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Activision Blizzard's "Modern Warfare 2" Sales Break Records

The midnight debut of "

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

" lived up to expectations. Early this morning

Activision/Blizzard

reported that the game sold about 4.7 million copies, in North America and the United Kingdom Alone. That's about $310 million dollars at the cash register, and far more than any movie's first-day debut. "Modern Warfare 2" has unseated the previous record-holder Take-Two Interactive's "Grand Theft Auto IV" which sold 3.6 million units on its first day on sale last year.

To be fair to the movie industry, video game launches are incredibly front-loaded thanks to huge pre-sales. It's common for video games to generate half the revenues they bring in during their first three months on shelves, within their first week on sale. In contrast the biggest movie hits (see "Titanic" and "Dark Knight" ) perform well for weeks and weeks.

Still, this debut shouldn't be underestimated.

It bodes well for retailers like Gamestop and Best Buy, as it should continue to drive traffic into stores and sales of other games and accessories. And the game could really help battle the decline the video game business has been struggling with so far this video game business this holiday season.

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