Marvel's SECRET EMPIRE Strikes Back: May Comics Sales Post Strong Gains

"Secret Empire #1" cover
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Five shipping weeks (versus four in 2016) and the first three issues of Marvel's latest event Secret Empire helped Marvel Comics to healthy market share leads and an 8%-plus gain in Direct Market comic book sales in May 2017 compared to last year. 

According to sales figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Secret Empire #1 was the best-selling comic book in May and it was joined by issue #2 (6th) and #3 (8th) and three other Marvel titles including Venom #150 in the Top 10. DC's lenticular versions of Batman and The Flash #23, the final two parts of "The Button" crossover, were the third and fourth best-selling titles of the month, and like April the standard versions of those titles likely chart by themselves outside the Top 10. Image Comics'' The Walking Dead #167 ranked tenth and is the lone non-Marvel/DC title in the Top 10. 

Rob Liefeld's return to Deadpool in an original graphic novel, Deadpool: Bad Blood, was the the best-selling graphic novel of May. 

Marvel was May's top publisher with a 38.05% dollar share and a 39.91% unit share, with DC around 10% behind with a 27.93% dollar share and a 30.88% unit share. In third was Image Comics with a 10.25% dollar share and a 11.83% unit share. 

Thanks to the event-heavy month and again the extra ship week, overall sales were up 8.31% in dollar sales compared to the four-week May 2016, and nearly double that percentage - 16.49% - in unit sales, again partly thanks to DC's lower "Rebirth" cover prices, which will begin to correct itself next month. 

May posted larger gains in comics (10.58% dollar) than graphic novels (3.54%) and now year-to-date dollar sales are down 2.92% compared to 2016 but up 7.35% in units. Breaking that down ever further, comic book sales are up versus 2016 inclding a slight 0.11% in dollar sales but are down 8-9% in graphic novel sales. 

The May 2017 Market ShareComparative Sales Data, and New Titles Shipped charts, along with Top 10 Comic Books and Top 10 Graphic Novels charts follow below.

PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

38.05%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

27.93%

IMAGE COMICS

10.25%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.65%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.05%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.10%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.72%

TITAN COMICS

1.18%

VIZ MEDIA

1.12%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.89%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

9.06%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

39.91%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

30.88%

IMAGE COMICS

11.83%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.78%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.21%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.85%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.74%

TITAN COMICS

0.99%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.80%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.59%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.42%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

MAY 2017 VS. APRIL 2017

COMICS

16.49%

17.36%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

17.13%

19.52%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

16.69%

17.53%

TOYS

52.15%

52.94%

MAY 2017 VS. MAY 2016

COMICS

10.58%

16.74%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

3.54%

13.65%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

8.31%

16.49%

TOYS

40.46%

29.34%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016

COMICS

0.11%

8.89%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-9.23%

-8.72%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-2.92%

7.35%

TOYS

1.14%

1.10%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

99

43

0

142

DC ENTERTAINMENT

82

34

0

116

IMAGE COMICS

71

14

1

86

IDW PUBLISHING

59

15

0

74

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

26

10

0

36

TITAN COMICS

22

7

4

33

DARK HORSE COMICS

20

12

0

32

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

23

7

0

30

ONI PRESS INC.

6

4

0

10

VIZ MEDIA

0

9

0

9

OTHER NON-TOP 10

119

203

28

350

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SECRET EMPIRE #1

$4.99

MAR

2

VENOM #150

$5.99

MAR

3

BATMAN #22 LENTICULAR EDITION

$3.99

DC

4

THE FLASH #22 LENTICULAR EDITION

$3.99

DC

5

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MISSION BREAKOUT #1

$4.99

MAR

6

SECRET EMPIRE #2

$4.99

MAR

7

BATMAN #23

$2.99

DC

8

SECRET EMPIRE #3

$3.99

MAR

9

ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1

$3.99

MAR

10

THE WALKING DEAD #167 (MR)

$2.99

IMA


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DEADPOOL: BAD BLOOD OGN HC

$24.99

MAR

2

BITCH PLANET VOLUME 2: PRESIDENT BITCH TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

3

SAGA VOLUME 7 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

4

WONDER WOMAN VOLUME 2: YEAR ONE TP

$16.99

DC

5

MOONSHINE VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

6

THE FLASH VOLUME 2: THE SPEED OF DARKNESS TP

$14.99

DC

7

CHAMPIONS VOLUME 1: CHANGE THE WORLD TP

$15.99

MAR

8

BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOLUME 2: VICTIM SYNDICATE

$16.99

DC

9

THE UNWORTHY THOR TP

$15.99

MAR

10

DOOM PATROL VOLUME 1: BRICK BY BRICK TP (MR)

$16.99

DC


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