Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has done stellar business at the box office, sorry, at retail. It’s not a movie, and it isn’t competing with the dross out of Hollywood. This small fact escaped the attention of everyone in the press except a brave few.
“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.”
Could Gary Eng Walk have been referring to this type of headline: Fire in the hole: Call of Duty obliterates Hollywood box office. That’s from Reuters, the Reuters, of professional news gathering fame.
It was left to sober heads at sober publications, like Ben Kuchera at Ars Technica: “Am I glad I played the game? Yes. Can I see myself replaying it? Maybe not.” Sure, he was playing the Luddite version of CoD:MW2 on the PC, but some people still collect vinyl LPs. At least Ben Kuchera wasn’t about to get run over with the joy of seeing Activision’s coffers bursting at the seams.