Modern Warfare 3 Has Best 5-Day Sales in History of Known Universe

The season's most popular first-person shooter is now the bestselling slice of entertainment in the history of the world: Modern Warfare 3 grossed $775 million worldwide in five days time, claims Activision, roundly making it the bestselling video game of all time.

And that's just for starters. Look beyond video gaming, which to be fair already held this record, and you'll note Modern Warfare 3's cleaned house, demolishing records set by any film or video release in the history of, well, the known universe. By comparison, top five-day earner The Dark Knight pulled in just $204 million worldwide in its opening five days, according to Box Office Mojo.

Lifetime worldwide entertainment sales are another thing, of course. James Cameron's Avatar holds that record at $2.8 billion in box office receipts. Call of Duty: Black Ops, the last Call of Duty game, which did $650 million in its first five days, reportedly earned $1 billion in its first six weeks on sale, but I don't have lifetime figures here—suffice to say they'll probably pale in comparison to Avatar's take (which also doesn't include video sales). As book sales go, I'm having a tough time nailing down accurate figures, but I'd wager the Bible (assuming you're willing to view it as entertainment) probably has everything beat in lifetime revenue.

But it's certainly celebration time for Activision, financially speaking. The company trotted out a few related figures, too, announcing Modern Warfare 3 had broken an Xbox LIVE record with 3.3 million unique online players in a single day.

Life-to-date, Activision says the Call of Duty franchise has exceeded $6 billion in worldwide sales, making it "one of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world." Also: Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 were respectively the second and fourth most played games on Xbox LIVE for the week of November 7, according to a Microsoft representative.

Other records broken:

- Over 7 million multiplayer hours were logged playing Modern Warfare 3 by close of its first day available, a 19 percent increase over Black Ops' 5.9 million for the same period.

- Over 3.3 million unique gamers played Modern Warfare 3 in a single day on November 8, up from 2.6 million unique gamers for Black Ops.

- Modern Warfare 3 "set a new franchise mark for the number of simultaneous online gamers playing Call of Duty on PlayStation® Network on its first day" (I can't tell if they mean ever, or just for the Call of Duty series).

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