If you’re familiar with the Japanese anime sales figures I sometimes look at, you may be aware of something called the break-even point, a rule-of-thumb figure that sets a general line between profit and loss for a given show at 3000 disks sold per volume. (The math is fairly elementary. At 10 million yen per episode, 12 episodes cost ~120 million yen. Selling 3000 copies of 6 disks at 7000 yen per disk nets a gross profit of 126 million yen. While that number varies depending on things like show budget, alternative income sources, and how many episodes are packed into a volume, it’s good to have a rough number in mind because it sets a scale for what constitutes success and failure for a show. But what does that number look like for the U.S., and what does that say about the comparative purchasing power of western fans in general?
Ever wonder how much it costs to license anime? Well, thanks to this article on ADV’s bankruptcy proceedings, we now have some idea of what the costs are.
A more interesting question is this: where do those costs come from? Is there some factor that predicts how much companies are willing to shell out?
Using this page to compare with per-volume Japanese sales (22 of the 29 titles are listed there), we can get some idea of whether American and Japanese anime markets actually overlap.