'This Is It' tops charts with US$101m worldwide
Business Times - 03 Nov 2009
(LOS ANGELES) The film, Michael Jackson's This Is It, pulled in US$101 million worldwide in its first five days, and distributor Sony is extending the farewell performance film beyond its planned two-week run.
The film was the No. 1 Halloween thriller domestically with a US$21.3 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates ON Sunday.
The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Paramount's low-budget horror sensation Paranormal Activity, slipped to No. 2 with US$16.5 million, lifting its total to US$84.8 million.
This Is It raised its domestic total to US$32.5 million. The movie pulled in US$68.5 million overseas, including US$10.4 million in Japan, US$6.3 million in Germany, US$5.8 million in France and US$3.2 million in China.
'He's just loved everywhere on the planet,' said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. 'It doesn't matter if it's Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, South America. Every continent in the world loved him and his music.'
In Great Britain, where Jackson had planned a marathon series of 50 London concerts starting last July, the movie earned US$7.6 million.
This Is It captures Jackson in behind-the-scenes performances in the weeks before his death last June, as he rehearsed his biggest hits for the London shows.
This Is It originally was scheduled for a theatrical run of only two weeks. The studio has extended it a few more weeks domestically, leaving it in theaters through Thanksgiving weekend, one of the year's busiest moviegoing times.
Sony plans to extend the run of This Is It overseas on a country-by-country basis, with most territories probably getting one to three weeks of extra playing time, MR Bruer said.
The studio paid US$60 million for film rights to Jackson's rehearsal footage, an investment the movie recouped in days.
'They bet US$60 million on this and got US$101 million in just five days,' said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. 'It was a gamble and a bet that paid off.'
The movie fell far short of last year's US$31.1 million opening weekend domestically for Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. But Mr Bruer said This Is It has a shot at surpassing the US$65.3 million domestic total during the entire run of Cyrus's movie, which tops the all-time charts for music documentaries.
Worldwide, This Is It already has shot past Cyrus's concert film. Cyrus mainly appeals to American teens, and her movie got only a limited release overseas, where it took in about US$5 million to give the film a global total of just over US$70 million.
This Is It played in 3,481 theatre domestically, about five times the number for Cyrus's movie. But Best of Both Worlds ran in 3-D, for which theatres typically charge a few dollars more\. \-- AP
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