Category Archives: Business

Penguin Random House takes on Dark Horse’s single-issue distribution

Dark Horse logo

Dark Horse Comics and Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS) have announced an exclusive worldwide multi-year agreement for the sales and distribution of Dark Horse’s newly published and backlist comic book periodicals, graphic novels, and manga to the Direct Market comic shops. The new agreement, which begins June 1, 2023 expands its current partnership, in which PRHPS sells and distributes Dark Horse’s trade-book frontlist and backlist to bookstores.

Direct Market retailers can choose to order Dark Horse products direct from PRH, or alternatively, through Diamond, as a wholesaler, under terms established by Diamond in the US and the UK. These retailers now have 24/7 access to online ordering and can also visit www.prhcomics.com, a website for comics, graphic novels, manga, and more, designed specifically for US Direct Market comic shop retailers and consumers.

Penguin Random House Publisher Services continues to consolidate its control over distribution with publishers shifting from Diamond to PRHPS. One mega company to another. It’s hard to not see this as another blow against Diamond as it has lost many of the major publishers to PRHPS and other distributors. Marvel, IDW, and more have switched their primary distribution to Penguin Random House and others. But, federal sights have turned towards Penguin Random House as it attempts to merge with Simon & Schuster consolidating the book market. While distribution doesn’t seem to be the primary reason the federal government is opposing the merger, it is absolutely a factor as the publisher would control not just a large portion of the book market (what gets published, terms of those deals, etc.) but with a greater control of the market it could then abuse its power when it comes to distribution.

Eric Powell’s Albatross Funnybooks comes to Dark Horse

Albatross Funnybooks

Eisner Award-winning creator Eric Powell brings The GoonDid You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?, and more to Dark Horse with his new Albatross Funnybooks imprint. Additional titles such as Hillbilly and Big Man Plans will be included in the imprint, as well as Brendon Small’s Galaktikon and Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar’s Pug Davis.

Of the suite of titles under the Albatross imprint, the Eisner- and International Horror Guild Award-winning The Goon returns to Dark Horse with a film currently in development at Netflix. Powell also brings new titles to the imprint. The first new project to be released under Albatross at Dark Horse will be an original graphic novel created by Powell and famed true crime author Harold Schechter–the team behind Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?–expected publication in 2023.

The Woman King tops another stinker weekend at the box office

The Woman King

It’s been a rough month at the box office with weekends that just aren’t bringing in the dollars. The weekends have struggled with some of the worst totals of the year. The Woman King did what it could with a best $19 million in its first weekend coming in first. There’s no international gross reported.

Barbarian dropped 40.3% and came in second with an estimated $6.3 million to bring its domestic total to a little over $20.9 million. The film doubled its international earning to $1 million over the week. Worldwide the film has grossed $21.9 million.

In third was Pearl which debuted with a little over $3.1 million. It also reported no international gross.

See How They Run debuted in fourth with an estimated $3.1 million. Internationally, the film grossed $4.5 million to give it a worldwide debut of $7.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Bullet Train which grossed $2.5 million to bring its domestic total to $96.4 million. Over the week, the film grossed $6.4 million to bring that to $125.7 million. Worldwide the film has earned $222.1 million.

In comic film news…

DC League of Super-Pets slipped out of the top five but grossed an estimated $2.2 million. It now stands at $87.9 million after a slow start. Over the week, the film gross about $7.1 million to bring its international total to $89.7 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little over $177.6 million.

Thor: Love and Thunder grossed an estimated $373,000 as it’s now on Disney+. The film has grossed $342.9 million domestically. Over the week, the film grossed $1.5 million to bring its international total to $415.7 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $758.7 million.

The Spider-Man: No Way Home re-release gained about $220,000 dropping 83.5%. It has now grossed $9.2 million. No international total is now listed in reports.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero looks like it held steady at $34.9 million domestically. Internationally, the film gained $950,000 to bring it to $45.1 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little under $80 million.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks like it has held steady domestically at $411.3 million. Internationally, the film looks like it remained steady at $544.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $955.8 million.

The week’s overall box office success…

Initial numbers has 69 films earning $51,038,833 from 39,605 theaters. That’s an improvement from last weekend’s $42,285,481 from 42,933 theaters and 65 films. The weekend was still not good continuing a string of weekends under $50 million grossed. The average earning was $1,288.70 this past weekend, an improvement from last weekend’s $984.92.

Dave West joins Time Bomb Comics

Time Bomb Comics

Time Bomb Comics has announced that Accent UK’s creator and founder, Dave West, will be joining the company.

September 2022 marks the 15th year of publishing for Time Bomb Comics who, since their very small press beginning back in September 2007, have steadily evolved to become one of the mainstays of the British comics publishing community, including a recent licensing deal with Gerry Anderson’s Anderson Entertainment and comics available in newsagents and comic shops across the UK.

Now, as they enter their 16th publishing year, Time Bomb Comics are delighted to be able to announce that Dave West, best known for being one half of indie publishers Accent UK with Colin Mathieson, is joining Time Bomb Comics to be part of their core publishing team alongside business manager David Morris and publisher Steve Tanner.

As a writer, West will also be bringing with him a range of cult classic titles formerly published by Accent UK, including supernatural western series Westernoir, Kia Wordsmith, and Stephenson’s Robot, which will now be published under the Time Bomb Comics banner. Dave will also be developing further titles for Time Bomb and play a key role in the company’s future.

Barbarian tops the worst weekend at the box office this year

Barbarian

It was another rough weekend at the box office but two new films topped it. Barbarian opened up to a strong word of mouth and reviews with an estimated gross of $10 million. Internationally, the film grossed $500,000 for a worldwide gross of $10.5 million.

Brahmastra Part One: Shiva came in second place with an estimated $4.4 million. Internationally, the film also grossed $19.5 million for a worldwide gross of $23.9 million.

Bullet Train slipped one spot to come in third with an estimated $3.3 million to bring its domestic gross to $92.5 million. Over the week, the film grossed $9.8 million internationally to bring that to $119.3 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $211.8 million.

Top Gun: Maverick continues to rock coming in fourth with an estimated $3.2 million. Domestically, the film has grossed $705.7 million. Over the week, the film grossed $7.4 million internationally to bring that to $747.8 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $1.453 billion. The film is now #5 in all-time domestic gross. It has passed Black Panther but has about $55 million to go before it’d pass Avatar. Worldwide, the film now ranks #11 having now passed Frozen II. The film is about $62 million before it’d move into the top ten. It’s possible but not likely to happen.

DC League of Super-Pets has held in there now coming in fifth. The film grossed an estimated $2.8 million to bring its total to $85.4 million after a slow start. Over the week, the film gross about $3.9 million to bring its international total to $82.6 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little over $168 million.

In comic film news…

The Spider-Man: No Way Home re-release dipped quite a bit, 75.9%, but still grossed an estimated $1.3 million to bring its domestic total to $8.6 million. The international total is listed at $169.1 million, a rather odd amount considering the previous weekend was $10.2 million.

Thor: Love and Thunder grossed an estimated $1 million as it was released on Disney+. The film has grossed $342.3 million domestically. Over the week, the film grossed $3.8 million to bring its international total to $414.2 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $756.5 million.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero looks like it held steady at $34.9 million domestically. Internationally, the film gained $1.9 million to bring it to $44.1 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little over $79 million.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks like it has held steady domestically at $411.3 million. Internationally, the film looks like it gained about $600,000 to bring that total to at $544.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $955.8 million.

The week’s overall box office success…

Initial numbers has 65 films earning $42,285,481 from 42,933 theaters. That’s a drop from last weekend’s $55,636,944 from 44,869 theaters and 57 films. The weekend was the second worst of the year, the worst being the weekend of January 28. The average earning was $984.92 this past weekend, a decrease from last weekend’s $1,239.99.75.

Stan Sakai brings Usagi and imprint Dogu Publishing back to Dark Horse

Dogu Publishing

Dark Horse Comics has announce a new partnership with Stan Sakai’s Dogu Publishing. The Usagi Yojimbo comics universe and more will return to Dark Horse under the umbrella of a new imprint, Dogu. The announcement of this new partnership comes just ahead of the September 1 release of Season 2 of the hit Netflix animated series, Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, based on the world of Usagi Yojimbo created by Sakai. 

Usagi Yojimbo had previously been published with Dark Horse but in 2019 the title moved to IDW Publishing. Now, it returns to Dark Horse. Sakai has hinted at displeasure with how his comics had been handled at IDW on social media.

Dark Horse Comics has been a longtime home of the works of Stan Sakai, most recently publishing the continuing new editions of The Usagi Yojimbo Saga. Dogu Publishing is led by Creative Chairman Stan Sakai, CEO Jeremiah Blank, COO Julie Sakai, and Daniel Fujii, President/Publisher for Dogu Publishing.

The goals of the Dogu imprint include: to create a space for up-and-coming creators and artists to be featured, andto expand the Usagi Yojimbo universe through working with other artists and writers. The expanding Usagi universe is sure to bring about exciting tales to please both new and longtime Usagi readers alike. 

Stan Sakai has won numerous awards for his work in comics, including most recently the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Early Readers for Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis with Julie Sakai. Dark Horse and Dogu plan to continue to publish Chibi UsagiSpace Usagi, the Color Classics, and more to be announced.

Marvel announces the 2023 Class of Stormbreakers

Marvel Comics has announced the 2023 class of Marvel’s Stormbreakers, the premier talent distinction program that spotlights the next generation of elite artists in the industry.

The creators in the new class, selected for their style, achievements, and groundbreaking work, include Elena Casagrande (Black Widow), Nic Klein (Thor)Jan Bazaldúa (Legion of X), Chris Allen (Miles Morales), Martin Coccolo (Deadpool), Lucas Werneck (Immortal X-Men), C.F. Villa (X-Men), and Federico Vicentini (X Deaths of Wolverine).

MARVEL’S STORMBREAKERS CLASS OF 2023

  • Elena Casagrande (Black Widow):At a young age, Elena followed her passion for drawing and enrolled at the International School of Comics in Rome. While in school, she worked with IDW Publishing on comics like Star Trek and X-Files. Now, her work for Marvel includes drawing Spider-Man (Marvel Heartbreakers – A Chemical Romance, Ultimate Spider-Man #157), Magik (variant cover New Mutant #4), Spitfire (Women of Marvel), and Red Hulk (Hulk). Most recently, she was also the artist of the new Black Widow series, which won the 2021 Eisner Award for Best New Series.
  • Nic Klein (Thor)Nic is a German comic book artist who has worked on such titles as Captain America, Winter Soldier, and Deadpool. For Image Comics he co-created Viking, Dancer, and Drifter. He is currently working on the new Thor run.
  • Jan Bazaldúa (Legion of X): Jan started her career as assistant of Sixto Valencia, one of the most prominent comic book artists in Mexico. For over two decades, she worked in almost every genre in Mexican comic books including action, comedy, horror, western, detective, romance, and wrestling stories, pencilling over 3,000 covers. Jan brought her hyperkinetic art style to Spider-Man for a star-marking run as the young Miles Morales took on the all-new Sinister Six in Spider-Man #234-239. She burnished her reputation with titles including Mr. and Mrs. X and Loki, and her fast-growing list of Marvel credits now includes X-Force, Winter Guard, and a trip to the far-off galaxy of Star Wars.
  • Chris Allen (Miles Morales): Chris made his Marvel Comics debut illustrating the movie tie-in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude, followed by Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp Prelude. The Texas-based artist has been steadily building reputation by taking on one-shots including Heroes Reborn: American Knights and Spider-Man: Reptilian Rage, as well as contribute to Marvel’s Voices: Legacy. He later graduated to his first Marvel ongoing series, Miles Morales: Spider-Man. Elsewhere, Chris has demonstrated his artistic range, illustrating dark titles including Tomb of Horror, as well as the colorful adventures of such iconic characters as Sonic the Hedgehog and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Martin Coccolo (Deadpool): Born in Colonia, Uruguay, Martin developed an interest in art and comics very early on in life. After years of being an art assistant, he decided to pursue a career in the comics Industry. Starting with small, independent publishers, he forged a path that would eventually lead him to work for APE Entertainment’s “Helldorado,” a work which landed him a nomination for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award. He then went on to work on IDW’s Magic: The Gathering series for many issues before being recruited by DC Entertainment. After many projects for a variety of publishers, he started working for Marvel in 2021, and continues to do so to this day.
  • Lucas Werneck (Immortal X-Men): Lucas is a Brazilian comic book artist and illustrator. He began working in the comics industry in 2019 and has since worked for major publishers such as Marvel Comics, Boom Studios, and DC Comics. He has already worked on several titles such as Captain America, Trial of Magneto, and Fantastic Four, andis currently working on Immortal X-Men.
  • C.F. Villa (X-Men): C.F. is a concept artist and illustrator born in Hermosillo, Sonora, México with 12 years of experience working in film, animation, and more recently the comic book industry. Being a 90’s comics consumer, he grew up being influenced by artists such as Humberto Ramos, Joe Madureira, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, as well as many manga artists and European masters of illustration.  In 2018, his work at Marvel began with his first two miniseries, Lockjaw and Shatterstar. He has also been featured in various X-Men titles, and in 2021, wrapped his run on the Black Cat series.
  • Federico Vicentini (X Deaths of Wolverine): Italian artist Federico is a fast-rising star, having proved his flair for drawing web-slinging action with a pair of wall-crawlers on Amazing Spider-Man and Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales. Federico illustrated the Falcon & Winter Soldier team-up comic book series before turning his attention to another high-profile Marvel character in X Deaths of Wolverine, and then the ongoing Wolverine title. Increasingly in demand, Federico contributed to Marvel’s Heroes Reborn event and made his mark on another Marvel epic, tackling the A.X.E. Avengers one-shot.

Spider-Man: No Way Home swings back into first place

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Update: Top Gun: Maverick actually came in first with $6 million, Bullet Train was in second with $5.8 million, and Spider-Man: No Way Home was third with $5.4 million.

Spider-Man: No Way Home returned to theaters with a special extended edition and took first place for the weekend. The film earned $6 million over the weekend delivering a $7.6 million debut over the holiday weekend. It was overall a rough weekend and the second in a row where the top film didn’t even crack $10 million. Internationally, the film earned $2.6 million for a total of $10.2 million.

Top Gun: Maverick continues to impress grossed an additional $5.5 million to come in second place. It actually improved on last weekend’s previous gross. The film has now earned $700.3 million domestically. Over the week, the film grossed about $9.2 million to bring that to $740.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $1.441 billion. The film is now #6 in all-time domestic gross. It’s now about $100,000 behind Black Panther which it should earn in about a day. Worldwide, the film ranks #12. It’s less than $10 million behind Frozen II. That should be achieved this week as well.

DC League of Super-Pets got a big boost from the previous week improving 31.7%. The film grossed around $5.5 million to bring its domestic total to $82.3 million. Internationally, the film grossed about $6.3 million over the week to lift that to $78.7 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little over $161 million.

Bullet Train slipped to fourth grossing around $5.4 million. Domestically, the film has earned $87.3 million. Internationally, the film grossed about $14.1 million over the week to bring that to $109.5 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $196.8 million.

Rounding out the top five was The Invitation which grossed an estimated $4.7 million. Domestically, the film has grossed $14.8 million after two weeks. The film also added about $1.9 million over the week internationally to bring that to $3.5 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $18.3 million.

In comic film news…

Thor: Love and Thunder grossed an estimated $2.4 million. The film has now grossed $340.5 million. Internationally, the film grossed about $300,000 over the week to bring that to $410.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $750.9 million.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero grossed $2.4 million to bring its domestic total to $34.9 million. Internationally, the film grossed about $4.3 million over the week to bring that to $42.2 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $77.1 million.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness looks like it has held steady domestically at $411.3 million. Internationally, the film looks like it gained about $100,000 to bring that total to at $543.8 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed a little over $955.2 million.

The week’s overall box office success…

Initial numbers has 57 films earning $55,636,944 from 44,869 theaters. That’s a slight improvement from last weekend’s $52,043,287 from 42,095 theaters and 52 films. The weekend was the third worst of the year, the worst being the weekend of January 28. The average earning was $1,239.99 this past weekend, a slight increase from last weekend’s $1,236.33.

SkibaVision signs multi-film deal with Source Point Press

SkibaVision, the production company responsible for feature films like Pursuit and The 2nd, has signed on to produce three films based on Source Point Press comics titles.

Cold Dead Hands, The Curse of Cleaver County, and No Rest for the Wicked: Dead Man’s Hand are currently on the slate to be developed for film, with SkibaVision Founder Brian Skiba directing each.

Skiba has most recently served as the director and writer on action/thrillers Pursuit starring John Cusack and The 2nd starring Ryan Phillippe, Casper van Dien, and Jack Griffo.

Dead Man’s Hand, based on No Rest for the Wicked: Dead Man’s Hand by Kevin, Matthew, and Jake Minor, is the first to be developed and is slated to begin filming in September, 2022.

In No Rest for the Wicked: Dead Man’s Hand, A mysterious cowboy named Reno shows up in the booming silver mining town of Crooked Creek. A card game goes about as badly as it can and Reno runs afoul of the local powers-that-be. Rescued from death in the desert by a local native tribe, for their own purposes, Reno is sent on a mission of vengeance as more than a man, but less than human.

Following Dead Man’s Hand, SkibaVision will produce adaptations of Cold Dead Hands, from the comic written by Source Point Press Chief Branding Officer Garrett Gunn, and the recently announced ongoing title The Curse of Cleaver County, created by Gunn and Josh Werner.

In Cold Dead Hands, drawn by Lee Milewski, Kit Kelso is ready to make a name for himself as a mercenary in an industry filled with his father’s accomplishments. He wants to surpass the fame of his predecessors and become the greatest mercenary that’s ever lived, the only problem is that he’s terrible at it. That is, until he crosses paths with the cursed hands of Athos Matis, and comes wrist-to-wrist with the most powerful weapon in the history of killing-for-profit.

Set in the one of the deadliest fictional locations in the world, The Curse of Cleaver County comic series follows some of the most grotesque, gruesome, and gore-fueled killers as they haunt, horrify, and harrow the residents of every town in Cleaver County. Each unique town will feature a new creative team and an original slasher villain, with the first arc featuring Harold Winslow, created by Gunn and Kit Wallis.

The Curse of Cleaver County comic series is debuting in stores in December 2022 with The Curse of Cleaver County: Double Feature one-shot before the first issue of the ongoing series begins in 2023. Before then, fans can get a taste of the horror series this October with an exclusive New York Comic Con 2022 preview ash can, featuring a cover by Sajad Shah.

DC and Universal Distribution announce a new distribution agreement

Universal Distribution

DC and Universal Distribution and announced a global agreement where Universal will become a direct distributor of DC. The deal begins October 2022 so retailers will be able to get releases in January 2023 and beyond.

DC will continue their Direct Market distribution relationship with Lunar Distribution and Diamond UK, as well as Penguin Random House. It’s the latest move in the shift of distributors by publishers as the has seen some shakeups since COVID including an expansion of options and the end of numerous exclusivity deals.

Universal Distribution is a Canadian distributor for comics, tabletop games, CCG’s trade cards, rpgs, accessories, and toys for over 30 years. During the shutdown period at Diamond Comic Distributors due to COVID, Universal was mentioned as an alternative distributor for shops to consider.

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