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Modern Warfare 3 beats Avatar to $1 billion milestone

By Matthew Handrahan

Mon 12 Dec 2011 1:12pm GMT / 8:12am EST / 5:12am PST

Activision's blockbuster breaks new record after 16 days on sale

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 grossed $1 billion in the 16 days following its November 8 launch.

According to data from Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information, Activision's franchise reached $1 billion in revenue one day quicker than James Cameron's Avatar - currently the highest-grossing film of all time.

"Call of Duty as an entertainment franchise has made an indelible mark on popular culture and its broad and continued success is further validation that audiences increasingly value interactive experiences over passive experiences," said Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a statement.

Modern Warfare 3 generated $775 million of that total in its first five days on sale, beating the $650 million its predecessor, Black Ops, earned in the same period.

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Mark Androvich Manager, PlayStation Network Advertising, Sony Computer Entertainment America

4 0 0.0
Not to take anything away from Call of Duty sales, which are impressive, but I don't understand why Activision and others insist upon using film ticket sales as a measuring stick. A $60 game will earn the same amount of gross revenue as a $10 film even if it sells 16% (1/6th) as many units as the film sold tickets. To put it another way, if Avatar sold 100 tickets for every 16 copies of Call of Duty sold, which is the more "popular" entertainment experience?

Posted:4 years ago


Toby Li Business Development Manager, Winking Entertainment

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@Mark Androvich
I see your point, but I think Activition use Avatar as a bench mark because there is no title in the game industry to compete with in terms of sales. And film industry is the nearest similarity.
But you are right, just because sales is over Avatar, it does not make the game more meanstream and confirm its apeal to the masses. Sure more people have watched Avatar than COD8.

Posted:4 years ago


Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,292 456 0.4
As a meaningful statistic to the public, you are right, the comparrison means nothing.
However, if the statement is given to please shareholders, $1 billion is $1 billion regardless of units sold.

You could argue that calling Avatar the highest grossing movie of all time is in itself useless to gauge popularity, in that it disregards inflation, and the fact that an extra 3D supplement is charged. Avatar tickets at $15 against ET tickets at $3-4 or Gone with the Wind (often speculated to be most tickets sold) at probably 50 cents or something, isn't really a valid comparrison in itself. There are inflation adjusted figures out there, but funnily enough the PR peeps at the film distributers don't tend to use these.

Posted:4 years ago


Rui Martins Senior Software Developer

13 12 0.9
I believe the key here is not popularity, but instead a financial view.
If a movie that costs a lot of cash to make, generates the same amount of revenue in almost the same time of a game that costs a lot less, what will that mean to an investor ?

What do you think, should attract more investment,? The financial return or popularity ?

Editing posts isn't working. Had to delete and recreate the post.

Posted:4 years ago


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