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Variety: GTA IV to smash Halo 3 records

'Biggest entertainment launch ever' quote cited again. *sigh*

According to a new report, Grand Theft Auto IV is set to generate around $400 million in first week sales, making it the largest videogame launch, and possibly the largest entertainment launch of all time.

Citing "sources close to publisher Take-Two" and industry analysts, Variety suggests that Grand Theft Auto IV is set to smash Halo 3's videogame box office record of $300 million in first week sales, and come close to the $404 million generated by movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in its first six days of release.

'Several industry analysts also told Daily Variety that they fully expect GTA IV to come close to and possibly exceed $400 million in sales out of the gate.

'Though they rarely release the data, videogame publishers are able to accurately predict early game sales based on what retailers order.

'Sources close to publisher Take-Two Interactive, whose Rockstar Games label is developing and releasing the title, said that the latest installment of the hit franchise will reach that figure and sell some 6 million units after it launches worldwide on April 29.

'Videogame sellers have slightly varying predictions at this point, though all expect it to be huge. Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes said that GTA IV will likely do 'two times the volume' that Halo 3 did for his chain, while GameStop senior veep of merchandising Bob McKenzie said the game is currently tracking slightly behind Microsoft's three-quel.'

Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said previously that GTA IV could ship 5.8 million units in its first week, or $360 million in retail sales, while Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter forecast four million units in first week sales.

Article supplied by Next-Gen