The rumor being spread around the blog-o-net today is a mighty hard pill to swallow for me. Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke has heard it through a reliable grapevine that AEG execs, the concert promoter responsible for Michael Jackson’s incomplete This Is It tour, are expecting MJ’s rehearsal footage movie of the same title to earn, get this, “$250 million in its first 5 days!”
Now I’m sorry, I just can’t see that happening. Let’s remember these people are promoters so it’s their job to build the hype surrounding their client’s products to get us to take the bait and spend our money.
When Nikki Finke brought this rumor of $250 million in five days to her Sony source she received this fascinating response:
“I don’t know what they’re talking about. That would be bigger than Spider-Man and Harry Potter. It’s an event, but it’s still a movie.”
$203 Million – The Dark Knight
$200 Million – Transformers 2
$173 Million – Star Wars Episode III
$169 Million – Pirates of the Caribbean 2
$170 Million – Spider-Man 3
$159 Million – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
$153 Million – Spider-Man 2
$152 Million – Indiana Jones 4
$148 Million – Pirates of the Caribbean 3
$140 Million – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Those are some great movies in that list right there and AEG thinks they are going to beat ALL OF THEM, including The Dark Knight, by more than $25 million? I hardly think so.
Now we have to remember that all the above box office numbers are domestic gross only and This Is It will be released domestically and internationally on the same day. Also, This Is It will be released in 3D, which means an extra four to five dollars for the “privilege” of seeing the movie in the latest technology; that is something the current top ten 5-day grossers didn’t have at their disposal. Their numbers are representative of regular and IMAX sales only.
Now granted, This Is It will obviously be a HUGE money maker for Sony and AEG, even though they aren’t in it for the money *cough B.S. cough*. Lines outside of theaters around the world were long on ticket day and theaters sold out of advanced tickets minutes after opening them for sale. Fandango, the number one online ticket sales website, reports This Is It has sold out 1000 theaters already, representing 27% of all ticket sales on its site, and is currently out pacing Hannah Montana 3-D, 2-1 for the same marketing cycle (two weeks before release).
OK, so those are impressive numbers but comparing the movie to Hannah Montana 3-D sales and The Dark Knight sales are two COMPLETELY different things. Hannah Montana isn’t even on the top 100 5-day grossing movies and topped out at $70 million worldwide. Now those numbers I could believe and to be honest those would be very respectable numbers for This Is It to bring in. AEG says that the movie is “already $5 million in the black even after Sony Pictures paid $60 million for the movie rights.” So anything else it brings in at this point is all gravy anyway.
This Is It will open worldwide on over 11,000 screens, both foreign and domestic, which is an insane number to think about. Originally slated for only a two week run (like anyone ever believed that), AEG let it slip that they plan on bringing the movie back at a date TBD. High School Musical and This Is It tour director Kenny Ortega has pulled the movie together from over 100 hours of HD rehearsal footage that they almost didn’t film to begin with (Good move, guys).
Want one more reason to not believe AEG and Sony aren’t in this for the money, and are leeching off of Michael Jackson’s passing? Read this statement from President and CEO of AEG Live Randy Phillips, then go curl up in the fetal position of the corner of the shower to wash off the gross feeling:
“He was our partner in life and now he’s our partner in death.”
Seriously, that borders on just creepy. I can almost see Phillips fiendishly rubbing his hands together and smacking his lips while speaking.
Have you already purchased your ticket to This Is It? I don’t plan on going, so tell me what you thought of the movie after you see it.
This Is It opens everywhere – and I do mean EVERYWHERE – October 28th, 2009.
Source: Deadline Hollywood