Grand Theft Auto IV Makes More Money Than Anything Ever

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mojo-photo-grandtheft.jpgWell, almost. Billboard magazine reports that first-week sales for the latest installment in the “Grand Theft Auto” videogame series has outperformed even the most optimistic of predictions, making more than $500 million in sales the first week. Billboard says that’s 6 million copies, but it’s $60 on Amazon, and that works out to $360 million, but who knows how they count these things. Either way, it’s a new first-week record for a game, smashing the previous high mark set by “Halo 3” of $300 million.

For comparison’s sake, let’s just take a look at some other cultural products and institutions and their associated monetary figures, after the jump:

  • Net worth of Martha Stewart, the 377th richest American: $970 million (Forbes.com)
  • “Star Wars,” total gross: $460,998,007 (Box Office Mojo)
  • GDP of Vanuatu, 2007: $455 million (IMF via Wikipedia)
  • McDonalds, weekly profit, worldwide: $437 million (Hoovers)
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller, all-time US sales gross estimate: $270 million (RIAA)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, biggest selling book of 2007, gross US sales in 2007: $270 million (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • The Police reunion tour, 2007 total gross: $212 million (Billboard)
  • Daughtry’s Daughtry, biggest selling album of 2007, gross sales in 2007: $30 million (Billboard)

Lesson: by talking about music, movies and books here on the Riff, we’re clearly missing the boat. Too bad the last videogame I played was probably “Dig Dug” at the local Pizza Hut in 1984.

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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