Ultimate Spider-Man Sales Figures

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

One of the key early titles in the revival following the 1990s industry collapse, Ultimate Spider-Man, written by Brian Michael Bendis, launched an entire line of comics reimagining Marvel's characters. Both the title and the ensuing line became one of the success stories for the publisher in the first half of the decade — and Ultimate Spider-Man, in particular, saw significant distribution outside regular Direct Market channels. The book was tailor-made for the purpose; continuity within the title had started from scratch, making it friendly to new readers.

The series was not, however, an immediate top-seller on the Diamond charts; Ultimate Spider-Man #1 placed 15th in the month of September 2000 with preorders of 54,407 copies. Reprints inside and outside the comic shop market in many formats (including the version seen at upper right) would take the number of copies in print far above that; 2000's extremely high total paid circulation of 354,115 copies per issue appears largely due to those early reprints. The amount of regular newsstand distribution evident from the returns listed in the postal statements does not seem particularly high; by 2001 and onward, Diamond orders appear to account for most of the copies reported sold. See more direct-market only information in the monthly reports.

The initial series ended in 2009 with the Ultimatum crossover, only to return with a new #1 (titled inside as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man) after a four-month break; a separate postal license was filed for the new series. The new series' numbering lasted only a little over a year before it resumed the original numbering with #150. That lasted only until #160 in 2011, whereupon after another several-month break a third Ultimate Spider-Man #1 appeared, this time featuring Miles Morales as the titular hero and lasting until #28, cover-dated December 2013. A concomitant series, Marvel Universe: Ultimate Spider-Man, was based on the animated series and ran 31 issues from 2012-14. But only the first two (which may really be one) series had postal sales records.

—John Jackson Miller


#DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Issue Statement appearing in:#16 Feb#32 Feb#50 Feb#67 December#84 Dec
Date of filing:10/1/0110/1/0210/1/0310/1/048/26/05
Issues published during year:1212171917
Annual subscription price:$27.00$27.00$27.00$27.00$27.00
Cover price during year:$2.25$2.99$2.99$2.99$2.50
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):360,425150,000127,101121,745112,937
Sales through DEALERS (avg):350,566123,102111,344107,58596,991
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):3,5495,1228,8417,8149,966
Total PAID circulation (avg):354,115128,224120,185115,399106,957
Samples by MAIL (avg):600600200
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):007365101,407
Total FREE circulation (avg):6006007385101,407
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:354,715128,824120,923115,909108,364
Copies not distributed (office):00000
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):5,71021,1766,1785,8364,572
Reported % Paid/Requested:99.0%99.0%99.4%99.6%98.7%
% of RUN RETURNED:1.6%14.1%4.9%4.8%4.0%
Copies existent:354,715128,824120,923115,909108,364
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:98.2%85.5%94.6%94.8%94.7%
Issue Statement appearing in:#101 January#116 January#127 December Application pendingV2#15 December
Date of filing:9/12/069/25/079/30/089/30/10
Issues published during year:1812121212
Annual subscription price:$27.00$27.00$27.00$27.00$27.00
Cover price during year:$2.99$2.99$2.99$3.99$3.99
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):95,768102,00595,05572,432
Sales through DEALERS (avg):82,50890,01671,39154,353
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):7,2117,1257,3417,267
Total PAID circulation (avg):89,71997,14178,73261,620
Samples by MAIL (avg):0000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):2,6996241,042763
Total FREE circulation (avg):2,6996241,042763
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:92,41797,76579,77462,383
Copies not distributed (office):0000
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):3,3514,24015,28110,049
Reported % Paid/Requested:97.1%99.4%98.7%98.8%
Copies existent:92,41897,76579,774062,383

Statement history
The first Statement appeared near the end of 2001, and the reports continued to appear until the end of the title's initial run. The postal application was reported as still pending in early issues of Volume 2 in 2009; had it been the same license, results for 2008 might have been expected to appear. The final issue of the second series' numbering had the only Statement for Vol. 2. The run with the original numbering ended in 2010 before a Statement could appear for the year. Neither the third series nor Marvel Universe: Ultimate Spider-Man appear to have run Statements.

The reports of the number of issues published during each year come from the Statements, and are not reflective of the number that actually shipped in some years when the title was biweekly.

Understanding Statements of Ownership
The figures above are taken directly from the annual Statements of Ownership, Management, and Circulation filed by publishers with the United States Postal Service. The sales figure is the Average Paid Circulation figure and includes all copies sold through newsstands, comics shops, and postal subscription. It does not count copies the publisher gave away for free, or copies that were kept for office use.

More information can be found in the FAQ section.

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