Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia projects the game will sell 7 million units, $400 million worth—in its first day (including presales), putting it just behind record-holder, Activison's "Call of Duty: Black Ops II," which sold $500 million worth of games in its first day last year.
By the end of Take Two's first quarter, at the end of March, he projects 18 million to 20 million units will sell—generating revenue of more than $1 billion.
Why is the audience so huge compared with the last game in the franchise?
"You've got an install base that's three times larger; you've got a game of five years so the appetite for this particular game is very strong, as evidenced by preorder activity; and also one thing that's different and incremental, is we have more online content," Bhatia noted.
That online content should help the game continue to deliver returns for Take Two for years to come. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post called the game a "key digital driver" for Take Two's fiscal 2015, saying the base case is a conservative $250 million digital revenue opportunity.
Bhatia said, "if you want to really enjoy the game, you may buy new cars, new weapons, things like that, that you pay for that are very profitable, for Take Two."
He went on to say the digital content is a win-win—it keeps the game fresh for consumers and margins are higher for the game maker.
(Read more: Grand Theft Auto controversies)
The question for the rest of the video game industry, which has suffered persistent and dramatic declines over the past few years—Will this suck the air out of the room and eat into rival video game sales?
On the downside: Consumer spending on games has fallen off a cliff as the amount of digital content—both add-ons to traditional games, and stand-alone apps and games—explodes. Will people be willing to shell out $60 for Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag," which goes on sale Oct. 29, and Activison's "Call of Duty: Ghosts" on Nov. 5? On the upside, the one thing people are spending money on is the big-name franchises, of which all of these three qualify.
The wild card: The new consoles from PlayStation and Xbox, scheduled to be released this fall. The new "GTA5" is designed for the current, older consoles. But Bhatia said the majority of people will still be playing games on the existing consoles over the next few months.
(Related: 10 video games to watch this holiday season)
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin