Film and game industry raked in billions thanks to MW2 and Avatar

By Stephany Nunneley, Saturday, 16 January 2010 21:59 GMT

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James Cameron’s Avatar and Modern Warfare 2 are each sitting on over $1B in sales as proof that the 2009 holiday season was a good one, for both the film and games industry.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Modern Warfare 2 had made over $1B worldwide since its November release.

In turn, James Cameron’s Avatar, achieved that figure 17 days after its release in theaters on December 18 with $73M of that raked in during its opening weekend in the US and $200M around the world. This has made it the second-highest grossing film since Cameron’s Titanic, which brought in $1.84B – but look for Avatar to eventually smash that record.

Estimates state that Modern Warfare 2 cost as high as $50 million to make, and Avatar cost FOX $230M to finish – so these huge sales numbers have paid for each many times over.

Infinity Ward was so pleased with its numbers, it bragged that MW2 “made more money in its first five days than Avatar on day one by taking in $310 million”.

So, thanks to both these titles, the game industry and Hollywood can rest a bit better knowing that its over $1B richer than before.

Plus, there’s talk of an Avatar sequel and a Call of Duty movie to contend with too.

But don’t look for the film industry to go head-to-head with the games industry just yet. It’s still stinging from a little title called Halo 3.

Hollywood became worried about games taking folks out of theaters back in 2007 when Halo 3 generated over one million pre-orders and took $155 million on its first day.

At the time, this sort of unprecedented fervor was saved for films, but Bungie proved gaming was an entertainment on par with films, by beating the first Spider-man film’s opening weekend sales of $151M by $4M.

The release of Halo 3 was the reason most films released the same weekend tanked, not because they were bad movies according to Hollywood.

Therefore, film studios are now leery of releasing movies the same weekend as a highly anticipated game (via BME).

As well it should be, when it comes to massive titles – but both are just as important to our entertainment needs, we reckon.

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