Watchmen: One Million Copies in 2008

Dave Gibbons on Watchmen Motion Comics

As we reported earlier this week in our discussion with DC President Paul Levitz, the Watchmen trailer has had a significant effect on sales of the trade collection of the late ‘80s comic series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Previously, orders of 250-300,000 copies of the trade post-trailer were reported, but now, according to the New York Times, that number’s going up. Way up.

As George Gene Gustines reported for the Times, DC has printed 900,000 copies of the trade since the trailer debuted with The Dark Knight. The paper cites Levitz as saying that, in total; DC will have printed more than a million copies of Watchmen in 2008. "As far as we can tell from our conversations with the book industry people, there has never been a trailer that did this," Levitz told the Times. A representative from DC Comics confirmed the million copies number for Newsarama.

The trade has enjoyed a four-week run on USA Today’s bestseller list, where it has moved to #18 this week. It has also climbed as high as #2 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list. Currently, the trade is at #10 on Amazon.com.

According to BookScan, which measures sales at brick-and-mortar bookstores, Watchmen sold about 100,000 copies in 2007. The trade is perennially one of the best-selling trades in the comic book direct market as well.

As Levitz told Newsarama, the numbers are busting internal DC sales projections on a weekly basis. “It’s an exciting roller coaster,” Levitz said. “I have no idea how many copies we may sell when this is all said and done. I have hopes, but we’re already achieving some of what our hopes were before, so we just keep lifting the goal numbers.”

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