According to the game’s publisher, Activision, Modern Warfare 3 generated over $400 million in revenue and sold 6.5 million units in the U.S. and U.K. in its first 24 hours on store shelves. By hitting that mark, Modern Warfare 3, which launched Tuesday, easily outpaced its predecessor and the former leader, Call of Duty: Black Ops, which generated $360 million on its launch day last year. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had the best launch of all time prior to Black Ops, posting launch-day sales of $310 million.
“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,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said today in a statement. “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.”
That said, the comparison between a video game and other forms of entertainment, like movies or books, isn’t necessarily fair. Modern Warfare 3 is on store shelves for $60. The average movie ticket nowadays typically sets customers back somewhere between $10 and $20. And with more people opting for e-books over hardcovers, consumers who used to pay $35 to buy a book are now paying much less.