I’ve been getting emails saying This Is It, the Michael Jackson concert movie, has been number one in online ticket sales on Fandango for like two weeks now, and now Nikki Finke reports that the concert company is predicting an opening bigger than Spider-Man and Harry Potter.
Execs with the concert promoter AEG also capitalizing on the singer’s death are now openly predicting that This Is It will make a staggering “$250 million in its first 5 days”. And they claim the pic is already $5 million in the black even after Sony Pictures paid $60 million for the movie rights.
But this may be my favorite AEG revelation: that the rehearsal footage including meetings and auditions and other behind-the-scenes was only shot in the first place because Michael Jackson wanted it for his personal archive. And that when the whole pre-concert production began running wildly over its $25M budget, AEG almost stopped the HD crews from filming the rehearsals to cut costs. “Michael had no concept of budget,” an AEG insider reveals. “So the thought was we might as well fire the HD crew because there was no real plan to use the footage.” As soon as AEG executives involved in organizing Michael Jackson’s 50-night schedule of shows at London’s O2 arena learned of his death, they met at Staples Center in Los Angeles and secured all of the 100 hours of rehearsal footage which Michael Jackson had done there with the intent to turn it into live albums, a movie, and TV special. As Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live, has ghoulishly boasted to the media, “He was our partner in life and now he’s our partner in death.”
I’m not sure what’s worse, these shameless death-profiteer whores who can’t go more than a second of the trailer without tacky Michael-Jackson-as-Jesus imagery, or that there are still so many people out there who still haven’t seen enough Michael Jackson death coverage that they’re willing to spend $12 on a hastily slapped-together, two-hour love letter to profit written by an illiterate. Hey, I have an idea! They should take his body bag on 50-city tour! The Shroud of Tourin’, they could call it.