Friday, December 19, 2003

Manga vs. DM sales #s... 

Ok, there was an article on ICv2 whose main purpose was to say that Hellsing would start off with a large printing, but the interesting thing was the real sales numbers they mention on Trigun. Due to licensing restraints, Trigun was larger and more expensive than usual for manga ($15 but very thick) and while people worried about that, it seems that it has done really well. I'd say that the #s are probably realistic because of the multiple printings involved.

So, the first printing of Trigun (released in October) was 35,000 copies. That sold out and the second printing was another 15,000. That also sold out, and they just did a third printing of 15,000 that'll be out for the new year.

For the purposes of this comparison, I'll count the first two printings and say Trigun has sold 50,000 copies. At $14.95 each, this comes out to $747,500 in sales.

To compare, here is some approximations from ICv2's readings of comic numbers from October and September, from here.

In October, AVENGERS/JLA #2 had strong sales and was expensive:
176,734 * $5.95 = $1,051,567.30

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #500 (#59) does about half as well:
162,176 * $3.50 = $567,616

So, so far Trigun's sales are above an issue of Spider-Man, but less than Avengers/JLA

Looking at the October GNs CHRONICLES OF CONAN VOL 1 TP doesn't fare up so well:
8,322 * $15.95 = $132,735.90

To be interesting, let's look at Trigun in that month from Diamond:
7,502 * $14.95 = $112,154.90

I'm not sure how these Diamond listings list re-orders (do they list it at all?), and of course some shops use Cold Cut, but it seems like around a 5th of Trigun's sales have been in the DM.

Now, let's look at September for some perspective. BATMAN #619 sells a lot, but has a pretty low cover price
233,775 * $2.25 = $525,993.75

In GNs, it is all about Gaiman's SANDMAN ENDLESS NIGHTS HC
26,230 * $24.95 = $654,438.50

In comparison 100 BULLETS VOL 6 SIX FEET UNDER GUN TP barely makes a mark

Considering Endless Nights also had a big bookstore market, I think it is fair to say that it has made a lot more than either Trigun or the highest monthly comics.

Of course this isn't the whole story either. Dark Horse isn't the biggest manga publisher out there. Tokyopop has said the following:

Tokyopop's top-selling titles (Chobits, Love Hina, Sailor Moon and many others) can sell in the 100,000-copy range. But some titles have sold 250,000 copies with the assistance of book clubs or TV or DVD releases of anime, the animated film version of manga titles. Levy said he expects to get "a non-media assisted 250,000-copy book hit in the very near future."

100,000 * $9.95 = $995,000
250,000 * $9.95 = $2,487,500

Tokyopop says it published 350 titles in 2003. Just about all of those were $9.95. Some titles sold 250,000 copies, and some must have sold much less. Let's throw out a random number. Say the average was 20,000 copies sold:
20,000 * $9.95 * 350 = $69,650,000 about 70million dollars sold for the year.

Obviously not all of that money went into Tokyopop's pockets, and even less is profits after their own expenses, but I just illustrate it to show that the manga market really is getting quite big and companies like Tokyopop are surely not losing money...

If someone is feeling especially ambitious and wants to try to come to a number for Marvel or DC total yearly comic sales based on the charts, that'd be really cool. It's lot more complicated due to the varying prices and sheer numbers of different titles, but maybe some broad averages can be made.

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