Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 put up some killer numbers when it went on sale Tuesday: Activision announced earlier today that it sold 4.7 million copies in North America and the U.K., which translated into a cool $310 million at the cash registers. In the videogame world, these are historic numbers – Grand Theft Auto IV was the previous one-day sales record holder with 3.6 million sold in May 2008.
But as far as COD: MW2 being the Biggest Entertainment Event in History, let’s not get too crazy here. Yes, $310 million is a lot more than the $67 million (throw in another few million dollars for the U.K.) that current box-office champ The Dark Knight made on its premiere day. I prefer to look at the two events in terms of eyeballs, though: According to Box Office Mojo, the average movie ticket price in 2008 was $7.18, which means 9.4 million people in the U.S. lined up to see Dark Knight on opening day. That’s nearly double the number of customers who bought COD: MW2; more when you consider Activision’s 4.7 million number includes North American and British sales. Furthermore, The Dark Knight eventually pulled in over a $1 billion overall at the box office, plus sold another several hundred million dollars worth of DVDs and Blu-rays.
So as much as I love playing COD: MW2 and think its first-day sales record is something to applaud, its retail feat is less impressive than what The Dark Knight accomplished in 2008.