'Grand Theft Auto IV' makes a killing in first week

First-week sales of Take-Two Interactive Software's latest franchise video game knock off records and blow away analyst expectations.

The fourth edition of Take-Two's franchise video game Grand Theft Auto had a killer first week at retail, beating out even Halo 3. For a gallery about the game, click on the image above. Take-Two Interactive Software
UPDATED, 5/7 9 a.m. PDT with official announcement from company.

First-week sales of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV made a killing, knocking off records and blowing away analyst expectations.

Take-Two Interactive Software, the game's publisher, sold 6 million copies and raked in $500 million in its first seven days on the streets, the company announced Wednesday. The game sold 3.6 million copies its first day on the market.

Analysts had expected GTA IV, which has been criticized as excessively violent, to sell 5 million copies during its first two weeks and 9 million copies total. GTA IV's first-week sales beat the previous record held by last year's release of Halo 3, which earned $300 million its first week on the market.

Shares of Take-Two have been trading higher, thanks to the excitement surrounding the game's release. On Tuesday, Take-Two's shares closed at $26.35, up 29 cents. The first-week sales success gives a boost to the game publisher, targeted for a hostile takeover by Electronic Arts in March. Take-Two rejected that offer, calling it "inadequate."

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