Sales of the Sunday Mirror are understood to have bounced back to 2m copies on the weekend as the Mail on Sunday dipped slightly, narrowing the circulation gap between the two rivals to just 150,000 copies.
The Sunday Mirror is thought to have gained about 60,000 sales after having slipped back to 1.94m on Sunday 31 July, according to unofficial industry figures, as the sales boost provided by the closure of the News of the World appeared to be wearing off.
Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday's sales are understood to have dropped by about 60,000 from just over 2.2m.
Previously the MoS, which was selling about an average of just over 1.9m before the NoW's demise, had enjoyed a sales advantage in the order of about 800,000 copies. The Sunday Mirror was selling about 1.1m copies a week before the NoW's closure.
The Sunday Mirror has returned to its full cover price of £1 – the title slashed its price from £1 to 50p in a number of regions in the two weeks following the closure of the News of the World and to 75p in London and the south-east.
However, the promotional battle continued over the weekend with the Sunday Mirror offering a free 32-page AA road atlas.
The Mail on Sunday, which had cut its cover price from £1.50 to £1, sold on Sunday for £1.30 everywhere except Scotland where it was £1.50.
The paper gave nearly half its front page over to promotions, with a £5 off at Tesco offer, free £5 vouchers through its Mail Rewards Club and a token collection competition for a £350,000 "dream cottage".
The Sunday Mirror's Trinity Mirror stablemate the People is thought to have finally recorded a sales dip. The title has been another big winner, up from an average sale of about 475,000 copies before the NoW's closure to about 900,000. The People returned to its normal price of £1 two weeks ago, after having been discounted to 75p.
Richard Desmond's Sunday Express, which was selling about 540,000 copies a week before the NoW's demise, is thought to have seen sales drop by about 50,000 to 680,000 to 690,000. The newspaper has maintained a cover-price cut from £1.35 to £1.
Stablemate the Daily Star Sunday is thought to have also slipped back, although only marginally, to about 780,000. The title is well up on the 300,000 copies it was selling before the NoW's closure.
The title has maintained its cover price at £1 but is trying to lure readers with a new magazine, OK! Extra, which aims to fill the void left when NoW's magazine Fabulous moved to publishing with the Saturday Sun.
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