Here's today's stunning figure: The video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sold about 6.5 million copies the first day it went on sale. According to Activision Blizzard, which released the numbers today, that adds up to more than $400 million in sales in North America and the U.K.
"We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories," Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard said in a press release. "Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time."
As The Los Angeles Times wisely notes, those claims are up for debate. But it does appear that the game has broken the release-day record. The New York Times gives us one more comparison: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 had gross receipts of $169 million for its opening weekend, tops for the year so far, according to Box Office Mojo."
The Los Angeles Times adds that life almost imitated video game at in Denver, earlier this week:
The super-violent new video game almost generated some real violence this week when one fan seemed to become unhinged when a Denver area store didn't have his pre-ordered game. Police said he threatened to blow up the store and asked employees when they were getting off work so he could meet them in the parking lot and shoot them.
"Investigating officers issued a criminal summons to a man who threatened to carry out his own version of Modern Warfare at the electronics store. Fortunately, this situation did not end in violence," Aurora police spokesman Det. Bob Friel said Monday.