Activision's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2 has smashed the previous record set by Grand Theft Auto IV for opening weekend sales for a video game.

Modern Warfare 2 sold an estimated 1.23 million units in its first day on sale, grossing Activision, the games publisher, around £47 million, according to official figures by Chart Track, the body that tracks sales in the UK.

The figure, which doubles the previous record held by Grand Theft Auto IV, shows how far the video game market has grown to be an entertainment powerhouse.

“These first day sales figures are astonishing and clear evidence that video games are now mainstream in the UK", said Michael Rawlinson, director general, Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), in a statement.

The game has come under heavy fire from pressure groups complaining about its tone and violence.

Although the 1.23 million makes it the biggest UK opening weekend, the title is still a long way from being crowned Biggest selling video game of all time.

Developers are already working on a third instalment.