Voices: Heeding the call

A shattered video-game sales record makes clear a growing problem for Hollywood.

“Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 video game racked up more than $400 million in sales on its first day in stores in the United States and the United Kingdom. [The game] sold 6.5 million units, which breaks last year’s record of 5.6 million units, or $360 million in sales. The version of the game released last year…went on to sell $1 billion in less than two months.”

“We believe [this is] the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories….Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.”
Bobby Kotick
CEO, Activision Blizzard

“I feel really bad for the people behind the building, because they’re not going to get the game until maybe two o’clock.”
Anonymous teen in line for a Long Island, N.Y., GameStop’s special midnight opening, via Newsday YouTube channel

“Two masked men armed with tear gas and knives relieved a delivery truck of its 6,000 copies of the game [on Nov. 6] in a hijacking that took place just south of Paris….The thieves crashed their car into a van transporting the game….They then gassed the delivery driver and drove off in the van with the shipment that is most assuredly speeding its way to black and grey markets now. The shipment is valued at roughly 400,000 euros.”
Adam Rosenberg
TheFeed blog,

“What the film industry would give for a money maker like Call of Duty. It’s an Avatar every year for 4 years in a row.”
Gavin Purcell, via Twitter

“The weekend’s three openers each fell short of already-tepid expectations. 300 knockoff Immortals did come in first with a little over $31 million in ticket sales, but that’s a whopping 45 percent less than [300’s] opening weekend….In second came Adam Sandler’s embarrassing career nosedive, Jack and Jill.”
Andre Tartar
Vulture blog,

“The good news is a break from slumping attendance with a $137M total moviegoing weekend, up +18% from last year. But the bad news is that these movies are still underperforming what they should have done….The real question is why Hollywood released two young male-skewing movies right after two major video games were released. Anecdotal evidence is that the guys were otherwise engaged.”
Nikki Finke

“CALL OF DUTY. Replacing girlfriends since 2003.”
“Chelsea,” via Twitter