So far, the new Call of Duty is twice the game as Halo 4.
Activision Blizzard said Black Ops II, the latest in its Call of Duty series, booked $500 million in first-day sales worldwide. Halo 4's $220 million first-day haul for publisher Microsoft looks small by comparison.
To be fair, Halo 4 was only released to Xbox owners, while Black Ops II was released to every major console, including the Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's new Wii U console. Both games also broke records for their respective franchises.
Color me unsurprised: video game releases are now routinely bigger than Hollywood's biggest bows. Take Marvel's The Avengers, which, according to Box Office Mojo, earned a combined $392.5 million during its opening weekends here and overseas for studio parent Walt Disney, resulting in one of the biggest box offices of all time. Black Ops II earned at least $100 million more than that on day one, big enough to support billions in future revenue via successive releases or even a movie franchise of its own.
Think about it. We've already seen Hasbro transform well-known toys into movie characters, while Disney has already earned a tidy sum on the video game themed animated feature Wreck-It Ralph. Video games are big money.
So why is Activision only trading 5% higher on this market victory for Call of Duty: Black Ops II? Why isn't the stock selling at a premium to Disney? Both companies trade for close to 15 times trailing earnings.
The answer, I think, is that stability is more valuable than a short-term win. Disney is well-diversified, blessed with great brands, and poised to take advantage of known catalysts. Activision may be a good business, but Disney is a Tier 1 stock.
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The article Call of Duty Performs Twice as Well as Halo originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home, portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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