Watchmen Sales Numbers Without All The Facts

Diamond released their sales numbers last week of the top-selling comics and related merchandise. ICv2 took that data and added real volume numbers, as they do every month; I don’t know why Diamond can’t just do this but they don’t. Earlier today on Comic Culture we discussed Watchmen numbers in the face of Before Watchmen and I wanted to shed a little more light on that.

Comic retailers buy their comics from Diamond, the only distributor or comics and the main source of material for local comic shops, who have to order comics up front with no returns. Incentives are offered by the publishers through Diamond to drive sales, just like in any industry. For some reason the comic industry has a fascination with sales numbers so there are those who analyze those numbers to great effect. Unfortunately I don’t ever see publisher promotions brought into the analysis.

Let’s take a look at Watchmen collections and their sales volumes for June 2012 provided by ICv2.

3

8.73

WATCHMEN TP

$19.99

DC

    11,369

17

1.95

WATCHMEN THE ABSOLUTE EDITION HC

$99.99

DC

      2,534

66

1.16

WATCHMEN HC

$39.99

DC

      1,514

Those are impressive numbers, especially for the $100 Absolute Edition. Looking just at this list one could estimate huge interest garnered from Before Watchmen. Now let’s add in some promotional information from DC.

WATCHMEN HC

For every 5 standard cover versions of BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 ordered, you may order 1 copy of the WATCHMEN HC at 75% off the $39.99 SRP. This does not include consignment copies. To qualify for the extra discount based on orders of BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1, copies of the WATCHMEN HC must be ordered on the April order form under the new item code APR120142.

For every 5 standard cover versions of BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1 ordered you may order 1 copy of the WATCHMEN HC at 75% off the $39.99 SRP. This does not include consignment copies. To qualify for the extra discount based on orders of BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1, copies of the WATCHMEN HC must be ordered on the April order form under the new item code APR120160.

WATCHMEN TP

For every 5 standard cover versions of BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #1 ordered you may order 1 copy of the WATCHMEN TP at 75% off the $19.99 SRP. This does not include consignment copies. To qualify for the extra discount based on orders of BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #1, copies of the WATCHMEN TP must be ordered on the April order form under the new item code APR120148.

ABSOLUTE WATCHMEN HC

For every 5 standard cover versions of BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1 ordered you may order 1 copy of the ABSOLUTE WATCHMEN HC at 75% off the $99.99 SRP. This does not include consignment copies. To qualify for the extra discount based on orders of BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1, copies of the ABSOLUTE WATCHMEN HC must be ordered on the April order form under the new item code APR120154.

Hmm, retailers were able to order Watchmen collections at 75% off instead of their normal 35-56% off, dependent on volume. Let’s have a look at the Before Watchmen comic sales from June 2012.

5

82.54

BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  107,517

6

79.95

BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  104,142

7

79.04

BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  102,955

8

77.76

BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  101,297

* — Combined multiple covers with same SRP.

With those kind of numbers it looks like a lot of Watchmen collections were available at a heavy discount: using 100,000 as the average (yes that’s not really the average but I’m taking the easy road here) that’s 40,000 Watchmen TP and 20,000 each of the hardcover and Absolute. While pushing the hardcover strongly it sorely lagged behind the trade paperback and the Absolute. Definitely adds some perspective to the sales chart.

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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