Michael Jackson’s posthumous concert-rehearsal documentary This Is It had an OK opening weekend here in the United States—it was the highest-grossing movie from Friday to Sunday, although the $21.3 million it pulled in was below expectations. (It’s raked in $32.5 million here since opening on Wednesday—way lower than the $250-million-in-five-days figure that concert promoter AEG Live had touted in the run-up to the movie.) Over the weekend, This Is It distributor Sony Pictures announced that it had decided to keep the movie in theaters for longer than its initial two-week run, spinning the move as such:
“In just 5 days, Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT has become the highest grossing concert film of all time and we are elated by the response to this special film by fans, critics and moviegoers from all over the world. With this kind of global response, it’s clear that the motion picture deserves an extended run and we are going to do everything we can to make the film available to everyone who wants to see Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT on the big screen.”
Yet despite the studio’s soft-pedaling of Jackson’s popularity, it’s hard not to see Sony’s announcement as little more than a way to further plump the flick’s grosses. The limited-engagement nature of the movie, which was only supposed to be in theaters for two weeks, was theoretically going to goose advance-ticket sales a la the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus concert films that Disney’s released over the past two years—and that, by extension, would help Jackson’s estate clear out its various debts in a more timely manner. Clearly, that didn’t work. But will extending the run really puff up the grosses enough? And furthermore, are the events of the past week merely a case of a lowered bar for “success” in music not really translating to other forms of media? After all, the tie-in soundtrack for the flick is set to debut atop this week’s album charts despite it mostly being a rehash of already-available tracks.
‘Michael Jackson’s This Is It’ Is An International Box-Office Thriller [MTV]
CON ARTISTS! Sony Extends 2-Week Limited Run Of Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ Through Thanksgiving [Deadline]
You might also like