When it comes to entertainment earnings, it looks like video games are beginning to overthrow the once popular Hollywood motion pictures. Activision today announced that the 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.
This news comes during the same report that revealed Black Ops 2, the latest installment for the hit franchise, has delivered the "biggest entertainment launch of the year". Black Ops 2 has achieved an estimated sell-through of more than $500 million worldwide in just the first 24 hours of its release. This makes Call of Duty the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row.
But it's not just Call of Duty that's showing up Hollywood. Prior to Activision's announcement today, Microsoft and 343 Industries had revealed that Halo 4 — which earned more than $220 million worldwide in its first week — had surpassed the record for the biggest day-one opening in U.S. box office history. Based on U.S. sales alone, Halo 4 is more popular than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, as well as the biggest movie of 2012, The Avengers.
I think, more than anything, this proves that video games now have a firm foothold in the entertainment industry.