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Business – Jackson’s concert film rules at global box office

LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson’s much-hyped concert movie reigned at the worldwide box office on Sunday, but its performance in North America was
hardly a thriller. ‘This Is It,’ composed mostly of rehearsal footage recorded in the weeks before the King of Pop’s death in June, earned an estimated $101 million in the five days since opening globally on Wednesday, distributor Columbia Pictures said.

Moviegoers in the United States and Canada contributed $32.5 million. In the days leading up to its opening, industry forecasters had said it could earn at least $40 million. Columbia said it had hoped for an opening in the $30 million to $40 million range. “This has always, always been a worldwide play,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at Columbia’s parent Sony. “We’re very happy with the results domestically, but ecstatic with the worldwide.”

Top territories included Japan with $10.4 million, Britain with $7.6 million, Germany with $6.3 million, France with $5.8 million, Australia with $3.6 million and China with $3.2 million.

Rival studios, perhaps looking to put Sony in the hot seat, had been particularly bullish about the film. One executive, requesting anonymity, predicted the film could make $660 million globally during its limited two-week run — $260 million domestically and $400 million internationally.

Columbia had shied away from issuing global forecasts because of a dearth of comparable concert films. The record for such movies is held by “Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus — Best of Both Worlds,” which earned $65 million domestically last year.

The film’s prospects were not helped by Halloween, which fell on a Saturday for the first time since 1998, siphoning off a large swathe of potential American moviegoers on the biggest night of the week. Columbia said it extended the planned two-week limited run in North America through Thanksgiving (Nov 29).

November 3, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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