Even in death, [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] continues to be a guaranteed superstar. Just as the initial run of his planned concerts at the O2 arena in London sold out almost instantly earlier this year, the posthumous documentary about the King of Pop's preparations for that residency, "Michael Jackson's This Is It," has broken advance ticket sales records for a movie.
According to Reuters, hundreds of screenings in North America have already sold out, a month before the film's October 28 opening.
Among the cities with the strongest sales are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and New York. Records were also set in Japan, where more than $1 million in tickets were sold on the first day they were available. In London, fans bought more than 30,000 tickets on the first day, eclipsing the advance interest in the "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings" films, which were wildly popular in Britain. Record sales were also reported in Holland, Sweden, Belgium and New Zealand.
The documentary will have a limited two-week run, which might explain the rush on tickets. On Sunday, all 3,000 spots for a Los Angeles advance screening of "This Is It" on October 27 sold out within two hours.
The film follows Jackson as he rehearsed and prepared for a 50-date run of concerts, which were scheduled to begin in London just weeks after his death on June 25. Sony Pictures Entertainment paid $60 million for the more than 100 hours of hi-def rehearsal footage. The film, which was directed by Kenny Ortega, will feature behind-the-scenes footage as well as Jackson and his band and dancers rehearsing for the tour.
Last week, it was confirmed that a two-disc album featuring a new song, "This Is It," will be released on October 27 to coincide with the movie's theatrical release. The new single drops on October 12.