In an interview with Gamasutra Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown revealed that Battlefield 3 has "Around 1.25 million pre-orders." Putting it "Well ahead" of predecessor Battlefield: Bad Company 2. As of May this year, Bad Company 2 had sold 5 million copies, a healthy amount, but far short of the 23 million copies Call of Duty: Black Ops has sold to date.
Regarding their plans going forward Brown said. "We have the advantage of a two-and-a-half week early launch window versus our competitor [Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3], and we intend to use that."