Take-Two has put out a press release announcing that, in the first week since its release, GTA4 has sold approximately 6 million copies globally, with a retail value in the order of $500 million. In the first day alone it sold 3.6 million copies and took in a whopping $310 million.
Big numbers, but let’s put them into some sort of perspective by comparing them to the movie industry. The best opening for a movie is that of Spider-Man 3. This (woeful, imo) sequel took $382 million globally in its opening weekend. I think is it fair to say that GTA4 performed better in a similar time frame. Chairman of publisher Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick agrees, “Grand Theft Auto IV’s first week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date.”
So not only does the games industry as a whole outperform Hollywood, but individual game sales can also outperform movie box office sales. I’m sure that this comparison is not entirely fair and analysts could break the figures down to support both sides of the argument, but I think we can all agree that the games industry is as big as any other form of entertainment on the planet. And rapidly growing.
[See also: Grand Theft Auto IV gallery]