Grand Theft Auto IV Makes More Money Than Anything Ever

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mojo-photo-grandtheft.jpgWell, almost. Billboard magazine reports that first-week sales for the latest installment in the “Grand Theft Auto” videogame series has outperformed even the most optimistic of predictions, making more than $500 million in sales the first week. Billboard says that’s 6 million copies, but it’s $60 on Amazon, and that works out to $360 million, but who knows how they count these things. Either way, it’s a new first-week record for a game, smashing the previous high mark set by “Halo 3” of $300 million.

For comparison’s sake, let’s just take a look at some other cultural products and institutions and their associated monetary figures, after the jump:

  • Net worth of Martha Stewart, the 377th richest American: $970 million (Forbes.com)
  • “Star Wars,” total gross: $460,998,007 (Box Office Mojo)
  • GDP of Vanuatu, 2007: $455 million (IMF via Wikipedia)
  • McDonalds, weekly profit, worldwide: $437 million (Hoovers)
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller, all-time US sales gross estimate: $270 million (RIAA)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, biggest selling book of 2007, gross US sales in 2007: $270 million (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • The Police reunion tour, 2007 total gross: $212 million (Billboard)
  • Daughtry’s Daughtry, biggest selling album of 2007, gross sales in 2007: $30 million (Billboard)

Lesson: by talking about music, movies and books here on the Riff, we’re clearly missing the boat. Too bad the last videogame I played was probably “Dig Dug” at the local Pizza Hut in 1984.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

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