The debut edition of the Sun on Sunday sold 3,260,000 copies, News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch confirmed this afternoon.
The figure is likely to have outstripped its nearest rivals. The latest ABC figures show that in January the Mail on Sunday had a circulation of 1,909,075, followed by the Sunday Mirror on 1,702,008, The People on 780,266 and the Daily Star Sunday with 640,406.
News of the launch triggered a tabloid price war after The Sun dropped the price of its Saturday edition to 50p and gave the Sunday paper a 50p cover price. In response The People, Sunday Mirror and Daily Star Sunday all slashed their price to 50p.
Murdoch tweeted this afternoon: ‘Amazing! The Sun confirmed sale of 3,260,000 copies yesterday. Thanks all readers and advertisers. Sorry if sold out – more next time.”
Murdoch said last week that the paper had completely sold out for advertising. On Friday he said that we would be “very happy” if the paper sold more than two million copies.
The newspaper came out yesterday with a pledge of “trust” and “decency” following the damaging phone-hacking scandal.
It promised readers it would remain “fearless, outspoken, mischievous and fun”.
Murdoch, 80, travelled to the paper’s printers in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, on Saturday night to witness the new Sunday tabloid roll off the press for the first time.
The front page of the new title featured an exclusive interview with Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, the first after the difficult birth of her daughter.
Bosses at News International have recruited a clutch of celebrity columnists including Katie Price and Nancy Dell’Olio for its latest title, while the Archbishop of York and chef Heston Blumenthal will also have weekly slots.