Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top 10 Preorders at Rogues Gallery 9/30/09

Two Blackest Night tie-ins, including Green Lantern, the second anchor for the series, bodes well for the week. There are also a surprising number of mid-list sellers from DC and Marvel, as evidenced by the fact that counting ties, my top 10 this week has nearly 30 items on it. After doing this for a little over the month, it seems to me that when there are fewer ties and fewer titles, it means there's a larger week, with more legitimate big sellers and less mid-list books.

This doesn't measure sales, just pre-sales, as we see how many subscribers had preordered on various titles, just to gauge relative interest levels.

1. Green Lantern #46
2. Blackest Night Titans #2 (tie)
2. Thor #603 (tie)
3. Dark Tower The Fall Of Gilead #5
4. Star Wars Legacy #40
5. X-Force #19 (tie)
5. Justice League Of America 80-Page Giant (tie)
5. Knights Of The Dinner Table #154 (tie)
6. Teen Titans #75
7. Amazing Spider-Man #607 (tie)
7. Thunderbolts #136 (tie)
7. Wolverine Weapon X #5 (tie)
7. Gotham City Sirens #4 (tie)
7. Superman #692 (tie)
7. X-Factor #49 (tie)
8. GI Joe Cobra Special #1 (tie)
8. Hulk #15 (tie)
8. Justice Society Of America #31 (tie)
8. Aliens #3 (tie)
9. Jack Of Fables #38 (tie)
9. Marvel Zombies Return #5 (tie)
9. Runaways Volume 3 #14 (tie)
9. Wonder Woman #36 (tie)
10. Astro City Astra Special #1 (tie)
10. Batman Widening Gyre #2 (tie)
10. Punisher Annual #1 (tie)
10. Usagi Yojimbo #123 (tie)
10. X-men Forever #8 (tie)

Tied For 11th: Boys Herogasm #5, New Mutants #5, Secret Warriors #8 & Terry Moores Echo #15.

Wednesday Comics is gone, so for now, I'll be benchmarking numbers against Amazing Spider-Man, which is another relatively consistent weekly book. However, Spider-Man doesn't sell as well as Wednesday Comics did, so it's probably not quite as effective a measurement.

At any rate, last week's Amazing Spider-Man sat at #8, this week it's at #7, which gives the impression of a slightly lighter week than last week. Green Lantern sits comfortably atop the charts, and comfortably ahead of Blackest Night Titans, which has pretty respectable preorders, and both have great shelf sales. Blackest Night is selling, for us, like Civil War did, making it the most successful event for DC or Marvel in the last three years.

Even with JMS leaving, the relaunched Thor continues to do well. Shelf sales have dropped pretty significantly, but it still sells better than Thor ever has for us. The "put them on the shelf" strategy is a great one, judging by the success of Thor and, prior to that, Kevin Smith's Green Arrow and it seems like one DC should have followed with Flash or Hawkman, for instance. If Marvel and DC would occasionally "rest" their characters by putting them away for a year or two and then giving them a high-profile relaunch, I suspect they'd see bigger sales from their big icons. You can't do it with Superman or Spider-Man, obviously, but the second-tier A-listers? Definitely could benefit from such treatment.

As always, licensed books have high preorders, lower shelf sales. Dark Tower, once a huge hit for us, now sells almost entirely to preorders. Star Wars Legacy, on the other hand, has pretty decent shelf sales and sells well enough to match up with higher tier Marvel and DC books, even more than three years in. The further you get down our preorder list, the likelier it is that the majority of those sales come from preorders. That's not always true, for example Batman Widening Gyre sells a lot more copies off the shelf than it does in preorders, and Aliens does quite well over time on the shelf, but in general, everything at the #7 spot and below on this chart doesn't sell a ton to casual customers.

Our anomaly this week is again, due to the GI Joe love in the store, the high ranking of GI Joe Cobra. Most stores also wouldn't find Knights of the Dinner Table in their top 5, but: A) we're a gaming store as well and B) That one only sells one copy over preorders from the shelf. Sometimes zero copies over. So it's high ranking is a bit illusory.

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