Michael Jackson may have dubbed himself the King of Pop, but the late icon didn’t hold the box-office crown for long. Less than a year after the posthumous MJ documentary “This Is It” became the most successful concert-themed film in U.S. history, Justin Bieber is poised to snatch the mantle.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” has earned $72.2 million in domestic box office so far, passing Jackson’s $72.1 million haul. And while Bieber has racked up those impressive numbers in just six weeks, he’s got a long way to go before he laps the global receipts for the MJ doc.
“This Is It” has grossed $189.1 million overseas for a global total of $261.2 million. Music films don’t typically play well overseas, and THR noted that “Never Say Never” has grossed a more modest $10.8 million overseas so far, with Paramount executives predicting that it could top out around $20 million internationally.
The impressive U.S. numbers were likely goosed by the re-release of the film recently with 40 additional minutes of bonus footage from director Jon M. Chu . Bieber still has a little way to go to climb the list of the top-grossing documentaries of all time. “Never Say Never” is currently stalled out at the #3 position, around $5 million behind “March of the Penguins,” according to Box Office Mojo, and well short of the all-time record held by Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which has taken in $119.1 million to date.
Bieber set off a classic MJ-style fan frenzy a few weeks ago when he visited Liverpool, England, for his world tour. And just a week later, he posed with his new wax figure at London’s Madame Tussauds , checking off another item on the list of milestones to an MJ-like career.