And when they say huge, they mean huuuuuuge. The Cold War-themed shooter
sold 5.6 million copies during its first 24 hours across North America and the UK, generating an estimated $360 million in sales.
If Activision's projections prove accurate, it'll make Black Ops the
biggest entertainment launch of all time, beating the record set by the previous Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 2, this same time last year.
"There has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day
records for two consecutive years and we are on track to outperform
last year's five-day global sales record of $550 million," said
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. "The game's success underscores the pop
culture appeal of the brand."
Thanks to that popular appeal (and, of course, their comparatively hefty $60
face price), video games are increasingly squeezing out books, DVDs, and
movies in the big-launch stakes. Even massive movie theater hits like
The Dark Knight or Toy Story 3 only manage around $100 million in box
office sales across their domestic opening weekend -- and although the
finale in the Harry Potter series of novels, Deathly Hallows, sold 11
million copies in the U.S. and UK on its launch day, it still can't
match Black Ops dollar-for-dollar.
Good news for Activision and its shareholders, then -- but appropriately for
Veterans Day, it's good news for U.S. soldiers, too. Kotick also
announced today that $1 million of Black Ops' record-breaking take will
be destined for the Call of Duty Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Activision which aims to help veterans transition into civilian jobs.