While 2011 box office revenue is on the decline -- down 4 percent this year at $9.4 billion, compared with $9.8 billion in 2010 -- the number of people purchasing and participating in gaming is on the rise, with no sign of slowing. With more than 30 million gamers, the Call of Duty community now exceeds the combined populations of the cities of New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Madrid.
Call of Duty is now amongst that rarified group of sustained franchises like "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings" and the National Football League (NFL) that attract or engage tens of millions of people every year or every new release.
Activision's Call of Duty Elite is one of the fastest growing online services ever with more than six million players registered since its launch November 8, 2011 and over one million premium subscriptions sold to date. By comparison, the premium subscription services of Netflix, Hulu Plus, Sirius XM and Xbox LIVE, did not reach one million paid subscribers until almost one year after launch.