'This Is It' Brings $20.1m in Its First Day

Michael Jackson's concert documentary This Is It earned $20.1m at worldwide box offices in the opening day, the studio that made the film has said.

The movie, which is based on rehearsal footage for the star's ill-fated comeback shows, was premiered around the world on Tuesday.

Steve Elzer from Sony Pictures said the movie is a "reaffirmation of the global appeal of Michael Jackson".

The film made $7.4m in the US and $2m in the UK, BBC News reports.

It was also reported, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan had the highest-grossing opening days internationally, with each territory hauling over $1 million. Reviews for the Kenny Ortega-directed film have been fairly solid across the board (EW’s Owen Gleiberman gave it a B), and Jackson is sure to win the weekend. But the film has been a bit of a wild card when it comes to its box office predictions. All anyone really has to compare it to is the February 2008 concert film Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which grossed $31 million its opening weekend. Cyrus’ appeal is limited to the U.S., and while the movie was a success earning $65 million domestically, it only grossed $5 million overseas. This Is It’s domestic take should top the $40 million for its first five days. How high it goes depends greatly its need-to-see draw and fans’ ability to get to the theater on a busy Halloween weekend.

No word from Sony Pictures yet on whether they plan to expand the movie’s release beyond its two-week limited engagement, Nollywood Insider reports.

News agencies also report, the movie opens with subtitles detailing that Jackson was rehearsing this spring with a collection of dancers, musicians, backup singers and Ortega, and these events were being filmed for Jackson's personal library.

More than a dozen songs unspool against footage from weeks of rehearsals, and the result is odd to watch. There is consistent lip-syncing, with Jackson trying to save his voice. It saps any palpable electricity from tune after tune, most of which are cut together from multiple rehearsals, but with nary a hiccup in the sound.

The imagery of this facade is both weird and monotonous.

When he does go uncut on a version of "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," pairing up with a female backup singer and riffing on his hit, the result is memorable. He then immediately complains about having to sing out loud, only half-jokingly.

The most dynamic peeks come in looks at mounting the massive tour, like filming new video content full of zombies for "Thriller," which would have made for a dynamic opening to the song in concert, much like some of the video content displayed at the recent U2 concert in Norman, Tulsa World reports.