The latest installment of the Modern Warfare series breaks the previous first 24-hour record of Call of Duty: Black Ops ($360 million) in 2010 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ($310 million) in 2009. This is the third straight year the juggernaut shooter franchise has set a record on gross sales on its first day debut. The military video game went on sale Tuesday midnight in the United Kingdom and North America. Activision announced the report of the record breaking sales Friday. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a press release, "We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories." Kotick added, "Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row." Kotick also reveals that the Call of Duty franchise overall sales now "exceed worldwide theatrical box office for 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings,' two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time." Analysts expect the first-person shooter game to sell and break the 20 million unit mark at the end of the calendar year, earning $1.2 billion in sales. The latest game sees the return of Capt. John Price (voiced by Billy Murray), Capt. John MacTavish (voiced by Kevin McKidd) and Russian informant "Nikolai". For most of the game, players will get to control "Yuri" an ex-Spetsnaz soldier along with Price. The plot reveals that after General Shepherd was killed, Nikolai and Price evacuate a wounded MacTavish from the Hotel Bravo in Afghanistan and reached a safe house in India, where MacTavish would receive medical attention. The game's primary villain Vladimir Makarov reprises his role, with his forces attacking the three in the safe house, now with Yuri giving medical help to MacTavish. It was reported that the game was developed two weeks after Modern Warfare 2 was released. Something notable is Modern Warfare 3's competition from EA's Battlefield 3. The Electronic Arts shooter game sold 5 million copies in its first week of release in Oct. 25. MW3 receives generally positive reviews from analysts, with aggregated scores of 88% for PS3 and 89% for Xbox 360. Somehow, the Call of Duty franchise manages to edge EA's military shooter game in terms of reception and popularity. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said on a press statement, "Call of Duty is more than a game. It's become a major part of the pop cultural landscape. It is a game that core enthusiasts love, but that also consistently draws new people into the medium." Activision announces that they will donate $3 million video game sales to Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit organization that helps and supports war veterans.