Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music Entertainment executives claim the Michael Jackson tribute film This Is It has set a string of advance ticket sale records around the world.
North American online ticket sellers Fandango and MovieTickets.com sold out hundreds of showtimes after one day as This Is It accounted for 80% of all online ticketing transactions.
Advance screenings will play in select markets on October 27 ahead of the global launch the following day. This Is It will play during a two-week limited engagement and is directed by longtime Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega.
Overseas exhibitors have similarly experienced high demand. Vue Entertainment’s film buying director Stuart Boreman said the company sold more than 30,000 tickets in its first 24 hours, setting a new one-day record in the UK.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in the 25 years I have been film buying,” Boreman said. “It’s a true phenomenon and sales show no sign of slowing down.”
In Japan, more than $1m in sales were recorded within the first 24 hours, setting a new record. Rapid advance sales have been reported in France, Germany, Thailand and Australia, where tickets for Michael Jackson’s This Is It purchased through Village Cinemas exceeded the lifetime pre-sales of such blockbusters as Transformers and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide theatrical distribution, said: “Michael Jackson’s fans all over the globe have enormous interest in this film and we can assure they will not be disappointed. This film delivers on everything they hope and expect to see.
“I think the initial sales activity we are seeing in the United States and United Kingdom to countries such as Australia and Thailand underscores the unique nature of this film, which is a special celebration of Michael and his music.”