September 28, 2009

Jackson film tickets selling fast

The upcoming film, Michael Jackson's This Is It, which follows the last days of the late U.S. pop star, is breaking ticket sales records, Sony said Monday.

The documentary is scheduled to run for a two-week, limited engagement, starting late next month.

Tickets for the movie went on sale Sunday.

With reports still coming in from nations around the world, it is believed no movie in history has generated so many ticket sales so far in advance of its release, Sony said in a release Monday. In North America, online ticket sellers Fandango and MovieTickets.com report that there is extraordinary demand for the film with hundreds of showtimes already sold out after one day of pre-sales. Some 80 percent of all online ticketing service transactions were for the film, which will debut in some markets with special advance showings the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 27 and will open worldwide on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The film is directed by long-time Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega.

Some U.S. cities where screenings had sold out in the first 24 hours are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Nashville and New York. Exhibitors from London and Sydney to Bangkok and Tokyo have experienced the same demand, Sony said.

In London, Vue Entertainment's Film Buying Director Stuart Boreman said Michael Jackson's This Is It sold more than 30,000 tickets in its first 24 hours, setting the biggest ever one-day sales record in the United Kingdom, eclipsing advance buying for films including the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings franchises.

I've never seen anything like it in the 25 years I have been film buying, Boreman said in a statement. It's a true phenomenon and sales show no sign of slowing down.

Michael Jackson's fans all over the globe have enormous interest in this film and we can assure they will not be disappointed, added Rory Bruer, president of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution for Sony Picture Releasing.