As expected, [movie id="434956"]“Michael Jackson’s This Is It”[/movie] was the box-office champion over the Halloween weekend, taking in an estimated $21.3 million in the United States. The bigger news was that the documentary chronicling the King of Pop’s final rehearsals for his planned 50-show comeback residency in London banked more than $101 million worldwide.
The totals easily made “This Is It” the #1 movie in America, beating out the still-strong thriller “Paranormal Activity,” which was second with $16.5 million. Fans who didn’t wait in line or rush out to see “This Is It” during its first few days in theaters also got a reprieve, as Sony Pictures — the studio that paid $60 million for the rights to release the film — announced that the planned two-week-only engagement will now be extended through Thanksgiving.
According to The Associated Press, “This Is It” had a strong debut all across the globe, taking in $10.4 million in Japan, $6.3 million in Germany, $7.6 million in Great Britain, $5.8 million in France and $3.2 million in China.
But despite the impressive open, “This Is It” still fell short of the $31.1 million domestic opening weekend of last year’s “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert”; the film’s total since its open on Tuesday was $32.5 million. Even with a slower opening weekend than the Cyrus movie — likely due to the plethora of other activities available on Halloween weekend — experts still predicted that “This Is It” has a very good shot at surpassing the $65.3 million take of the Cyrus movie, which currently holds the all-time record for music documentaries.