Yesterday, Today, & FOREVER The King of Pop

`This Is It’ tops charts and breaks records with $101M worldwide

Update: 11/8/09
“This Is It,” raised its domestic total to $57.9 million and has taken in $186.5 million worldwide. (AP)



LONDON, November 2, 2009 – Sony Pictures Releasing UK is delighted
to announce that since its release on Wednesday, October 28, Michael
Jackson’s THIS IS IT has stormed straight to the top of the UK box
office taking an incredible £4.9 million.

With the UK figure contributing to a worldwide total of $101 million
and counting, it makes motion picture history as the highest-grossing
concert film of all time.

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT is directed by
Kenny Ortega.

In response to the tremendous interest and desire to see the film
around the world, the studio has also announced that it is extending
its limited engagement. In the UK, the film will be extended through
November and in the United States, the film will play through
Thanksgiving weekend.

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT is the 5th biggest international
opening of 2009. In addition to the UK, top grossing territories
include: Japan $10.4 m (3rd biggest opening of the year in Japan),
Germany $6.3 m, France $5.8 m, Australia $3.6 m, China $3.2 m, Italy
$2.9 m, and Spain $2.6 m, among others.

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT opened to #1 in North America with
$21.3 million for the 3-day weekend, averaging an estimated $6,119 per

The opening weekend audience was almost evenly split between 49 %
males and 51% females with 62% of the audience over the age of 25.

The film received an “A” CinemaScore and is one of the best reviewed
films of the year with an 80% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Commenting on the announcement, Jeff Blake, Chairman, Sony Pictures
Entertainment Worldwide Marketing & Distribution said, “This film
is a unique celebration of Michael Jackson and his extraordinary music.
Kenny Ortega delivered a masterful tribute that shows the pure genius
that Michael poured into his creative process and made him one of the
best performers that ever graced a stage. 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.”

By a large margin, the film’s 5-day box office gross has already surpassed the cost the studio incurred to acquire the footage.

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT offers Michael Jackson fans and music
lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he
developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would
have taken place beginning this past summer in London’s O2 Arena.
Covering the months from March through June, 2009, the film is produced
with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from
more than 100 hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson
rehearsing numerous songs for the show. Audiences will be given a
privileged and private look at Jackson as he has never been seen
before. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT is the
last documentation of Michael Jackson in action, capturing the singer,
dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius, and great artist at work
as he and his collaborators move toward their goals of London, the O2,
and history. Kenny Ortega, who was both Michael Jackson’s creative
partner and the director of the stage show, also directed the film,
which was being produced by Randy Phillips, Kenny Ortega and Paul
Gongaware. Executive producers are John Branca and John McClain.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation
of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s
global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution;
television production and distribution; digital content creation and
distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment
acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities;
development of new entertainment products, services and technologies;
and distribution of filmed entertainment in more than 130 countries.

Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at

About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a
roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local
artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog
that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is
home to premier record labels representing music from every genre,
including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Aware,
Battery Records, Beach Street Records, Black Seal, BNA Records,
Cinematic, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Epic Records,
Essential Records, Flicker Records, Fo-Yo Soul, GospoCentric, Hitz
Committee Entertainment, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records,
Legacy Recordings, Masterworks, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA
Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Slightly
Dangerous, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International,
Verity Records, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is
a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

For more
information, visit


Weekend Box Office: Long Live the King of Pop

LOS ANGELES — "Michael Jackson‘s This Is It" pulled in $101+ million
worldwide in its first five days
, and distributor Sony is extending the
farewell performance film beyond its planned two-week run.

film was No. 1 domestically with a $21.3 million
opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"This Is It" raised its domestic total to
$32.5 million. The movie pulled in $68.5 million overseas, including
$10.4 million in Japan, $6.3 million in Germany, $5.8 million in France
and $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 $7.6 million.

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, Bruer said.

The studio paid $60 million for film rights to Jackson’s rehearsal footage, an investment the movie recouped in days.

"They bet $60 million on this and got $101 million in just five days," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for "It was a gamble and a bet that paid off."

"This Is It" already has shot past Miley Cyrus’ previous record holding concert film.

"This Is It" played in 3,481
theaters domestically, about five times the number for Cyrus’ movie.
But "Best of Both Worlds" ran in 3-D, for which theaters typically
charge a few dollars more.

hopes for a longer shelf life for "This Is It," which drew older crowds
that catch movies on their own schedule, with less regard for the
opening-weekend frenzy. Fans older than 25 accounted for 62 percent of
the audience, according to Sony.

Associated Press


Box Office Report: Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Moonwalks To No. 1

Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” smashed records to gross $101
million at the world-wide box office over five days.

Sony Pictures acquired rights to the film, a behind-the-scenes
documentary made before the king of pop’s death in June, for $60

The five-day total already makes “This Is It” the highest-grossing
concert film of all time, far outpacing “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus:
Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour,” which grossed $70.6 million
world-wide when Walt Disney Co. released in last year.

“We put a lot of love and hard work into this picture,” says Rory
Bruer, who heads world-wide distribution for Sony Pictures. “It’s a
very good day for us.”

The strong peformance of “This Is It” helped propel the box office to big returns this
weekend, running more than 5% ahead of the same weekend last year, even
with the Saturday-night Halloween holiday. The overall box office
continues to outpace last year, with ticket sales up by nearly 7.7% and
attendance up by more than 3.6%.

Bruer says that “This Is It” performed in line with studio expectations
for North America and outpaced them internationally. “Quite frankly, it
absolutely performed within the realm of our expectations
domestically,” he says, noting that the studio first projected the
movie would open domestically in the range of $30 million to $40

Sony announced on Sunday that, based on the strong performance of
the film, it would extend the limited two-week run for “This Is It” for
three more weeks in domestic theaters, through Thanksgiving weekend.
Internationally, the studio will extend the movie on a
“territory-by-territory basis,” says Mr. Bruer, likely ranging from one
week to three weeks in most territories.

Mr. Breuer added that the studio is so pleased with the film that it
is even considering an Oscar campaign for the picture. “Michael was one
of those few artists that touched everyone on the planet,” he says.
“What just seemed like a concert movie in the beginning has turned out
to be so much more.”

Wall Street Journal

Exclusive: The Makers of Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Kenny Ortega: Michael Jackson was ready to triumph in London

Reviews: Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Michael Jackson’s "This Is It" is #1 Number One @ the Box Office

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