Whenever a blockbuster movie is released, fans as well as all the individuals associated with its production are keen to see how well it performs in the box office. The amount of revenue earned in the first few days after a movie is released is often regarded as one of the most important barometers of success.
Over the years there have been numerous hit movies that have at one time held the coveted accolade of being the highest ever grossing film, up until that point in time.
In 1997, Titanic broke all records and remained as the highest grossing movie of all time until Avatar, which, like Titanic was also produced and directed by James Cameron took the top spot more than a decade later. As mentioned before, the initial earnings made in the first few days after release are one of the strongest indicators of whether or not a film will be considered a success or a flop. Failure to attract big numbers in these crucial few days will more often than not result in underwhelming sales figures in the following weeks and months.
When it comes to the video game industry, once again a lot of attention is focused on how many sales are generated shortly after a highly anticipated title is released.
But how do these two industries compare when it comes to opening sales? Do the most popular video games generate even close to the amount of money generated by blockbuster movies in the first few days after their release?
Comparing The Best Performers
2019 saw a new title crowned as the highest grossing movie of all time – Avengers Endgame. In total, it grossed nearly $2.8 billion worldwide, with an opening of $1.8 billion, which in itself is also a world record that still stands.
It’s worth mentioning here that ‘the opening’ of a movie is not always the opening weekend, as in several markets, films don’t get released on Fridays. Instead, ‘the opening’ is defined as the gross gained between the film’s release date and the first Sunday following the release date.
How does the performance of Avengers: Endgame compare with the world’s highest grossing video game of all time?
Well that would be Grand Theft Auto V, which has sold over 110 million copies to date and managed to generate sales of $1 billion in the first three days following its release back in 2013. It’s certainly true that video games do cost more than cinema tickets – so comparing gross revenues between both industries isn’t entirely fair. But nevertheless, this is a barometer used within each industry to gauge the success of a launch. No doubt all eyes will be focused on these numbers once the highly anticipated sequel to Grand Theft Auto 5 is released – whenever that may be.
Best of the Rest
Avengers: Endgame may have had a more lucrative opening than GTA V – but GTA VI could break records set across both industries. Outside of these two top performers, there are numerous examples of hugely impressive launches and its here that the gap between blockbuster movies and video games disappears completely.
Second on the list of the biggest worldwide box office openings is another Marvel movie. Avengers: Infinity War grossed over $640 million at the box office during its ‘opening weekend’. But when it comes to the next best openings for video games, Fallout 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 both achieved better numbers than Infinity War, grossing $750 million and $725 million respectively.
This just goes to show effectively and how quickly video games have made it into the mainstream that we are now at a point whereby the latest gaming releases can outshine even the most popular movies, when it comes to generating initial sales.