Michael Jackson's This Is It
October 28, 2009
In July of 2009, Michael Jackson’s comeback tour was scheduled to begin. Ten shows were planned at first, but that number quickled expanded to 50 as sellouts occurred almost instantly for the initially announced performances. The self-proclaimed King of Pop stood to gain significant financial sustenance from this tour, an imperative for a man who was potentially facing bankruptcy. Early reports indicated he could gain as much as a quarter billion windfall from this tour. After a decade of negative press and personal lows that included Neverland Ranch going into foreclosure and being sold, Jackson appeared poised for a return to glory.
On June 25, 2009, mere weeks before the beginning of the This Is It tour, Jackson died at his less famous home in Holmby Hills, California. Circumstances of his death are every bit as gossipy as those that surrounded his life. What is known is that he went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived. Homicide charges were later filed against his personal physician, who or may not have been Jackson’s Dr. Feelgood. Whatever the circumstance, Jackson’s comeback ended before it had a chance to begin.
News of his death caused people across the world to remember and celebrate the artist for his musical accomplishments and celebrity, independent of what they may have thought of his erratic personal behavior. Roughly two weeks after his death, a public memorial was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. This gala event featured any number of celebrities whose lives were personally impacted by Jackson’s music. CNN reported that the web-televised event was among the most popular ever, stating that as many as a billion people tuned in to watch some portion of the proceedings.
With Jackson’s celebrity at an all-time high and his money woes surviving beyond his life, a decision was made to edit hundreds of hours of rehearsal footage into a concert movie. It is being released simultaneously with a two-disc compilation of some of Jackson’s greatest hits as well as multiple versions of the titular This Is It, meaning that song is going to be the earworm of choice for the rest of 2009.
Demand for the concert movie is already off the charts. With the money issues resolved (Jackson’s estate gets 90% of the profits while AEG, the people who planned the 50 concerts, gets the rest) and Sony ponying up $60 million for the rights to distribute, everything is in place for this limited two-week run to put even Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour to shame in terms of box office. (David Mumpower/BOP)