If there was ever any doubt that video games were not to be treated in the same bracket as blockbuster movies, then this should dispel the naysayers.
Activision has this week announced that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has broken through the $1 billion mark in retail sales across the world since its launch in November. Even more astounding is that the publisher confirmed $550m of this came within the title's first five days which outpaces the opening five day worldwide theatrical box office gross figures for Avatar, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Dark Night.
"Call of Duty:Modern Warfare 2 has exceeded our expectations and shattered theatrical box office and video game records," said Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick. "There are only a handful of entertainment properties that have ever reached the $1 billion mark, which illustrates the power of the Call of Duty franchise and mass appeal of this game."
Taking this a step further is BusinessManagement.com which has broken down the costs associated with it and 2009's biggest movie hit: Avatar into this rather fetching graphic. And while Avatar does hold the larger profit to date ($990m verses $750m), what really stands out for me are 1. MW2's vastly smaller production budget and 2. That it had an even larger advertising budget than James Cameron's (beautiful, but overrated) epic. Now if that isn't punching your weight, I don't know what is.
All of which can only mean one thing: a 2011 big budget movie adaption of Modern Warfare. By the looks of it, that could save the economy on its own!