Saturday, August 8, 2009

Comic Books' Anemic Sales These Days

You may be surprised to learn how few copies of super-hero comic books are sold each month.

The news has been peppered for over a year with stories of periodic newspaper closures, media consolidations and famous magazines like "Newsweek" going exclusively online. But with this summer's "Transformers" movie about to break $400 million in ticket sales in the United States alone this summer, and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" having grossed $350 million worldwide to date, you'd be forgiven for thinking that comic books must be bucking this insidious trend of decreasing circulation figures.

Not so, unfortunately. Sales figures for June 2009 were just released by Diamond Comics Distributors, and the "Transformers" movie adaptation sold a mere 10,400 copies. "Amazing Spider-Man" sold only 61,000 copies. "Wolverine" sold 66,000 and the X-Men's flagship comic book, "Uncanny X-Men" sold 76,000 copies. The top selling comic book in June was "Batman and Robin," which sold 168,500 copies, one of only two comics to break 100,000 in sales.

By comparison, as recently as the mid-1990s, the top selling comic books, including X-Men and Spider-Man, would regularly sell over 1 million copies each month.

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