'Grand Theft Auto V' racks up $800M in sales in 24 hours

GTA V, the highly anticipated latest installment in Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto video game series, hit shelves this week and gamers are thrilled. In addition to touting some wonderful reviews, GTA V is, obviously, proving to be a commercial success, as the first-day sales figures topped $800 million.

The hotly anticipated game appears to have blown past the one-day retail sales record set by Activision Blizzard Inc., whose "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" brought in $500 million in its fist 24 hours of release. That game went on to reach $1 billion in sales in 15 days -- faster, many observed, than the box office record-holder "Avatar."

Analysts speculate that Grand Theft Auto V could eclipse the $1 billion mark sooner than later, which means that Rockstar would have to have moved 18 million copies of their latest offering. Much of that first $800 million came from midnight releases as stores all over the country opened their doors later (or earlier) than usual to accomodate the incredible demand for GTA V.

Take-Two Interactive Software said "Grand Theft Auto V" delivered the highest first-day retail sales of any title in the company's history. Some fans flocked to stores at midnight to buy the game, which received widespread critical acclaim. About 8,300 stores in North America held midnight openings to meet demand.

The $1-billion retail milestone would rank "Grand Theft Auto V" alongside Hollywood's top box office performers for the year, including Walt Disney Studio's and Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 3" and Universal Pictures' "Despicable Me 2."  [Los Angeles Times]