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Amazing Spider-Man Sales Figures

Circulation as Reported in Publishers' Statements of Ownership
Filed with the United States Postal Service

Continuing the adventures of the character first appearing in the 15th and final issue of the cancelled Amazing Fantasy, The Amazing Spider-Man would become the flagship title of Marvel's line. By 1969, it had vaulted into the Top 10 titles overall for the year, Marvel's first title to do so; in the 1970s, it would surpass Superman to become the top-seller in the industry.

The cool-off following the Silver Age is clearly evident, apart from the outsized bump from 1980, which included the 200th issue.) We see growth again in the comics-shop era of the 1980s, with a peak in 1985, the year following the new-costume appearance in #252. Reported sales begin to build again in the run-up to the Todd MacFarlane era, but the really big numbers were to come at the peak of the 1993 boom, when the sales nearly doubled their historic average.

Sales followed the market downward in the comics recession of the mid- and late-1990s. The late 1990s found Marvel in a spate of series renamings and renumberings for short-term gains, and it sacrificed its flagship title for the first time in 1999, only to undo that renumbering at the end of 2003. Sales rebounded a bit under J. Michael Straczynski in the early 2000s. Later in that decade, Marvel increased the title's frequency to three issues monthly.

The 2010s would see multiple changes to the series' numbering and title, with the book transforming for a time into Superior Spider-Man before returning to be rebooted not once but twice under the Amazing Spider-Man name, with the Renew Your Vows miniseries in between. In 2017, Marvel brought the title back to its original numbering during the Legacy event. But postal data had ended long before that, as Marvel stopped publishing its required reports after the 2011 filing year.

This series provides one of the better examples of trends in the overall market, as its sales were seemingly less affected by short-term external influences (such as the Batman TV show, which had a major effect on that title). It should be remembered in comparing across decades that the purchases of Spider-Man fans were divided multiple ways across multiple titles, whereas the purchaser up until 1972 only had one Spider-title with new content to consider.

Some direct-market only information is available in the monthly reports.

—John Jackson Miller

 

 

19651966196719681969
Issue Statement appearing in:#47 April#59 April#71 April#83 April
Date of filing:10/1/6610/1/6710/1/6810/1/69
Issues published during year:12121212
Annual subscription price:$1.75$1.75$1.75$2.35
Cover price during year:$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.15
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):516,748587,213556,000574,910
Sales through DEALERS (avg):337,455359,363369,431370,490
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):2,7002,3003,8721,862
Total PAID circulation (avg):340,155361,663373,303372,352
Samples by MAIL (avg):6095400110
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):0000
Total FREE circulation (avg):6095400110
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:340,215361,758373,703372,462
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):176,533225,455182,297202,448
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:34.2%38.4%32.8%35.2%
Copies existent:340,215361,758373,703372,462
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:65.8%61.6%67.1%64.8%
19701971197219731974
Issue Statement appearing in:#95 April#108 May#118 March#132 May#144 May
Date of filing:10/1/709/23/719/21/729/25/739/18/74
Issues published during year:1212121212
Annual subscription price:$2.35$3.00$2.75$3.50$3.50
Cover price during year:$0.15$0.20$0.20$0.25$0.25
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):596,102520,862519,531541,043524,583
Sales through DEALERS (avg):319,664305,192285,623270,801285,431
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):2,5312,3582,7562,4032,801
Total PAID circulation (avg):322,195307,550288,379273,204288,232
Samples by MAIL (avg):01101101500
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):01101101500
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:322,195307,660288,489273,354288,232
Copies not distributed (office):1102,3051,4371613,029
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):273,797211,562229,605267,538233,322
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:45.9%40.6%44.2%49.4%44.5%
Copies existent:322,305309,965289,926273,515291,261
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:54.1%59.0%55.5%50.5%54.9%
19751976197719781979
Issue Statement appearing in:#155 April#167 April#178 March#191 April
Date of filing:9/22/759/20/769/20/779/25/78
Issues published during year:12121212
Annual subscription price:$3.50$4.00$4.50$4.50
Cover price during year:$0.25$0.30$0.35$0.35
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):530,714555,709587,702558,630
Sales through DEALERS (avg):269,167278,909271,491230,208
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):4,6063,25010,36927,948
Total PAID circulation (avg):273,773282,159281,860258,156
Samples by MAIL (avg):00200225
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):0000
Total FREE circulation (avg):00200225
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:273,773282,159282,060258,381
Copies not distributed (office):3,0153,0802,9802,160
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):253,926270,470302,662298,030
Reported % Paid/Requested:
Copies existent:276,788285,239285,040260,541 
19801981198219831984
Issue Statement appearing in:#215 April#227 April#240 May#252 April#264 May
Date of filing:10/1/8010/1/8110/1/8210/4/839/28/84
Issues published during year:1212121212
Annual subscription price:$6.00$7.20$7.20$7.20$7.80
Cover price during year:$0.50$0.60$0.60$0.60$0.65
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):609,059554,248513,585470,527461,691
Sales through DEALERS (avg):267,124208,724203,475202,633217,769
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):29,58834,05737,20839,12943,295
Total PAID circulation (avg):296,712242,781240,683241,762261,064
Samples by MAIL (avg):1,082665804843190
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):1,082665804843190
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:297,794243,446241,487242,606261,254
Copies not distributed (office):5,4185,9166,1625,8321,802
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):305,847304,886265,936222,090198,635
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:50.2%55.0%51.8%47.2%43.0%
Copies existent:303,212249,362247,649248,437263,056
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:48.7%43.8%46.9%51.4%56.5%
19851986198719881989
Issue Statement appearing in:#275 April#287 April#301 June#315 May#332 May
Date of filing:10/1/8510/6/8610/30/8710/1/8811/1/89
Issues published during year:1212121515
Annual subscription price:$9.00$9.00$9.00$12.00$12.00
Cover price during year:$0.75$0.75$1.00$1.00$1.00
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):498,367474,098469,913451,930426,790
Sales through DEALERS (avg):298,112253,273267,567256,500255,350
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):28,58322,79117,12514,60010,750
Total PAID circulation (avg):326,695276,064284,692271,100266,100
Samples by MAIL (avg):942683132130150
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):942683132130150
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:327,637276,747284,824272,230266,250
Copies not distributed (office):1,1536,786922900600
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):169,577190,565184,167178,800159,940
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:34.0%40.2%39.2%39.6%37.5%
Copies existent:328,790283,533285,746272,130266,850
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:65.6%58.2%60.6%60.0%62.3%
19901991199219931994
Issue Statement appearing in:#345 March#360 March#375 March#386 Feb.#400 April
Date of filing:10/1/9010/1/9110/1/9210/1/9310/1/94
Issues published during year:1512121212
Annual subscription price:$12.00$15.00$15.00$15.00$18.00
Cover price during year:$1.00$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.50
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):489,589470,075660,958715,642520,625
Sales through DEALERS (avg):324,060328,881519,804561,683319,575
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):10,83312,09625,09630,75933,450
Total PAID circulation (avg):334,893340,977544,900592,442353,025
Samples by MAIL (avg):125250250125125
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):125250250125125
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:335,018341,229545,150592,567353,150
Copies not distributed (office):600500500250500
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):153,971128,346115,308122,825170,075
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:31.4%27.3%17.4%17.2%32.7%
Copies existent:335,618341,727545,650592,817353,650
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:68.4%72.5%82.4%82.8%67.8%
19951996199719981999
Issue Statement appearing in:#407 Jan.#417 Nov.!#429 Dec#441 Nov!V2#11 Nov
Date of filing:10/1/9510/1/9610/1/9710/1/9710/1/99
Issues published during year:1212121212
Annual subscription price:$22.00$22.00$23.88$23.88$23.88
Cover price during year:$1.50$1.50$1.99$1.99$1.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):395,486318,992274,400219,917206,591
Sales through DEALERS (avg):208,090203,454149,453112,670120,569
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):26,20013,32510,4976,8777,346
Total PAID circulation (avg):234,290216,779159,950119,547127,915
Samples by MAIL (avg):750600600600600
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00005,053
Total FREE circulation (avg):7506006006005,653
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:235,040217,379160,550120,147128,515
Copies not distributed (office):500125125125125
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):159,946101,488113,72599,64577,951
Reported % Paid/Requested:99.0%99.0%99.0%99.0%
% of RUN RETURNED:40.4%31.8%41.4%45.3%37.7%
Copies existent:235,540217,504160,675120,272133,693
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:59.2%68.0%58.3%54.4%61.9%
20002001200220032004
Issue Statement appearing in:V2#24 DecV2#37 JanV2 #48 DecV1#502 FebV1 #513 Dec
Date of filing:10/1/0010/1/0110/1/0210/1/0310/1/04
Issues published during year:1212121314
Annual subscription price:$27.00$27.00$27.00$27.00$27.00
Cover price during year:$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):173,967131,367165,765142,569160,579
Sales through DEALERS (avg):106,488106,566115,000112,536115,040
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):7,1976,9917,5729,6378,500
Total PAID circulation (avg):113,685113,557122,572122,173123,540
Samples by MAIL (avg):60060060060
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):0001,8701,708
Total FREE circulation (avg):6006006001,8761,708
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:114,285114,15723124,049125,248
Copies not distributed (office):1250123,1720
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):59,68217,21042,59318,52035,331
Reported % Paid/Requested:100.0%99.0%99.0%98.5%98.6%
% of RUN RETURNED:34.3%13.1%25.7%13.0%22.0%
Copies existent:114,410114,157246,344124,049125,248
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:65.3%86.4%73.9%85.7%76.9%
20052006200720082009
Issue Statement appearing in:V1 #525 Dec#574 Dec#609 Dec
Date of filing:8/26/059/30/089/30/09
Issues published during year:123636
Annual subscription price:$27.00$81.00$81.00
Cover price during year:$2.50$2.99$2.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):150,833125,01994,006
Sales through DEALERS (avg):102,37795,14169,636
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):10,18710,8077,767
Total PAID circulation (avg):112,564105,94877,403
Samples by MAIL (avg):000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):3,0281,5562,407
Total FREE circulation (avg):3,0281,5562,407
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:115,592107,50479,810
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):35,24117,51514,196
Reported % Paid/Requested:97.4%98.6%97.0%
Copies existent:115,592  107,50479,810
20102011201220132014
Issue Statement appearing in:#646 Dec#673 Jan
Date of filing:9/30/109/30/11
Issues published during year:3636
Annual subscription price:$81.00$27.00
Cover price during year:$2.99$2.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):85,44579,844
Sales through DEALERS (avg):66,94567,768
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):5,7185,650
Total PAID circulation (avg):72,66370,418
Samples by MAIL (avg):00
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):918794
Total FREE circulation (avg):918794
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:73,58171,212
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):11,8648,632
Reported % Paid/Requested:98.8%98.9%
% of RUN RETURNED:13.9%10.8%
Copies existent:73,58174,212
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:85.0%88.2%

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Statement History
Marvel did not begin publishing Statements of Ownership in the title until 1966, and it ceased publishing them linewide after 2011.

The forms for 1979, 2006, and 2007 have been confirmed not to have been published. Marvel's 1979 forms seem to have been lacking in many titles due to editorial turnover, but there's no obvious explanation for the 2006-07 omissions. The 2005 form was dated two months earlier than the customary October filing date.

Subscriptions in 1995 included issues of Amazing Scarlet Spider, which the title had "become" for a while before resuming with its original name and numbering. As far as the Statement record is concerned, those issues — along with all the comics from 1966-2011, comprise one series, since the subscriptions went along with the volume and title changes.