Does Call of Duty: Black Ops redefine 'blockbuster'?

3. DVD and Blu-ray


Video games pulled a draw against theatrical releases, yet they score a double-win when compared discs to discs.

After a long and record-shattering run in theaters, the 3-D epic "Avatar" hit 2-D home video. It sold 3.2 million DVDs and Blu-rays in the US and Canada its first day, pooling $57.6 million. That's a first, according to 20th Century Fox.

Black Ops leads in a third category, as well: hours played. While most movies are only watched a few times, Call of Duty games feature a six- to eight-hour single-player mode and continuous multiplayer matches that last about 10 minutes each.

"Plenty of people will play the multiplayer 30 hours a week" for months and sometimes years after a game's release date, says John Lee, head of marketing for, which tracks gamers' playing habits.

In fact, less than a month after Black Ops came out, players had already logged a collective 15,232 years online, according to a fan website that cites the game's official statistics.

These matches are rated M (the gaming equivalent of an R-rated movie) and often depict armies fighting over territory. But for most players, Black Ops's multiplayer is more akin to a sport than actual warfare. Teams work together to outsmart and outscore their opponents. That's what keeps them coming back long after the "Avatar" DVD is back on its shelf.

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