I wanted to point out that The Beat has posted DC's sales for June, and the numbers bear out some of my predictions about Countdown. And analyst Marc-Oliver Frisch's commentary also reflect my own comments.
For the sake of discussion, here are the numbers:
17/19/21/22 - COUNTDOWN
05/2007: Countdown #51 — 91,083
05/2007: Countdown #50 — 83,752 (-8.1%) [85,564]
05/2007: Countdown #49 — 81,484 (-2.7%) [83,188]
05/2007: Countdown #48 — 79,810 (-2.1%) [81,828]
06/2007: Countdown #47 — 77,504 (-2.9%)
06/2007: Countdown #46 — 76,362 (-1.5%)
06/2007: Countdown #45 — 74,918 (-1.9%)
06/2007: Countdown #44 — 73,971 (-1.3%)
(The numbers in brackets include late reorders on those issues.)
Though the sales are dropping on Countdown from week to week, the drops don't seem signficant, unless you make a month-to-month comparison. Disregarding the sales boost that the first issue received, the comparison of issue 50 to issue 44 shows a drop of 11,593 after reorders. That's a 13.5% drop. Now, issues 47-44 may receive some late reorders next month, but this still looks like a big drop. And I think the month-to-month comparisons here are relevant because most readers probably preorder the series in monthly chunks, and many are reluctant to leave their local comic shops holding the bag on comics that they personally ordered. And then there are readers like me, who buy their monthly comics through a mail order service. There, the orders are made 2-3 months in advance, and often the mail order companies don't allow for order cancellations or returns. Therefore, those customers usually end up buying 2-3 months of a title that they want to quit. So, I expect to see a more significant drop from 44 to 43.
Marc-Oliver Frisch also makes some interesting observations about the two announced Countdown crossovers for June: Catwoman 68 and Blue Beetle 16. Neither of these books saw much of a sales boost from their crossover status. Now, I've read both of those issues, and their connection to Countdown seems relatively tangential: both deal with characters (Holly and Eclipso, respectively) who are or will be a part of Countdown, but the stories don't seem particularly important to that series.
I'll be looking at next month's numbers with great interest. Will there be a signficant third-month drop? Will the announcement of so many spinoffs have a negative effect? And what will be see for numbers on those series?
And Phil has already chimed in on these numbers, with a link to a Countdown supporter who is tired of the hating.