Monday, October 27, 2014

Today in Michael Jackson History "THIS IS IT" Red Carpet Premier 2009

Michael Jackson & Oranthi rehearsing at the Staple Center LA. June 2009

Michael Jackson's “This Is It” made its world premiere at Midnight October 27th 2009 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Michael’s brothers, fans and colleagues turned out to remember the King of Pop at the premiere as stars across the spectrum shared memories of either meeting, working with or otherwise admiring him. Anticipation ran high for the film, which was inspired from footage shot during rehearsals for Jackson's This Is It, shows in London.

The Jackson Brothers, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon attend TII Premier

Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts at London’s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June 2009, this film was drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his planned final London shows.

Additional behind the scenes footage includes dancer auditions and costume designs for the show. The footage was filmed in California at the Staples Center and The Forum where Michael was rehearsing, and features a clip from London's O2 Arena where Jackson publicly announced the concert series in March of 2009.

The film's director Kenny Ortega confirmed that none of this footage was originally intended for release, but after Jackson's death it was agreed that the film should made for posterity. Ortega stated that he had gotten the idea to use the rehearsal footage from Jackson's fans after his death: "At first I got so many messages from fans around the world asking to see the shows, asking to see the footage and eventually I realized the journey wasn't over and we had to do this".  Ortega also stated that the film "is for the fans and the film will show the development and intentions of the show, and the concert as it moved closer to London."

Despite originally being set for 30 October, the film's release date was re-scheduled for 28 October 2009, due to a strong demand by Jackson's fans. The film was given a worldwide release and a limited two-week theatrical run from 28 October, to 12 November 2009, but due to popular demand the theatrical release was later extended. On 27 September 2009, the first day of ticket sales, all 3,000 tickets to the advance screenings of the film had "sold out within two hours. Fans had reportedly waited in line for days.

Tickets went on sale a month early on 27 September 2009, to satisfy a high anticipated demand; to date, the film has broken numerous records via tickets both pre-sale and sales worldwide. Much the same way Jackson's tickets to the This is It concert sold out  and broke all records. Joel Cohen, the executive vice president of, said of the ticket sales: "Michael Jackson is such an iconic figure, with a fan base that transcends even some of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. We expected there to be a large demand for tickets for an 'event' film like this one, but has never seen such a high volume of sellouts this far in advance for any movie."

The release of the movie was a bitter sweet  experience for the fans of Michael Jackson  because although they loved watching Michael perform and prepare for his concerts, it is a sad reminder of the circumstances that led to his death.

This Is It received very positive reviews from both critics and Jackson fans alike; the film's portrayal of Jackson and his performances were praised, while criticism mainly consisted of both critics and fans having felt that Jackson wouldn't have wanted the film released because he was a perfectionist.

The movie sold $32.5 million over its first five days in the U.S. and Canada, and $68.5 million in 97 other countries—making the number one film at the box office and making it the fifth highest-grossing Halloween debut. On its theatrical run, the film's worldwide revenue gross was in total $261 million and become the highest-grossing concert film of all time.

A companion "This Is It"  Album was released which featured the music that inspired the film and later a DVD of the movie was released. Both set records.

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The Album was released on 26 October 2 days before the movie premier and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart with the sales of over 373,000 in its first week of release. The two-disc album features the  music 'that inspired the movie'. Disc one features the original album masters of some of Michael's biggest hits arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film" and the disc ends with two versions of the 'never-released' "This Is It".  This song was featured in the film's closing sequence and includes backing vocals by Michael Jackson's brother. The second disc featured "previously unreleased versions" from Jackson's 'catalogue and also include a spoken word poem  entitled "Planet Earth" page commemorative booklet with "photos of Michael  from his last rehearsal"

This Is It was released on DVD and Blu-ray in North America on 26 January 2010. It sold over 1.5 million units in U.S., alone within its first week of release, setting a new record for the first week sales of a music DVD. By the end of 2010, in USA alone DVD sales stood at 2.8 million with gross earnings of $45 million. The film was released on the same day in Japan, also breaking records, with $18 million in sales on the title's first day of release.  The DVD became the joint-third best-selling music "record" in terms of units, going 5x Platinum by the end of 2010.      

Source: Michael - MTV - Wiki

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