The over 100 hours of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage could possibly find its way into a movie and pay-per-view special per The Hollywood Reporter.
Randy Phillips, president and CEO of concert promoter AEG Live, recently addressed the footage during an interview at the Staples Center. “If we all do our jobs right, we could probably raise hundreds of millions of dollars just on the stuff we have worldwide and then the estate could eradicate its debt.”
Jackson’s estate is estimated to be in debt of upwards of $400 million. On top of that are the costs incurred by AEG Live and other companies who ran the rehearsals, built the sets, paid employees now out of jobs, etc. With all of Jackson’s tour tickets being refundable and roughly half of the buyers expected to cash in, money needs to come from somewhere to pay for the mountains of expenses.
While some might frown upon turning to profit so quickly after Jackson’s death, I’m all for repaying the debts and concert costs. Interest in Jackson will wane over time so best to strike while he’s at or near the top stories in the media. Strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.
What’s interesting about the footage, aside from all of it being in high definition and hits like “Beat It” being included, are a pair of expensive 3D videos. “Thriller” and “Earth Song” were filmed as mini-movies primed for release. Phillips added, “Just ‘Thriller’ is nine minutes of 3D visual insanity.”
A Blu-ray Disc release of at least part of the footage is all but imminent on this story’s current course. I’ll pass along all updates as they develop.