‘Call of Duty’ Game Rings Up $500 Million in Retail Sales

Activision Blizzard Inc. reported more than $500 million in retail sales from “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” in the first 24 hours of the game’s release.

The performance makes a game in the “Call of Duty” series the biggest entertainment release for the fourth straight year, Activision said, citing data from Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates.

The release of the military video game was timed to take advantage of the coming holiday shopping season. The first 24 hours of sales typically equate to 25 percent to 35 percent of the total through December, according to Michael Olson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray Cos. in Minneapolis.

“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 Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said today in a statement. “Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013.”

Activision, based in Santa Monica, California, rose 4.7 percent to $11.05 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 10 percent this year.

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