Black Ops 2 takes half a billion bucks on day one

Activision says Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has destroyed first-day sales records by taking $500 million in its first 24 hour after release. It’s the fourth straight year Call of Duty has claimed the title of the best opening day across all forms of entertainment.

That sales would be huge isn’t a surprise, though the actual figure may be higher than anticipated: in 2009 Activision claimed $310 million on launch day for Modern Warfare 2, beating it in 2010 with $360 million for Black Ops 1, and then hitting $400 million for Modern Warfare 3 last year.

It’s certainly a sign of how the big business of gaming can be overlooked by people who dismiss it as an inferior form of entertainment. By way of comparison, the most money a movie has ever taken on its opening day is the $91 million of the final Harry Potter installment. Only 101 movies have done more than $500 million worldwide in the entire movie theater runs.

You can take that comparison a little too far however: Activision is already boasting of how the entire Call of Duty franchise has had revenues exceeding the box office receipts of the Star Wars series. That’s impressive but misses out the money those movies have made on numerous videotape and disc purchases and rentals, not to mention the associated merchandising.

[Order Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on]