The First-Day Gross for Videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops–$360 Million

Forget about Harry Potter. The real star of the small screen this fall carries an automatic weapon, not a wand, and racks up first day North America-UK sales for its Santa Monica based creator of $360 million.

The Activision game Call of Duty: Black Ops benefited from some good viral buzz thanks to a realistic combat ad featuring Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel. Still, the numbers generated beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9th are staggering, especially when you consider they are for just three countries.

One of the key benefits of working within the video game arena is the average “ticket” price. Even something like a pricey 3-D showing of Avatar can hardly compete with the $60 or so per-head flowing in at Best, Buy and Beyond. In fact, previous title Modern Warfare 2 has already surpassed Avatar.

Drowned out in the background of the cash register noise was some mild controversy over the Kobe-Kimmel ad. We say “mild”, because it was generally written by, and published in, outlets that not a single young buyer of the sequel shoot-em-up cares to read.