Sony Pictures has pretty much wrapped up securing the rights to the 80 hours of footage AEG owns of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour rehearsals and they don’t intend on wasting anytime getting it into theaters.
According to Variety, the studio is looking at a Oct. 30 release date for a significantly shorter version edited (and originally filmed) by “High School Musical” director Kenny Ortega. One of Jackson’s biggest hits was “Thriller” and the track’s video became a Halloween staple over the years.
Sony won the bidding war over 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media by agreeing to pay close to $60 million (the opening bid was $50 million) and because Sony Music Entertainment owns the rights to Jackson’s songs.
In somewhat of a relief, the trade reports after AEG’s recoups its production costs for the tour, the Jackson family estate will collect 90% of what’s left.
Competition on the 30th currently includes Warner Bros. Cameron Diaz thriller “The Box” and the Weinstein Company’s “Youth in Revolt” with Michael Cera.