Michael Jackson eyes $50 million concert payday
By Ray Waddell
NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Michael Jackson could take home more than $50 million from his much-anticipated 50-show stand at London's O2 Arena, his first shows in 12 years, according to Billboard calculations.
The concert series begins July 8, and the so-called "King of Pop" has been busy rehearsing at a soundstage in Burbank, Calif., for the past four weeks.
Tickets average about $115 and capacity will be about 15,000 per show, taking the gross for the run to about $90 million. Premium and VIP packages and secondary market sales will boost the gross to more than $100 million. Merchandise sales could bring in another $15 million.
The deal is set up where Jackson shares in net ticket revenue which, according to Billboard calculations, would make Jackson's take on ticket sales alone north of $50 million, though producer/promoter AEG Live would not confirm this.
The company has footed the bill for a $20 million production, and the show layout is coming together.
"Originally we tried to keep the show down to 90 minutes, but Michael has so many must-do songs in his repertoire that the shows now will be two-plus hours," AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips tells Billboard.
Phillips would not reveal details of the production, but one could expect a multi-media experience that would be "the most cutting edge ever employed on a tour. We're using technology that's never been used before in live entertainment."
Phillips says AEG Live is well-insured for the event, and 50-year-old Jackson passed a physical "with flying colors." Continued...