Wonder Woman Sales: #5 Barely Drops At All!!

The sales estimates are up for January 2012, and I’ve got to be honest with you all and say that I haven’t the faintest ideas what’s going on with these numbers.  I mean, it was a great month for Wonder Woman, but there’s no discernible pattern to what’s happening with these sales figures!!  Anyway, Wonder Woman #5 came in 16th place and sold 57,626 copies.  Here are the numbers for the issue, and the five issues previous:

NOTE: The average sales total is based on all of the available sales data, which currently comprises every issue of the series since September 1996, for 177 issues in total.  The average rank is not given because rank is dependent on what other books came out that month, and that’s such a variable that an average really wouldn’t mean anything.

So this is pretty fantastic.  Wonder Woman is in the exact same spot it was last month, 16th overall and in 11th place in terms of the DC books.  No change on those fronts is awesome, and Wonder Woman continues to sit near the top of the charts.  Here’s where it gets crazy: The sales were only down by 49 copies!!  That’s a ridiculously tiny drop of 0.1%.  Not even 0.1%, because I’m rounding up… it’s actually 0.085%.  After drops of 12.1% and 17%, I don’t have a clue why sales stayed so solid in January, but hooray regardless!!

Wonder Woman was one of the better books at DC this month, too.  Of the top 15 DC comics, only 4 had gains (though they were big gains… both Detective Comics and Aquaman rose in the double digits, which is sort of amusing since I just dropped Detective Comics).  Of the 11 comics that dropped from last month, Wonder Woman #5 had the smallest fall, which is pretty impressive.  This was a great month all around for Wonder Woman.

And such a weird month across the board.  In December, everything was down, with nearly every book seeing double digit percentage losses… every book lost about the same percentage of sales.  But the numbers for January were all over the board, with no rhyme or reason.  Like why would Batman: The Dark Knight be up 8.5% while The Flash fell 7.4%?  It doesn’t make any sense.  My best guesses are that a) it was just a really bizarre month and things will be more uniform in February, or b) five months into the relaunch, retailers have started to figure out what to order and are making a lot of adjustments on a per book basis.

After losing both unit share and dollar share to Marvel last month, DC rebounded somewhat and took the top unit share.  They still lost dollar share and were down very slightly from December in that category, but they remain well above average.  Plus, they had ALL of the books in the top 10!!  That never happens for DC.  Altogether, their numbers are trending downward, but at a pretty slow rate right now.  If they can level out soon, they’ll be in a great spot.

Overall, Wonder Woman #5 had a spectacular month.  The title remains WAY above average, and was as consistent as a comic could possibly be!!  I have NO idea what’ll happen next month, but January was pretty damn good.

Prediction For Next Month: Who knows?  The book went from falling 12.1% to falling 0.1%!!  There’s no patterns, no trends… this is much more of a stab in the dark than usual, and it’s usually quite a stab in the dark.  I’m going to be a little pessimistic and predict a small drop.  Having two great months in a row just seems unlikely, so I think Wonder Woman #6 will drop about 4% for sales of 55,250.  Check back next month to see how I did!!  Or rather, to see how very wrong I am!!

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4 Responses to “Wonder Woman Sales: #5 Barely Drops At All!!”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Regarding the all-over-the-place sales figures – I think the books that gained are all books where the returnability ran out. So in December, Aquaman, The Dark Knight, Detective and Superman were all still returnable and had 10% deducted from their sales figures by Diamond, but DC said that they were getting actual returns of far lower than 10%. So I don’t think all those comics actually started selling better so much as their actual sales figures started getting reported rather than their sales figures minus Diamond’s returnability penalty.

    Some other books still have returnability though, and some (like Wonder Woman) still have the huge discounts they were launched with and I’m not really clear on why they’re dropping them in a staggered way like this but I suppose it makes sense to DC bigwigs… 😉

    Generally the titles with the returnability penalty are asterisked on the sales lists, while you can tell what still has the deep discounts by checking for huge discrepancies between their unit and dollar ranks.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      You, madam, are very smart. I think you’re right. I thought the returnability had been extended for a while, but it seems that I was wrong… those titles weren’t asterisked this month, and they’re the only 4 in the top 15 that showed gains. I’ll look more closely for that next month, though of the higher level books it appears that only Batman and Robin and Batgirl are still asterisked.
      Yeah, I don’t get the staggering either… it looks like it’s a top down thing, because there are tons of DC books further down the charts with asterisks.
      Also, HOLY COW some of those discounts must be nuts!! Wonder Woman was 16th in units sold, but 52nd in dollars. When that stops, it might drop like a stone. That’s worrisome, but at least we’ll know what’s up if it suddenly shoots down the charts.
      Thanks so much for your comments, Rebecca… I learned a lot🙂

  2. Rebecca Says:

    Oh, hey no problem – I’m glad I was talking sense! 🙂

    And yeah, I hope the sales don’t drop when the discounts tank too, but I’m hoping that, much like the returnability issue, stores will have found their level and will know how much of the comic they need. I’m slightly worried in that I imagine the hassle of having to actually strip covers and return them and get reimbursed makes stores more likely to focus on getting their orders right than a flat rate discount which might make it easier to add a few “in case” titles that won’t be affordable when the discount disappears, but…here’s hoping. Plus the adjustment, even if fairly minor, won’t play out “positively” as it does with the removal of the returns penalty – it’ll just look like a drop.

    I’m similarly worried about Batwoman – she’s doing pretty great right now but with Nightwing likely to leapfrog her once Batwoman’s discount runs out and Nightwing’s returnability penalty run out (especially combined with a change of artist; I find Reeder’s work lovely, but JHIII’s stuff is really something else entirely). I’d really like for her to remain in the top 25 at least.

    I guess I figure even if Wonder Woman drops, she’ll have to drop almost 50 places before she’s where she was at before the relaunch, so at least that’s something. It really is surprisingly awesome to have her doing so well in the charts. And turns me into a total numbers geek. But I just find it all so…fascinating and weird. (Err, the number that is, the inexplicable industry side of stuff).

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      Yeah, it made a lot of sense to me!!

      So long as the stores are selling all the issues they’re ordering, I suppose the discount might not affect too much. I mean, why would you order less if you can sell them? I think you’re right about some “in case” issues, but hopefully the drop isn’t too steep.

      Batwoman’s at the 25th spot now, so the long term prospects don’t look great… Batgirl, Nightwing, and maybe even Green Lantern Corps might jump it once all the numbers get adjusted. I’d love it to stay near the top too… Reeder and JHW3 are both fantastic, and I’m surprisingly pleased by how good the writing’s been.

      Oh yeah, Wonder Woman is SO far ahead of where she was before. I hear you about being a numbers geek… this stuff is kind of fun once you get into it!!

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