Michael Jackson film scores sellouts galore before opening

Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:31am EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Advance sales for "This Is It" look set to make the concert movie starring the late Michael Jackson into one of the hottest tickets of the year.

Two weeks ahead of its opening, the singer's concert movie "This Is It" has generated more than 1,600 sold out U.S. show times and is the top seller this week at two major online ticket outlets.

That puts "This Is It" in the same territory as next month's highly anticipated "Twilight" sequel "New Moon" and other films that have generated high pre-release sales.

"The pre-sales activity all over the world has been nothing short of extraordinary," Steve Elzer, a spokesman for Sony Corp-owned Columbia Pictures, the studio behind the film, told Reuters.

"But exhibitors have really met the demand by adding screens, and tickets are available for anyone who would want to see it, anytime," Elzer said.

"This Is It" is composed of footage of the "Thriller" singer rehearsing for a series of London comeback concerts just before his unexpected June 25 death, at age 50, from an overdose of powerful medication.

The studio has said the 112-minute movie will have a limited two-week engagement around the world, starting October 28.

Online ticket seller Fandango.com reported that it has sold out more than 1,000 showtimes in the United States for "This Is It" on its site alone. Competing outlet MovieTickets.com said it has generated more than 600 sold out showtimes.   Continued...

<p>People line up and prepare to stay overnight at L.A. Live for the opportunity to purchase tickets for special showings of the "Michael Jackson's This Is It" movie in Los Angeles, California, September 25, 2009. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>