Monday, July 03, 2006

Tail vs Dog

Something about seeing Superman Returns'* $21M first-day ticket sales described as "only the eighth best mid-week debut in Hollywood history" struck me as funny. I mean, first funny-ha-ha, but then funny-odd, too. So, of course, I did what anyone would do when in need of a good laugh: I turned to Excel.

I totalled the most recent month's estimated circulation figures for each of the four monthly* titles starring Superman. Then, working with a arbitrarily-assigned average of $2.95 per issue, I calculated how many months of sales it would take to produce the same gross as one day's ticket sales.

That would be 19.6 months of all four titles.

That didn't seem like quite enough hilarity for one day, so I took it in the other direction. According to Box Office Mojo, the average movie ticket price is $6.40.*That means about 3.3M tickets sold*.

Of whom no more than 130,000 had actually bought a Superman comic in the preceding month.*

*I haven't seen it: We're not talking about the movie's quality or lack thereof here.
*Yeah, I laughed out loud again at the idea that All-Star Superman and Superman/Batman are still considered "monthly" titles, but I decided to be as generous as possible.
* First-day sales for Superman Returns might not conform to that average, but having no reason or basis to change it, I went with it.
* Possibly some multiples to fans who saw it more than once, but again, with no data I'm not going to over-complicate this parlor game.
* Probably fewer, since Superman and Action are continuing the same storyline at the moment, and presumably a few people bought both. Neither All-Star nor Sup/Bat had a release in the most recent month listed by ICv2, so I didn't count them.

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