Officials from Microsoft have once again stated their plans to ensure that the launch of Halo 3
on Xbox 360 will be the most successful debut of any entertainment property in the U.S., with a goal of $155 million in sales within the first twenty-four hours.
In 2004 Halo 2
on the original Xbox totaled $125 million in sales
(around 2.4 million copies) in its first day on sale. The new goal of $155 million for Halo 3
’s debut would best the current record for the largest opening weekend for a film in the U.S., currently held by Spider-Man 3 at $151 million.
Speaking to Hollywood industry magazine Variety
, Microsoft director of creative marketing Chris Di Cesare commented: "We did $125 million last time. ... We’re confident we can do better [this time].”
The game is due for release on September 25th in the U.S. and has already seen pre-orders of over 1 million units
. Variety suggests that unnamed insiders at Microsoft are predicting that first day revenues could reach as high as $170 million.
However, Halo 3
will be at least $10 more expensive than its predecessor, with the sales of expansive special edition versions of the game further increasing the revenue total even without an increase in unit sales.
"People didn't understand the scale or size of what Halo
was," says Di Cesare in Variety. "When we went to talk to promotional partners, you'd spend half the meeting talking about the video game business. When we opened to $125 million, that really caught a lot of people's attention. It showed that video games were no longer that thing that kids play in their basement."