This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

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This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by Truth_or_Dare on Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:44 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive ... cords.html

The $1 billion last waltz of Michael Jackson: This Is It film set to break box-office records
Even
by Hollywood standards, the secrecy surrounding the release of This Is
It is extraordinary. Rings of armed guards, body scanners and a
nerve-racking multimillion-dollar auction for the rights to show
Michael Jackson's intense preparation for his doomed O2 concerts.
Caroline Graham talks exclusively to the men turning the King of Pop's
last days into the biggest money-spinner of all time

By Caroline Graham

Last updated at 9:00 PM on 17th October 2009

For
the pizza boy carrying his Domino's white cardboard box with its
trademark red logo, it felt like any typical working day in Hollywood.
He arrived at the entrance to Sony studios and passed the security
guard at the gate. He was pointed in the direction of a nondescript
building, towards the back of the Culver City lot; he parked his
scooter, walked across the car park and headed towards a steel door.

Which was when he realised that this was no ordinary delivery.

For
one thing, eight armed guards ringed the brick building. He wondered
whether he had come to the right place. But then one waved at him and
passed a hand-held electronic scanner over him before ushering him
through a door. Once inside, his pizza rapidly cooling, the delivery
boy underwent a full airport-style security check. He turned out his
pockets and put the contents, including his mobile phone, into a
plastic container that was run through a scanning machine. The pizza
was placed in a plastic basket and scanned, too.

Now he was
accompanied by another guard, who escorted him into a lift. The guard
used his pre-programmed card to take them up to the second level of the
building. Out of the lift he walked across a small walkway to another
door, where another guard checked his credentials again, until finally,
at a reception desk, he was allowed to hand over the pizza.

After
leaving his pizza the delivery boy was then accompanied back down the
lift, and scanned once more before being allowed out of the building.

This
was not the end of the journey for the pizza, however. After the
contents were consumed the box was placed with all the other rubbish
collected from this building and the whole lot scanned to make sure
that no USB memory chips had been smuggled out.

This is how
security works at 'Project Love', the codename given to Hollywood's
most closely guarded project of the year - Michael Jackson's This Is It
film. With $1 billion at stake, the paranoia may be understandable.
Nothing is allowed in or out of this building without all these checks.
So tight is security that the 35 people who work here are not allowed
out until the end of their shift. Food is brought in from the Sony
campus and supplemented with regular pizza deliveries.

On the
second floor are six editing bays, where some of Sony's top technicians
and editors are busily finessing the 108-minute documentary.

Jackson
had always filmed his rehearsals so that he could pore over the
footage, often through the night, deciding what was working and what
needed correcting or modifying. More than 130 hours of high-definition
film had been recorded and upon Jackson's death these hours of footage
suddenly took on a profound new significance.

As Randy Phillips,
the CEO of the star's concert promoter AEG Live, puts it bluntly in an
exclusive interview with Live, 'It didn't take a rocket scientist to
figure out that we were sitting on a goldmine. Not only in financial
terms but also in terms of what this footage shows.

'Here, on
film for all posterity, we have the greatest pop artist of all time
showing his every move and thought process as he goes from describing
his vision of the show to rehearsing the band and the dancers, to
running through on stage what he told me was going to be his finest
performance ever.'

There has never been a film launch like the
one we are to see in ten days' time. This Is It will debut at 30,000
screens around the world. Simultaneous premieres will be held in 15
cities, including London, Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Seoul and Rio
de Janeiro. A two-disc CD featuring original album masters of the late
singer's biggest hits and the new single This Is It will be released
before the film goes out. It is all being as carefully choreographed as
any of Jackson's dance routines.

Moreover, the DVD of the movie
will be released just weeks after the cinema release - the
shortest-ever movie-to-DVD window for any film of any commercial
significance. This means it will be out in time for Christmas. But the
unique aspect of the venture's projected $1 billion revenue is how much
will be profit.
The studio heads were fighting over it. They went nuts

Compared
to the $200 million or so it cost to film box-office runaways like
Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings, This Is It cost very little to make.
In death, Jackson is going to earn hundreds of millions of dollars -
more than he ever would have dreamed of making from the O2 concerts.

On
Tuesday June 30, just five days after Jackson died, Randy Phillips
locked himself into an editing suite in AEG's headquarters on the third
floor of the massive entertainment campus LA Live. This complex is just
opposite the Staples Centre in LA where Jackson was rehearsing in the
final days of his life.

Together with three editors from AEG, he scanned through the hours and hours of footage.

'I
didn't really know what we'd captured, but when I saw a rough cut of
some of the footage I had the editors put together 15 really compelling
scenes from a bunch of different songs,' says Phillips.

The material was dynamite.

'I
knew that some people would beg, borrow or steal to get their hands on
this footage and put it on the internet. It has been under Fort
Knox-style security ever since he died.'

A few days later, with
a slick 15-minute cut in the can, Phillips invited the chairmen from
Hollywood's four key studios - Fox, Universal, Sony and Paramount - to
his office.

'These are guys who are used to things coming to
them. But that footage was not leaving my office. They all came. By
the time the screening was over, the studio heads were fighting each
other to get it. They all went nuts. They all had to have it.'

The studio heads put in their offers.

'We
went with a $60 million deal with Sony in the end, not because it was
the highest offer but because it made good synergy - Michael's music
catalogue is with Sony. It just made sense.'

It certainly made
sense for Sony. More advance tickets were sold in the first 24 hours of
their release three weeks ago than have ever been sold for any previous
film. In the UK, Vue Entertainment has sold more than 30,000 tickets.
Michael Jackson leaving his doctor's office in Beverly Hills



In
its first weekend, This Is It is expected to take £188 million ($300
million). The film isn't going to challenge Titanic's $1.84 billion, in
part because the promoters have decided to give it a two-week run
followed by the release of the DVD. But this is part of the strategy.
With the hype around the film fresh in shoppers' minds, Sony will be
able to halve the money it would usually spend to support a big DVD
release.

This Is It is a money-making machine. Revenues are
almost guaranteed to crash through the $1 billion barrier. And that
leaves a lot of profits for the three organisations involved: Sony, AEG
and the Jackson estate.

Under an agreement approved by Los
Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Becklo, once the film has passed
the $135 million mark, the Jackson estate gains 90 per cent of the
additional box-office earnings, while AEG takes the remaining ten.

AEG
has already covered the $50 million losses it racked up after Jackson
died, out of the $60 million it has received from Sony, so any other
gains will be pure profit. The income from DVD sales is being shared
equally between AEG, Sony and the Jackson estate. And Sony will
capitalise on a huge jump in record sales that it hopes the film will
generate.

So while This Is It is not going to be the
biggest-grossing film in history, the whole project is certainly going
to be one of the most profitable.

Frank DiLeo is a character
seemingly plucked from central casting as a music manager. A cigar
between his teeth, he greets me on the sun-decked patio of his room at
the Beverly Hilton Hotel, his shirt open to the waist, a large gold
Rolex (a gift from Jackson) prominently displayed on his tanned wrist.

It
was DiLeo who masterminded Jackson's 'glory days', from the Bad,
Thriller and Victory tours through to negotiating his $10 million Pepsi
advertising deal. It was while filming the Pepsi commercial in 1984
that Jackson's hair caught fire, prompting his first use of the
prescription painkillers and sleeping medication that would lead to his
death at 50.

It was during rehearsals for his Bad tour that the idea of videoing his preparations first came up.

'Michael liked to go through the footage at night,' says DiLeo.

'He'd
see places he could improve his routine or notice things like how a
back-up dancer blocked him from the crowd in a certain song.'

For the O2 gigs, all the sessions were filmed from the start and they were still shooting the day before Jackson died.

'We
captured Michael talking about his creative vision and then the dancers
come in and the band members. The dancers had already been whittled
down from hundreds to 50. Michael did what he would always do. He sat
quietly at the back of the studio. He never really liked the kids
knowing he was there because if they did it would throw them.'

The footage shows Jackson's perfectionism.

'You
see him going to wardrobe to discuss every item of clothing, not just
for him but for the backing dancers. I remember him looking at a
costume and noticing that a button had been stitched on cross-ways and
he wanted it on a diagonal. He was that precise.'
Michael Jackson and his manager Frank DiLeo in the late Eighties



By
the time the rehearsals were in full flow there were 80 people in the
venue - a band of eight, 12 dancers, the crew and backstage staff.

'The
thing that struck me was how sharp his memory was. It wasn't like he
had to consciously remember any of the steps. It was like they were
ingrained in him. As the music started, this wasn't a 50-year-old man;
this was the old Michael, running through the familiar steps, totally
in control.'

It all sounds a long way from the frail,
emotionally fragile, heavily doped-up Jackson that others have
portrayed. Surely DiLeo must have had some inkling that his friend was
heavily drugged up, as the toxicology tests have since revealed?

'No,
no,' the manager says. 'I know you won't believe me but Michael
compartmentalised his life. I was his manager, his friend. The only
time I ever saw him on drugs was during the second trial when he
started acting weird and dancing on cars. I told him, "Michael, you
need to get off this stuff" and he said he was hooked on prescription
pills for the pain. He went to rehab to kick it.

'The Michael
who turned up for rehearsals wasn't a frail addict. Michael was a
professional. Whatever was or wasn't going on in his home, when he
showed up to work, he was on.'

Randy Phillips, who attended many
of the rehearsal sessions, also denies Jackson displayed any health
woes: 'He would turn up to rehearsals between 2pm and 4pm. Most days he
would be there until midnight. He was thin, but not anorexic. He drank
a lot of juices and ate salads that his personal chef made and he'd
bring with him. There were some days he didn't show but that's because
he didn't need to be there.

'When you see Michael in the film
you will see why none of us knew anything was wrong. He dances like a
man 15 years younger. He didn't dance and sing at full strength during
many of the rehearsals but he didn't have to. This was the process of
putting a show together.

'When he was talking, he was present
and not slurring his words. He acted fit and well. He seemed engaged in
the people around him. He was happy. There were no outward signs of
drug use that I could see. The Michael you will see in our footage is
healthy, vibrant, alive.'

'The one thing that comforts me,' adds
DiLeo, 'is something Michael said to me when we started working on the
concert. He wanted to do it for his new generation of fans. He said:
"Frank, I want my kids to see me perform, just one last time."

'He was doing it for his kids.'

At
the moment there are three different openings for the movie - one
which begins with footage of Jackson's funeral, one which starts with
the 'tap, tap, tap' of his foot at the first rehearsal, and one which
opens with a full-blown production number.

DiLeo says: 'I am
sure we'll be editing right up to the last minute. We are trying to hit
a fine balance between this being a tribute to Michael and also a
showcase for his genius. The hard part in the editing process is not
what to put in; it's what to leave out.'

Jackson is going to get
a bigger send-off than he could possibly have imagined. DiLeo is
sitting on hundreds of hours of film from previous concert
preparations, as well as several dozen songs that are locked away in
his vault - all songs that Jackson recorded but decided not to release.

This Is It? Actually, this is just the start.

This Is It' is released on October 28


THE GREATEST SHOW THAT NEVER WAS

Nobody
except the people in the rehearsals have any idea of the stagecraft
that was being put together by Jackson. The O2 gig was going to be a
total theatrical experience and this will come across in the film.

For the first time, Live can exclusively reveal the extraordinary shows planned for Jackson's key songs.

The
set list was a compendium of full performances of 11 of his greatest
hits: Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, Beat It, Billie Jean, Man In The
Mirror, We Are The World, Black Or White, Heal The World, Dirty Diana,
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', along with snippets from other hits such
as Smooth Criminal and a Jackson Five tribute medley.

Thriller
was to be staged with dozens of gigantic spiders and 20ft puppets. The
lights were going to be dimmed and a giant screen come on. Everyone at
the gig would have been given 3-D glasses, which they would have been
told to put on at the start of the song.

As the famous opening
bars rang around the arena monsters would have come up out of the
ground - in 3-D. Jackson's manager Frank DiLeo describes the scene:
'It's amazing. The monsters are incredible and when you have the
glasses on they come straight at you. It's terrifying!'

After
the first shot of the monsters, Jackson and his dancers start to
perform. The audience would have seen the monsters on the stage
performing alongside the star and his crew.

Although the film does not include any 3-D snippets, cinema-goers will get a tantalising view of the spectacle.

The
opening song in the concert was to be 1982's Wanna Be Startin'
Somethin'. A glass sphere would light up on stage and then slowly drift
over the heads of the crowd. As it grew brighter, it would light up in
a series of primary colours before returning to the stage where a
shadowy figure would emerge from a hidden platform moving up through
the stage: Jackson. The globe would land in Jackson's hand and the
singer would launch into the opening line of the song.

For Dirty
Diana, Jackson planned to have a flaming bed with pole-dancing aerial
gymnasts playing the part of the flickering flames. In an elaborately
plotted routine, Jackson would be chased around the bed by a scantily
dressed 'fire goddess' who, each time she touched the stage, would send
flames shooting towards the rafters.

After she'd caught him mid
song, she would tie him to the bedposts with gold ropes as a sheet of
red descended to cover his struggling figure. At the end, the sheet
would be whisked away - to reveal the goddess as the struggling figure,
not Jackson.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by Harleyblonde on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:13 am

Quote- Compared
to the $200 million or so it cost to film box-office runaways like
Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings, This Is It cost very little to make.
In death, Jackson is going to earn hundreds of millions of dollars -
more than he ever would have dreamed of making from the O2 concerts.

I think this quote above says it all! Reason for the hoax? Maybe, along with the fact that he probably needed peace in the last 30-40 years of his life and he will have been well aware he wasnt getting any younger and had health issues, yes not life threatening but how long could he have gone on performing?. Please dont slam me on this but apart from giving heaps to charity he did love to spend.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by ilprincipe on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:17 am

a very very long post...but worth reading it...

How will TII finally start?

quote from your post:

At
the moment there are three different openings for the movie - one
which begins with footage of Jackson's funeral, one which starts with
the 'tap, tap, tap' of his foot at the first rehearsal, and one which
opens with a full-blown production number.

DiLeo says: 'I am
sure we'll be editing right up to the last minute. We are trying to hit
a fine balance between this being a tribute to Michael and also a
showcase for his genius. The hard part in the editing process is not
what to put in; it's what to leave out.'


I'd prefer the beginning with the funeral...and the end with the resurrection lol
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by mjssoulmate on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:29 am

Jackson
had always filmed his rehearsals so that he could pore over the
footage, often through the night, deciding what was working and what
needed correcting or modifying. More than 130 hours of high-definition
film had been recorded and upon Jackson's death these hours of footage
suddenly took on a profound new significance.

As Randy Phillips,
the CEO of the star's concert promoter AEG Live, puts it bluntly in an
exclusive interview with Live, 'It didn't take a rocket scientist to
figure out that we were sitting on a goldmine
. Not only in financial
terms but also in terms of what this footage shows.

According to Kenny Ortega they were going to stop filming rehearsals because the costs reached nearly $30 million. But Michael insisted they keep filming because he had to share this with the world. So, I can only conclude that it was always planned to release the rehearsal footage.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by ILuvUMoreMJ on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:29 am

Wow, great article...thanks for posting! Smile My favourite part is Dileo saying he's got hundreds of hours of old concert footage!!! Shocked cheers The money everyone is making is insane. It makes me angry that they'd choose Sony when they know full well how Michael felt. That's where you lose me with MJ having something to do with the movie.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by city.gal1 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:38 am

My personal opinion is that MJ never planned on doing the 02 concerts and that the film was going to be the comeback all along. Only I don't think it was supposed to be the rehearsal footage that we are to see in TII. I think that there would have been a full dress rehearsal filmed and that was going to be what was originally intended until whatever happened happened.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by Harleyblonde on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:41 am

mjssoulmate wrote:Jackson
had always filmed his rehearsals so that he could pore over the
footage, often through the night, deciding what was working and what
needed correcting or modifying. More than 130 hours of high-definition
film had been recorded and upon Jackson's death these hours of footage
suddenly took on a profound new significance.

As Randy Phillips,
the CEO of the star's concert promoter AEG Live, puts it bluntly in an
exclusive interview with Live, 'It didn't take a rocket scientist to
figure out that we were sitting on a goldmine
. Not only in financial
terms but also in terms of what this footage shows.

According to Kenny Ortega they were going to stop filming rehearsals because the costs reached nearly $30 million. But Michael insisted they keep filming because he had to share this with the world. So, I can only conclude that it was always planned to release the rehearsal footage.

Y'know I am thinking right now about the above quote from Kenny Ortega- how can rehearsal footage cost all that? All they had to do was film what was happening anyway. There were no actors, extras, etc to be paid like in a normal movie and they didnt need to go on location or need any scenery. I find this very hard to believe. Does anyone else have the same opinion?


Last edited by Harleyblonde on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:17 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by mjssoulmate on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:48 am

Well, I think Kenny was talking about the entire production, including the 02 cost. And maybe the Dome Project?
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by ILuvUMoreMJ on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:50 am

Their original budget was $7 million, but because Michael had all these huge ideas the whole production soared to $30 million and that's where they tried to cut him off. Laughing
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by Harleyblonde on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:18 am

mjssoulmate wrote:Well, I think Kenny was talking about the entire production, including the 02 cost. And maybe the Dome Project?

It definetely says "to stop filming rehearsals" and nothing else. Just rehearsals.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by mjssoulmate on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:41 am

Harleyblonde wrote:
mjssoulmate wrote:Well, I think Kenny was talking about the entire production, including the 02 cost. And maybe the Dome Project?

It definetely says "to stop filming rehearsals" and nothing else. Just rehearsals.

Either way it was planned to release the footage.
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by queenpanther55 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:46 am

Michael's This is It film - i think it explains well how he liked DOCUMENTARY very much..




HE CANNOT DIE AFTER DOING THIS DOCUMENTARY! lol! lol! lol! lol!

Michael , Oh boy.. You fell us on your trap again.. lol! lol! lol! lol!
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by MJFOREVER on Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:00 am

For the filming of the rehearsal i can understand, so he can look what he can do better and stuff.
But the way it is filmed hmm i dont know about that Razz a little to much if you ask me NOT THAT I DONT LIKE IT Smile Dont mind it at all Razz
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by Sweet1 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:24 pm

I have to agree. If there are 100's of hours of rehearsal footage the likelihood of some of that footage being from rehearsals from shows from the past are highly probable. I am sure it will be great anyway! If nothing else it will show MJ in the light that his fans never saw him in (rehearsing). Keep the Faith!

MJFOREVER wrote:For the filming of the rehearsal i can understand, so he can look what he can do better and stuff.
But the way it is filmed hmm i dont know about that a little to much if you ask me NOT THAT I DONT LIKE IT Dont mind it at all
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by Harleyblonde on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:04 pm

Sweet1 wrote:I have to agree. If there are 100's of hours of rehearsal footage the likelihood of some of that footage being from rehearsals from shows from the past are highly probable. I am sure it will be great anyway! If nothing else it will show MJ in the light that his fans never saw him in (rehearsing). Keep the Faith!

MJFOREVER wrote:For the filming of the rehearsal i can understand, so he can look what he can do better and stuff.
But the way it is filmed hmm i dont know about that a little to much if you ask me NOT THAT I DONT LIKE IT Dont mind it at all

Yes, I agree but dont forget that many of us think the shows at 02 were never meant to happen and he did all that for this movie all along so do you think he may have done it a bit differently knowing it was for a film all along and not just rehersals? Sort of acting as if it was rehersals for a film?
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Re: This is it to set box-office record! 1$ Bilion

Post by ILuvUMoreMJ on Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:36 pm

I don't think MJ is involved in releasing this film at all. I have a hard time believing he would sell the rights to Sony.
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