'Call of Duty' setting entertainment records

November 18, 2009

(AP) -- The video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" is blasting its way into entertainment history.

After hauling in the biggest-ever first-day sales total last week, the game continues break records.

Activision Blizzard Inc., which released the game Nov. 10, said the latest game in its "Call of Duty" franchise made $550 million in worldwide sales during its first five days. That would put it over the $500 million record set last year by "Grand Theft Auto IV," from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Activision didn't say how many units it has shipped. But Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian estimates the company sold between 8.5 million and 9 million copies.

The game is also blowing past records set by other media. After "Grand Theft Auto IV" comes $394 million in worldwide box office sales brought in by the movie "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" over its first five days, according to Activision.

In its first 24 hours on sale, "Call of Duty" made $310 million in North America and the United Kingdom alone, while "Grand Theft Auto" made that same amount worldwide.

It was also far above the record $155 million opening weekend for the Batman movie "The Dark Knight" last year.

The game, which sells for $60, runs on Windows-based computers, Microsoft's and Sony's .

Shares in Activision, which is based in Santa Monica, Calif., gained 3 cents to $11.72 in afternoon trading.

The weak economy has hit companies later than many other sectors because the industry had been thought by some investors to be recession-proof. Shares of both Activision and rival Inc. have underperformed the S&P 500 since March. Take-Two's shares, meanwhile, have been volatile - but they are trading roughly at the same level as they were a year ago.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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