“Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” the latest installment in Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)’s best-selling video-game franchise, topped $1 billion in retail sales within its first 15 days of release.
The sales figure, which relies on Chart-Track retail data, means “Call of Duty” reached $1 billion faster than the movie “Avatar,” the record holder for feature films, Activision said today in a statement. The previous installment in the series accomplished that same feat last year. It took 16 days to reach the $1 billion milestone, compared with 17 for “Avatar,” which came out in 2009.
“Since ‘Call of Duty’ was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top 10 grossing films of 2012 combined,” Activision Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said in the statement. “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.”
Activision, the world’s largest video-game seller, is counting on new titles to maintain growth after topping third- quarter profit and revenue estimates last quarter. Sales had flagged last year, hurt by the sluggish economy and a rise in games that are free to play.
Shares of the Santa Monica, California-based company were little changed today in New York, closing at $11.23. The stock has fallen 8.8 percent this year through yesterday.
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