Justin Bieber passes Michael Jackson at box office

Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:37pm EDT
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By Pamela McClintock

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The Biebs hasn't disappointed on the big screen.

Paramount's "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" has now surpassed Michael Jackson This Is It to become the most successful concert-themed movie at the domestic box office.

Through Sunday, Justin Bieber had earned $72.2 million at the domestic box office. Sony's "This Is It" grossed $72.1 million domestically.

However, This Is It still holds the worldwide record, having grossed $189.1 million overseas for a global total of $261.2 million. Usually, concert films don't travel well.

"Never Say Never" has grossed $10.8 million at the international box office, a solid number, considering that the Jonas Brothers' concert film grossed only $4 million internationally, while "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" earned $5 million. "Hannah Montana" grossed $65 million domestically.

Paramount insiders believe Justin Bieber could ultimately earn $20 million internationally. So far, the movie has done best in Latin America, where star's fan base is strongest.

Justin Bieber was produced by Paramount's low-budget division Insurge Pictures. The studio has shied way from calling the film a concert movie, since it delves into Bieber's childhood and rise to pop icon status.

Paramount also took the unprecedented step of updating the movie with new footage early in its theatrical release, so as to encourage repeat business. The move worked.