to retailers. As the publisher themselves noted this makes the fourth year in a row DC has led the market in the month of September.

Joker Mask/Death of the Family Box Set
Joker Mask/Death of the Family Box Set
Credit: DC Comics

DC was also helped by the #1 bestselling graphic novel of the month, the Batman: Death of the Family Book & Joker Mask Set.

“Our publishing business continues to be a top priority for DC Entertainment and I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s success this September,” said Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment President in the press release, adding the publisher expects 2014 to be a “record-setting year for the entire DC Entertainment business.”

Death of Wolverine #1 Leinil Yu variant
Death of Wolverine #1 Leinil Yu variant
Credit: Marvel Comics

As noted, fans often deride killing characters temporarily, but it’s inarguably effective. DC’s Futures End event wasn’t enough to overcome the “death” of Wolverine, the first two issues of which outsold all other comic books last month, at least to retailers. In other words, Marvel probably isn’t going to stop what works any time soon.

The DC-Marvel horserace aside, more importantly, overall industry sales while slightly down in Unit Sales versus September 2013, were up a strong 5.64% in Dollar Sales. Yes, that means readers just footed the bill with higher cover prices, but it does put positive dollars in the hands of Direct Market comic book retailers heading into the holiday season.

Sales of the just-completed 3rd Quarter of 2014 are up significantly over 3rd Quarter 2013 in Units and Dollars and overall, year-to-date 2014 sales are down slightly in terms of Unit sales (- 1.51%) but up 3.19% in Dollars with graphic novel sales growing at a greater rate than comic book sales.

The September 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.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

DC ENTERTAINMENT

36.58%

MARVEL COMICS

32.04%

IMAGE COMICS

7.49%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.52%

DARK HORSE COMICS

4.11%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.34%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.18%

EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD

1.29%

RANDOM HOUSE

1.15%

VIZ MEDIA

0.96%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.34%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

DC ENTERTAINMENT

40.76%

MARVEL COMICS

34.11%

IMAGE COMICS

8.24%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.30%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.24%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.31%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.28%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.71%

AVATAR PRESS INC

0.66%

ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

0.63%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

4.77%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

DC ENTERTAINMENT

124

27

0

151

MARVEL COMICS

80

26

1

107

IMAGE COMICS

57

12

0

69

DARK HORSE COMICS

36

21

0

57

IDW PUBLISHING

35

18

0

53

BOOM! STUDIOS

30

7

0

37

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

34

0

0

34

VIZ MEDIA

0

24

0

24

RANDOM HOUSE

3

20

0

23

EAGLEMOSS

0

0

12

12

OTHER NON-TOP 10

85

110

21

216

 

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

SEPTEMBER 2014 VS. AUGUST 2014

COMICS

28.33%

23.90%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

12.12%

-1.67%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

23.40%

21.86%

SEPTEMBER 2014 VS. SEPTEMBER 2013

COMICS

4.58%

-0.12%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

8.49%

-1.61%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

5.64%

-0.22%

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

COMICS

2.69%

-2.04%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

4.33%

4.99%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

3.19%

-1.51%

THIRD QUARTER 2014 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2014

COMICS

13.59%

13.56%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

0.75%

0.77%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

9.50%

12.51%

THIRD QUARTER 2014 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2013

COMICS

10.30%

6.15%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

7.04%

4.17%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

9.33%

6.01%

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1

$4.99

MAR

2

DEATH OF WOLVERINE #2

$4.99

MAR

3

BATMAN: FUTURES END #1

$3.99

DC

4

HARLEY QUINN: FUTURES END #1

$3.99

DC

5

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6

$3.99

MAR

6

JUSTICE LEAGUE: FUTURES END #1

$3.99

DC

7

ORIGINAL SIN #8

$4.99

MAR

8

DETECTIVE COMICS: FUTURES END #1

$3.99

DC

9

JUSTICE LEAGUE #33

$3.99

DC

10

BATMAN/SUPERMAN: FUTURES END #1

$3.99

DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN: DEATH OF THE FAMILY BOOK & THE JOKER MASK BOXED SET

$39.99

DC

2

FOREVER EVIL HC (N52)

$24.99

DC

3

YU-GI-OH! 5DS VOLUME 6 GN

$9.99

VIZ

4

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2: ANGELA TP

$19.99

MAR

5

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 10 HC (MR)

$34.99

IMA

6

HARLEY QUINN: VENGEANCE UNLIMITED TP

$19.99

DC

7

SAGA VOLUME 1 HC (MR)

$9.99

IMA

8

KICK-ASS 3 PREMIERE HC (MR)

$29.99

MAR

9

FATALE VOLUME 5: CURSE THE DEMON TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

10

SAGA VOLUME 3 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA


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