Call of Duty is bigger than Star Wars, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says. Before we bask too long in that Lennon-esque sentiment, we should point out he means in terms of franchise sales versus worldwide theatrical box office revenues for the films, thanks in part to Black Ops 2 day-one sales landing on the richer side of $500 million.
"Life-to-date 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," Kotick said.
He said Call of Duty prevailed as the world's biggest entertainment launch for the fourth year in a row. Modern Warfare 3 breached $400 million in its first day last year according to Activision, and the original Black Ops cleared $360 million. It's important to note both those figures account for only the U.S. and U.K. whereas the $500 million for Black Ops 2 was given as worldwide. That means the jump may not be as substantial as the figures indicate at first blush.
"Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013," Kotick said, despite the fanfare. His investors seem to share the concern, as Activision's stock hit its lowest point all year on Wednesday, according to GamesIndustry International.