Movies no match for Call of Duty
THE biggest weekend blockbuster of 2015? A video game. Call of Duty: Black Ops III reached $550 million in worldwide sales the first three days after its launch on Nov. 6, according to Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard Inc.
That’s more than double Hollywood’s biggest weekend winner, Jurassic World, which scored $209 million when it opened June 12, according to Boxofficemojo.com, which tracks boxoffice sales.
It’s also more than the $400 million earned by Microsoft’s equally hyped video game Halo 5: Guardians during its first week after an Oct. 27 release.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch this year in any medium, and bigger than any theatrical opening weekend ever,” Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s chief executive, said in a statement.
The game, which is played on consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, retails for about $60.
The robust sales come amid an ambitious expansion drive for the popular game maker. Last week, Activision Blizzard announced a $5.9-billion deal to buy mobile game maker King Digital Entertainment, famous for its Candy Crush series.
It also said it would create its own television and movie studio and invest more in competitive video gaming, better known as e-sports.
Call of Duty is one of Activision Blizzard’s biggest franchises — a first-person military shooter that spans Second World War and modern-day warfare.
The company said Black Ops III set a record for the franchise in “engagement.” Fans spent more than 75 million hours playing the game online the first three days.
Black Ops II, which was released in 2012, scored $500 million in sales the first 24 hours after it launched.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III made $550 million in its opening weekend,