Michael Jackson's "This Is It" is well on its way to the crowned #1 spot at the box office. The Associated Press reported the movie that compiled the late King of Pop's rehearsal footage has collected an estimated $2.2 million from its first late-night screenings on Tuesday, October 27 in the U.S. and Canada alone.
While the documentary hasn't approached any major box-office records so far, Sony Pictures has claimed that the opening night numbers were "unprecedented" for a Tuesday in October. Considering that "This Is It" opened on a weeknight outside of the summer, the Kenny Ortega-directed movie did pull a strong number.
Still, it came nowhere close to the $13.2 million "Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End" collected on its Thursday night advance evening screenings in 2006. It also came short to obtain the best Tuesday night advance results, which still goes to 1996's "Independence Day" with its $11.1 million.
The movie expanded to a wide release on Wednesday, October 28, and the studio has reported that the early Wednesday matinee numbers have already surpassed the film's haul from the Tuesday night figures. Executives experienced in tracking box office suggested that this music-filled documentary is likely to sell $10 million to $12 million worth of tickets domestically on Wednesday.
These initial numbers pointed out on the likelihood of "This Is It" becoming a top-grossing music documentary. "As a genre, concert movies and even documentaries aren't usually the type of films to bring in big box-office bucks, but because of his name and also the timing of it, I think it's a winner," said Hollywood.com's box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "That $60 million investment I think was worthwhile."
But, the real test for the movie will come Friday, October 30. The Halloween weekend will place it to be in competition against scary movies such as "Paranormal Activity" and "Saw VI". The theater business usually faced cuts in ticket sales as many moviegoers opt to skip movies in favor of parties.
"This Is It" offers a behind-the-scenes footage of Michael preparing for a series of the O2 London shows he was rehearsing before he passed away on June 25. It compiles more than 100 hours of video footage concert promoter AEG Live shot during April, May and June 2009, and has just been released in theaters worldwide for a limited two-week engagement.