The latest installment in the lucrative video game franchise Grand Theft Auto is making headlines and I’m not talking about it’s near-perfect ratings. Today developer Rockstar Games announced in a press release that GTA V has surpassed more than $1 billion in worldwide retail sales in just three days. It went on sale on Tuesday and already it’s made more money than Man of Steel did during its opening weekend (the Zack Snyder directed superhero pic collected $800 million in the early days it debuted). It’s inevitable that the vid game title will surpass the highest grossing movie of the year Iron Man 3 sooner rather than later (the Robert Downey Jr. vehicle currently sits at a worldwide box office $1.2 billion gross). These are massive movies we’re talking about here. To compare this level of success to another fast-selling video game, Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II took 15 days to reach the $1 billion milestone. In its first 24 hours on the market CoD: BOII made $500 million; GTA V made $800 million in the same time.
“We believe this marks the fastest that any entertainment property, including video games and feature films, has reached this significant milestone,” says Rockstar in a congratulatory statement posted in full after the break.
A billion dollars in three days–that’s beyond incredible. At this pace GTA V is poised to become one of the most successful pieces of entertainment property spanning all the major industries, including film, just like the PR states. Hell, whether or not it ever overtakes Avatar‘s record-setting $2.7 billion gross, it already is.
I’ve got to say it: achievement unlocked. (Click here for more…)
Another Call of Duty game released, another record is set. On November 13 Call of Duty: Black Ops II came out and in 24 hours the shooter generated more than $500 million worldwide. For the fourth consecutive year, Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year following Modern Warfare 2 (generated $310 million in 24 hours in 2009), Black Ops ($360 million in 2010), and Modern Warfare 3 ($400 million in 2011). “Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in a press release.
In other video game sales news, Halo 4 released last Tuesday on November 6 and raked in over $220 million on launch day. This makes it the most successful Halo launch in the franchise’s history, narrowly beating sales of Halo: Reach which generated $200 million in 2010. It was expected that Halo 4 sales would surpass the $300 million mark during its first week on the market, but that figure has not been made official yet. Stay tuned.
Michonne. The Governor. Woodbury. The prison. There has been so much excitement about what’s coming next on The Walking Dead and now the time has finally arrived to regroup with Rick and our gang of zombie apocalypse survivors. Eye this season’s key art above that features Rick Grimes front and center (once again) atop an overturned bus outside the zombie-infested prison. Gotta love the tagline: “Fight the dead. Fear the living.” Next dive in the galleries below to view character profiles and pictures from tonight’s season premiere, “Seed.”
The Walking Dead premieres tonight (10/14) at 9PM on AMC. And don’t forget to tune into Talking Dead immediately following the episode; host Chris Hardwick will be talking to showrunner Glen Mazzara and Michonne–er, Danai Gurira.
Ramp up anticipation by watching the season 3 trailer a couple more times. It’s that good.
Update: Get used to it–AMC’s The Walking Dead shatters records when it premieres. 10.9 million viewers tuned into the season three premiere last night; that’s up 50 percent from the season two opener. It also performed extremely well in the two coveted demos; in adults 18-49 it attracted 7.3 million viewers (up 52 percent from the season two premiere) and in adults 25-54 it attracted 6.1 million viewers (up 46 percent). If you include the two encore airings of the episode, a grand total of 15.2 million people saw “Seed.” The show managed to garner this many viewers while Dish subscribers were left out in the cold due to a contract dispute. AMC can rightfully boast that last night’s return of The Walking Dead is most-watched drama telecast in basic cable history and in the 18-49 demo it is the highest-rated series this fall–including cable and broadcast offerings. Hats off to the zombies. I don’t think you’ll ever have to tell this show to break a leg going into a premiere. Oops, sorry Hershel…too soon?
[Images via AMC]
‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3′ generates $400 million in 24 hours, bests its predecessors to become biggest entertainment launch of all time
Infinity Ward’s latest first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launched one week ago on November 8 and on that day the game sold over 6.5 million units in North America and the UK generating over $400 million in sales. MW3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Does this all sound familiar to you? Well that’s because this is the third consecutive year that the Call of Duty franchise has set day one launch records across all forms of entertainment. It started in 2009 when Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 million copies and generated $310 million in sales; and then it happened again the very next year when Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies and made $310 million.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick shared his enthusiasm about the franchise’s success in a press release. ”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. 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.”
Same time, same place next year, people?
You knew it was only a matter of time before the barrage of Glee singles would prove their strength in numbers on the Billboard charts. Back in November 2010 Glee posted 93 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 list. This week the Glee kids finally passed Elvis Presley’s all-time record of 108 chart entires. As of today, 113 songs from the hit FOX series have made their way to the chart, besting the likes of Elvis, James Brown (91 songs), Ray Charles (74), and Aretha Franklin (73). While Elvis’ chart-topping songs gathered steam between 1958 and 2003, Glee managed to post their record-breaking amount in less than two years. It all began with their fantastic rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” in June 2009. The only significant difference between the Glee singles and tracks produced from other famous artists is that the Glee tracks are covers borrowed from said artists. Though you might find this news tainted with unoriginality in terms of where the Glee songs are coming from, that shouldn’t take away from the monumentality of it all.
In related Billboard news, this week Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” became the 1,000th song to top the Hot 100 chart in its 52-year history. Says Gaga, “It is a tremendous honor. To be the 1000th no. 1 on Billboard…I would be silly not to say this is the greatest honor of my career.”
American architect and ‘cardstacker’ Bryan Berg broke eight past records (all held by him!) for constructing the largest house made of stacked playing cards. Over the course of 44 days, Berg used 218,792 cards (4,051 decks) to create a replica of the Venetian Macau, a hotel located in China based on Vegas’ Venetian. At 600 pounds and meauring 33 feet by just under 10 feet, the massive house of cards is made without the aid of tape, glue, or any other foreign substance. Says Berg:
“This has been the most ambitious project I have undertaken to date. It’s really like a real construction project because you have to engineer every single adjacency and every support that’s supporting everything above.”
A worthy induction into the Guinness World Record books. Look in the gallery below for some more shots of the structure and after the break for a video news report.
On Sunday Super Bowl XLIV was crowned the most-watched show in U.S. history. Averaging 106.5 million viewers, this year’s Super Bowl dethrones M*A*S*H, the previous record holder that garnered 106 million viewers during its two-hour series finale in 1983. M*A*S*H star Alan Alda has this to say about the loss of such a coveted record: “I’m happy for New Orleans. I want to see that city come out first in every way that it can, even if it means giving up a record that M*A*S*H held for a long time.” With M*A*S*H out of the way, TV viewers and analysts now have Super Bowl XLVI as a new comparison to look at when discussing most-watched television programs.
In related Super Bowl news…want to know which ad people liked most? According to the USA TODAY ad meter, Snickers’ ad with Betty White and Abe Vigoda getting pushed around in the mud playing football earned the top spot. The ad meter panel gave the Snickers commercial a rating of 8.68 out of 10. Lesson learned? People like watching old people playing rough sports. Missed out on the commercials? Check out a bunch of ‘em here.
And that’s an understatement. In fact, IGN calls it “the biggest launch in the history of all forms of entertainment.” And we’re talking about the video games industry here. Good stuff!
On November 10 games publisher Activision released the latest installment in the coveted Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. After very positive initial reviews and a garnered hype spread by word of mouth and Twitter (MW2 quickly became (and still is) a trending topic). In its first 24 hours on sale the game sold approximately 4.7 million copies in North America and the UK and made $310 million in sales. DAY-UM!
Mike Griffith, CEO of Activision: “The Call of Duty franchise has become a cultural phenomenon showing the power of video games as an entertainment medium.” “The shattering of these entertainment records is a testament to the compelling, cinematic and uniquely engaging experience that the Call of Duty brand delivers. Modern Warfare 2 has taken interactive experience to unprecedented heights setting a new standard for entertainment.”
Jump in on the action and get yourself a copy of MW2 today.