Who Says Scott Pilgrim is a Failure? Tops the Book Sales Charts

Scott PilgrimNow that the Scott Pilgrim movie has been released and collectively broken our hearts and faith in geek properties topping the box office with its lackluster performance, there seems to be one shining star in all of this.  When the movie came out, I heard several people grumbling about the effect this may have on sales of the actual book, and how if no one is going to see the movie, then they're probably not selling any books.  Well, the BookScan results for Graphic Novels for August are in, and the results are…promising

The entire Scott Pilgrim series from Oni Press, all 6 volumes, topped the charts in positions 1 through 6.  Here's the break down:

#1 – Scott Pilgrim Volume 1
#2 – Scott Pilgrim Volume 6
#3 – Scott Pilgrim Volume 2
#4 – Scott Pilgrim Volume 3
#5 – Scott Pilgrim Volume 4
#6 – Scott Pilgrim Volume 5

I find it interesting how the top spots were for volume 1 and volume 6, meaning that many new fans went out to pick up the first volume, combined with the rest of us who have been waiting for volume 6 to come out.  

The seventh spot on the charts went to The Walking Dead vol. 12, which as we know, the TV adaptation premieres on AMC this October.  The remaining spots in the top 10 went to Manga titles, and the closest super hero book was the 12th spot with Blackest Night from DC.  Marvel did not have any titles in the top 20. 

So while the haters out there may bash Scott Pilgrim for not being a box office hit, it's clear that the movie accomplished one of the goals we hoped for, getting people out to read the books.  Hopefully they enjoyed it and will come back for more.


  1. On the way to work today i was listening to "We hate you please die" and at a redlight the guy in the car next to mine yelled "CRash and the Boys, YEAH!!!!" it scared the piss out of of me at first but it was an awesome moment of weirdness where i felt like i was in the book.

  2. Was the movie a failure?  I liked it.

  3. I bought the first volume yesterday and am going to go grab the next couple in a little bit.

  4. That’s awesome.  Good for Bryan Lee O’Malley!

  5. Movie cost something like 60 million to make, and only brought in 15 mil opening weekend. Failure. But it was a success in as much as translating the books to film for my personal enjoyment!

  6. @ActualButt – The Jury is still out. Let’s wait till the DVD sales come in to see if it was a failure. I know I am buying the DVD. The movie was awesome.

  7. Volume 4 was my favorite.

  8. I LOVED the movie!! Saddened me to hear so many people say "Scott what??? That’s a movie?"… Guess that’s part of the epic box office fail.  

  9. I think all this really shows is how small the graphic novel market is. A tiny tiny percent of people went to see the movie…but even that extremely minor pop culture phenomenon was enough to make #1 on the graphic novel sales charts.

    Don’t get me wrong, I really like everything Scott Pilgrim. But this article is misleading, especially the line "Tops the Book Sales Charts" in the title. Topping the graphic sales charts is something that EVERY "it" comic property does. It’s great–and I’m glad for O’Malley–but it’s no big deal. It’d be far more shocking to me if the series DIDN’T top the charts.

  10. ^I meant that saying "Tops the BOOK Sales Charts" leads one to expect that it topped the list of ALL books, not just the graphic novel list.

  11. The movie will be successful in the long run (I feel).  So while the box office wasn’t falling all over itself, it will have a pretty huge life in DVD and cult status.

  12. I always hear that hit comic movies do not affect sales, but this seems to say otherwise.  At least this time.

  13. I think that movies don’t much affect the sales of single issue, long running series like X-Men or Spider-Man, but they do cause an upswing in the sales of self contained works. They sold a ton of copies of Watchmen last year even though the movie wasn’t big hit. This year Scott Pilgrim benefitted even though the movie was a box-office dud. 

  14. I had to watch it alone because NONE of my friends ( or girlfriend for that matter) would watch it with me.  10 of us ended up watching the Expendables on Friday ( loved it by the way), the gf made me watch the Julia Roberts crappola on Saturday ( worth if for afterwards..guys know what I mean) and then Sunday afternoon..not one..not even my brother who collects comics would watch it.

    "Looks like a bunch of annoying hipsters" and " looks like its trying way too hard to be clever" were some of the comments I heard.  I watched it alone in a half empty theatre and liked it ( though I still think Ramona was lame..would rather he ended with Knives both in the books and movie.)   But not surprised it did poorly.

  15. Watchmen got a sales bump too with the movie.

    Folks were reading the hell out of that monster comic and when I offered some follow up books, I got mostly, "no thanks."

  16. *sigh* movies don’t affect comic sales.

  17. @JumpingJupiter: They don’t effect single issue sales, no. Trade sales? Sometimes, yes.

  18. I quote myself: "Or yet again, trades could be the ones benefiting from increase. One way or another. Publishers are highly likely to sell more comics."

    Ah the lonely of a prophet…

  19. @JumpingJupiter: It’s not a growth in the audience base, which is what we’ve always said from the beginning comic book movies do not do.

    Comic book movies don’t create what the comic book industry desperately needs: large and significant numbers of people who go to the store every week to buy comics. They do create people who see a trailer or see a movie and go out and buy a trade once and probably never again. They create people who read a comic, not comic book readers.

    You can continue to argue the other side but you’ll continue to be wrong.

  20. Very well, Conor the Kilpatrick! Deny me my vindication if you must. I will be here until 2013 as promised.

  21. Scott Pilgrim ipad app I don’t count for book scan probably but the free issue on the ipad got me to download the rest eventually… can’t wait for the bluray

  22. Glad for the comic sales.



  23. So Connor

    You sound beyond sure of your opinions here.

     I assume you have some statistics – sales demographic 

    breakdowns or at least questionaire results to substantiate such and Absolute statement that you’re making.

    I agree that comcis are the source for movies and merchandising sales more than the other way around.

     But I happen to believe that quite a lot of new readers come into comics through other media exposure- kids.

    Yeah adult new readers will often pick up a trade of a movie then drop it-

    But I am willing to bet you saw Superman movie before you really started reading the comics and that movie spakred your interest to learn more about that character and get into more stories about him? 


  24. He’s alluding to the fact that since the superhero movie boom began with X-Men, back in 2000, there has not been a significant increase in the readers of weekly issues going into comic shops.  They all still sell around 100K tops. Check the sales charts for the last 10 years.  There are spikes yes, but as successful as these movies are, they’re not creating more readers of issues.  They might sell more trades, and obviously there are short time financial benefits for publishers (such as Watchmen and Scott Pilgrim), but those monthly numbers haven’t really budged in years.

  25. @ericmci: What Josh said. This on-going discussion that we’ve been having with JumpingJupiter is not about all time comic book movies, but specifically about post X-MEN in 2000 comic book movies. Yes, I have facts and figures. And I also have people at the comic book companies who tell us these things are true.