This Is It? Hardly.
Sony announced today the Michael Jackson concert movie, originally billed as a two-week-only event, will stay in theaters through Thanksgiving weekend.
The un-surprise move comes after This Is It led the box-office competition with an estimated $21.3 million Friday-Sunday, and upped its five-day worldwide haul to $101 million.
Even in success, though, the film didn’t thoroughly dominate Miley Cyrus. Much less Paranormal Activity.
For starters, Jackson’s This Is It barely came within $10 million of matching Cyrus’ Hannah Montana concert movie’s opening weekend record ($31.1 million). Best of Both Worlds, which opened on a Friday, unlike the Wednesday-debuting This Is It, also made more money in its first five days than This Is It: $37.3 million versus $32.5 million.
As a draw, Jackson is like James Bond, bigger overseas than he is in the United States. And sure enough, two-thirds of This Is It’s eye-popping worldwide gross came from the rest of the world, led by the Jackson-friendly environs of Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany.
According to Sony, the film’s $101 million take is already a new worldwide record for a concert movie. This Is It cleared the old record, held by Best of Both Worlds, natch, by nearly $30 million—and counting.