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Archie Sales Figures

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

Archie is one of the longest-running series reporting circulation statements annually to the postal service, doing so continuously until 2015, when the publication restarted. The statements are particularly meaningful because comics shop sales were long a relatively small portion of the title's sales, with newsstand and subscription sales accounting for the rest.

Archie had been running for 17 years when the 1960s began; the title was selling half a million copies at that point. The series reached its peak relative to the rest of the market, however, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The pop song "Sugar Sugar" by a band known as The Archies combined with the 1968-69 CBS animated Archie TV series to propel the main Archie title to #1 in the comics market.

It remained at #1 through 1973, beating sales of Superman, Batman, and all the superheroes. Finally, in 1974, The Amazing Spider-Man and Superman both passed it. During the distribution tumult of the 1970s, Archie began focusing more on digests — a market it had helped to create through its work with the Comics Magazine Association of America to establish grocery store counter dumps; as such, in 1977, the same year that Archie fell out of the top 10, its sales were surpassed by Archie Comics DigestBetty and Veronica surpassed Archie's sales in 1980. In 1982, the title's frequency was reduced from monthly to bimonthly.

Sales recovered a little in the late 1980s thanks in part to added attention to its subscription business, but the flourishing of the comic book market helped Archie less than most publishers, given its younger target demographic. The early 1990s comics boom didn't help the title's sales at all. Editorial initiatives in the 2000s sought to raise the title's sales, with particular success in 2007. By the 2010s, however, the monthly comic book was being outsold three-to-one by its digest counterpart. Sales dropped below 10,000 copies an issue in 2014, and the series was relaunched with a new #1 in July 2015.

The new series — which helped inspire the Riverdale TV series — has, thus far, not reported circulation figures, though it probably did carry over subscribers from the initial title.

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

—John Jackson Miller


 

19601961196219631964
Issue Statement appearing in:#118 April#127 April#135 March#146 June#155 June
Date of filing:10/1/6010/1/6110/1/6210/1/6310/1/64
Issues published during year:99999
Annual subscription price:$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.25
Cover price during year:$0.10$0.10$0.12$0.12$0.12
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):847,177852,794
Sales through DEALERS (avg):471,166484,704
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg): no data printed no data printed
Total PAID circulation (avg):500,200458,039457,689471,166484,704
Samples by MAIL (avg):3000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00
Total FREE circulation (avg):3000
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:471,466484,704
Copies not distributed (office): 0200
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):375,711367,890
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:44.3%43.1%
Copies existent:484,904484,904484,904471,466484,904
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:55.6%56.8%
19651966196719681969
Issue Statement appearing in:#164 June#172 April#181 April#191 June#199 April
Date of filing:10/1/6510/1/6610/1/6711/1/6810/1/69
Issues published during year:99999
Annual subscription price:$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.25$1.35
Cover price during year:$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.15
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):850,115857,816869,130910,307886,643
Sales through DEALERS (avg):465,552488,191482,648563,187513,506
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):2,0003,5002,0003,4001,850
Total PAID circulation (avg):467,552491,691484,648566,587515,356
Samples by MAIL (avg):0020000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):0020000
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:467,552491,691484,848566,587515,356
Copies not distributed (office):0 0 000
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):382,563365,525384,282343,720371,287
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:45.0%42.6%44.2%37.8%41.9%
Copies existent:467,552491,691484,848566,587515,356
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:55.0%57.3%55.8%62.2%58.1%
19701971197219731974
Issue Statement appearing in:#209 June#217 April#226 June#234 April#243 April
Date of filing:10/1/7010/1/7110/1/7210/1/7310/1/74
Issues published during year:99999
Annual subscription price:$1.35$1.80$1.80$2.25$2.25
Cover price during year:$0.15$0.20$0.20$0.25$0.25
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):853,590884,292810,400748,465528,601
Sales through DEALERS (avg):480,773481,235388,245342,927272,446
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):2,1728662,1632,1601,760
Total PAID circulation (avg):482,945482,101390,408345,087272,272
Samples by MAIL (avg):00000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):00000
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:482,945482,101390,408345,087272,272
Copies not distributed (office):00000
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):370,645402,191419,992440,378256,329
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:43.4%45.5%51.8%58.8%48.5%
Copies existent:482,945482,101390,408345,087274,206
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:56.6%54.5%48.2%46.1%51.5%
19751976197719781979
Issue Statement appearing in:#252 Apr#261 April#270 April#279 April#291 Apr
Date of filing:10/1/7510/1/7610/1/7710/1/7810/1/79
Issues published during year:999912
Annual subscription price:$2.70$3.25$3.70$5.80$5.80
Cover price during year:$0.30$0.30$0.35$0.40$0.40
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):453,574423,959360,831346,308303,952
Sales through DEALERS (avg):199,291181,436154,887137,557121,402
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):62739136563128
Total PAID circulation (avg):199,291181,827155,252137,620121,530
Samples by MAIL (avg):6270000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):6270000
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:199,918181,827155,252137,620121,530
Copies not distributed (office):300300300300300
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):253,356241,832205,279208,388182,122
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:55.9%57.0%56.9%60.2%59.9%
Copies existent:200,845182,127155,552137,920121,830
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:43.9%42.9%43.0%39.7%40.0%
19801981198219831984
Issue Statement appearing in:#303 April#315 April#323 May#329 May#335 May
Date of filing:10/1/8010/1/8110/1/8210/1/8310/1/84
Issues published during year:1212666
Annual subscription price:$7.00$8.50$3.60$3.60$3.90
Cover price during year:$0.50$0.60$0.60$0.60$0.65
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):266,468244,478212,613169,624158,298
Sales through DEALERS (avg):89,19587,04867,49672,67264,553
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):214254197226238
Total PAID circulation (avg):89,40987,30267,69372,87664,781
Samples by MAIL (avg):00000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):00000
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:89,40987,30267,69372,87664,781
Copies not distributed (office):300300300300300
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):266,468156,876144,62091,85193,217
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:100.0%64.2%68.0%54.1%58.9%
Copies existent:89,70987,60267,99373,19865,091
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:33.6%35.7%31.8%43.0%40.9%
19851986198719881989
Issue Statement appearing in:#341 May#347 May#356 May#366 April#378 April
Date of filing:10/1/8510/1/8610/1/8710/1/8310/1/84
Issues published during year:6991010
Annual subscription price:$3.90$6.75$6.75$7.50$10.00
Cover price during year:$0.65$0.75$0.75$0.75$1.00
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):157,750178,673194,181200,363188,864
Sales through DEALERS (avg):62,92466,82165,93171,05663,338
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):2192382453,1674,085
Total PAID circulation (avg):63,14367,05966,17674,22367,423
Samples by MAIL (avg):0002,837626
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):0002,837626
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:63,14367,05966,17677,06068,049
Copies not distributed (office):3003003001,205767
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):94,307111,314127,705122,098120,048
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:59.8%62.3%65.8%60.9%63.6%
Copies existent:63,44367,35966,47678,26568,816
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:40.0%37.5%34.1%37.0%35.7%
19901991199219931994
Issue Statement appearing in:#386 Apr#398 April#410 April#422 April#434 Apr
Date of filing:10/1/9010/1/9110/1/9210/1/9310/1/94
Issues published during year:1012121212
Annual subscription price:$10.00$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):179,586150,515167,245152,085153,534
Sales through DEALERS (avg):51,17944,60646,04443,23044,474
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):5,6761,3541,4861,3171,559
Total PAID circulation (avg):56,85545,96047,53044,54746,033
Samples by MAIL (avg):5415512,187609427
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):5415512,187609427
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:57,39646,51149,71745,15646,460
Copies not distributed (office):1,2524,5815,5353,8883,304
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):120,93899,423111,993103,041103,770
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:67.3%66.1%67.0%67.8%67.6%
Copies existent:58,64851,09255,25249,04449,764
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:31.7%30.5%28.4%29.3%30.0%
19951996199719981999
Issue Statement appearing in:#446 Apr#458 April#470 April#482 April#494 April
Date of filing:10/1/959/27/9611/1/9711/1/9810/15/99
Issues published during year:1212121212
Annual subscription price:$18.00$18.00$18.00$21.00$21.48
Cover price during year:$1.50$1.50$1.75$1.79$1.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):142,193129,795130,481112,06593,621
Sales through DEALERS (avg):42,88443,29839,54434,230 27,674
(actually 29,342)
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):1,0011,1391,5901,5711,668
Total PAID circulation (avg):43,88545,06741,13435,80129,361
Samples by MAIL (avg):396294295281290
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):0140131140147
Total FREE circulation (avg):396434426421437
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:44,28145,50141,56036,22129,798
Copies not distributed (office):4,1711,5911,8103,2081,814
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):93,74182,70387,11177,63562,009
Reported % Paid/Requested:99.1%99.1%99.0%98.8%98.5%
% of RUN RETURNED:65.9%63.7%66.8%69.3%66.2%
Copies existent:48,45246,46243,37039,43031,593
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:30.9%34.7%31.5%31.9%31.4%
20002001200220032004
Issue Statement appearing in:#506 April#519 April#532 April#545 Apr#554 Mar
Date of filing:10/27/0011/7/0110/25/0210/20/0310/29/04
Issues published during year:1213131311
Annual subscription price:$23.88$25.87$28.47$28.47$24.09
Cover price during year:$1.99$1.99$2.19$2.19$2.19
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):83,35667,59063,30256,78649,451
Sales through DEALERS (avg):25,761
(actually 25,762)
22,38419,79718,26116,224
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):1,7891,9011,6601,6831,913
Total PAID circulation (avg):27,55124,28521,45619,94518,137
Samples by MAIL (avg):296293292290292
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg): 146 (actually 147) 141 (actually 142) 139 (actually 140) 136 (actually 137) 135 (actually 136)
Total FREE circulation (avg):443435432427428
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:27,99424,72021,88820,37118,565
Copies not distributed (office):2,8841,6502,1631,7111,211
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):52,47841,22039,25134,70429,675
Reported % Paid/Requested:98.4%98.0%97.9%97.7%
% of RUN RETURNED:.0%.0%62.0%61.1%60.0%
Copies existent:30,87726,36924,05222,08119,776
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:33.1%35.9%33.9%35.1%36.7%
20052006200720082009
Issue Statement appearing in:#563 Mar#572 Mar#581 Mar#593 Mar#605 Mar
Date of filing:10/31/0510/31/0610/23/0710/1/0810/30/09
Issues published during year:9991212
Annual subscription price:$20.25$20.25$20.25$27.00$30.00
Cover price during year:$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.25$2.50
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):54,58946,25853,64736,77426,540
Sales through DEALERS (avg):18,02016,17425,305 11,526 (actually 11,525)9,910
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):2,3962,5912,1931,7241,583
Total PAID circulation (avg):20,41618,76527,49813,25911,493
Samples by MAIL (avg):102102969389
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):8,434101808183
Total FREE circulation (avg): 8,535 (actually 8,356)203176174172
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:28,95218,96827,67413,43311,665
Copies not distributed (office):1,7631,553000
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):23,87425,73725,97323,34119,953
Reported % Paid/Requested:70.5%98.9%99.4%98.7%98.5%
% of RUN RETURNED:43.7%55.6%48.4%63.5%75.2%
Copies existent:30,71520,52127,67413,42411,665
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:37.4%40.6%51.3%36.1%43.3%
20102011201220132014
Issue Statement appearing in:#617 Mar#629 Mar#641 April#653 April#665 April
Date of filing:10/1/1010/11/1110/18/1211/15/1312/9/14
Issues published during year:1212121212
Annual subscription price:$35.88$35.88$35.88$22.50$22.50
Cover price during year:$2.99$2.99$2.99$2.99$3.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):35,15140,67537,92031,12425,197
Sales through DEALERS (avg):12,79013,91914,0839,4377,795
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):1,6231,5371,2091,6611,257
Total PAID circulation (avg):14,41315,46615,29211,0989,052
Samples by MAIL (avg):8882818181
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):8890777777
Total FREE circulation (avg):176172158158158
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:14,58915,53815,45011,2569,210
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):20,56225,13722,47019,86815,987
Reported % Paid/Requested:98.8%99.0%99.0%99.0%99.0%
% of RUN RETURNED:58.5%61.8%59.3%63.8%63.4%
Copies existent:14,58915,62815,45011,2569,210
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:41.0%38.0%40.3%35.7%35.9%
2015201620172018 
Issue Statement appearing in: Not in Vol. 2 #4-10 Jun-Sep Not in #17-20 Apr-Jun 22 Sep
Date of filing:
Issues published during year:
Annual subscription price:
Cover price during year:
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):
Sales through DEALERS (avg):
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):
Total PAID circulation (avg):
Samples by MAIL (avg):
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):
Total FREE circulation (avg):
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:
Copies existent:
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:





Statement history
Archie ran postal statements for most of its run, though sales figures were not required in them until 1960. 

When the postal policy changed requiring publishers to also report their number of subscription copies sold in 1963, Archie failed to report its subscription sales (which certainly existed) until 1965.

All of Archie's titles began picking up glitches in their statements beginning around 2000. Math errors of a single copy were commonly found, particularly in the "free copies" sections of the forms. These errors have been corrected for the above table. Archie also stopped reporting its number of returned copies in several statements. Those have been calculated for the above tables based on the surrounding data.

No Statements have been found in the new 2015 Archie title, although for postal license purposes it might be considered the same title.