Michael Jackson's This Is It is a 2009 American documentary–concert film directed by Kenny Ortega that documents Michael Jackson's rehearsals and preparation for his concert series of the same name that was originally scheduled to start on 13 July 2009, but cancelled due to his death eighteen days prior on 25 June. The film consists of Jackson rehearsing musical numbers, directing his team, and additional behind-the-scenes footage including dancer auditions and costume design. The film's director Kenny Ortega confirmed that none of this footage was originally intended for release, but after Jackson's death it was agreed that the film be made. The footage was filmed in California at the Staples Center and The Forum, and features a clip from London's O2 Arena where Jackson publicly announced the concert series.
In March 2009, Jackson held a press conference at London's O2 Arena to announce a series of comeback concerts titled This Is It. The shows would be Jackson's first major series of concerts since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997. Jackson suggested possible retirement after the shows, saying it would be his "final curtain call". The initial plan was for 10 concerts in London, followed by shows in Paris, New York City and Mumbai. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates alone would earn the singer approximately £50 million. The London residency was increased to 50 dates after record-breaking ticket sales: over one million were sold in less than two hours.
Some websites offered early tickets, which the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents warned were fake. "We are warning people not to buy tickets that are not yet on sale because it is unlikely that they will receive those tickets", announced the organization's chief, Graham Burns. He concluded, "It's impossible when the dates haven't been announced to be selling tickets for something when there are no announced dates". Jackson's official website allowed fans to register early for a "pre-sale" draw. Some fans had difficulty applying, as the website could not deal with the large number of registrations—reportedly up to 16,000 applications a second. In the space of 24 hours, nearly a million people from around the world registered for pre-sale tickets, enough to fill the venue 50 times over. Tickets that had not even been printed were selling on auction website eBay for £300. Sales of Jackson's albums increased following the press conference. Overnight, sales of Off the Wall rose 200%, Bad rose 110%, Dangerous rose 165% and Thriller 25 rose 155%.
The two-day pre-sale began on March 11, and 40 extra dates were added to meet high demand—five of these dates were reserved in their entirety for the public sale. More than 1.5 million fans caused two sites offering pre-sale tickets to crash within minutes of going online. In the space of two hours, 190,000 tickets were sold. Two million people tried to buy pre-sale tickets in the space of 18 hours. Veronica Schmidt of The Times stated of the reception, "Michael Jackson has floored his critics", while organizers proclaimed it a "cultural phenomenon". It was announced that Jackson would break the record for number of shows performed by an artist at a single venue, which had been set by Prince, who hosted a residency at the same arena for his 21 Nights in London: The Earth Tour concerts. According to Jackson's website, the following records were or would have been broken: "The biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city", "The greatest number of people to attend a series of arena shows", "The fastest ticket sales in history". Randy Phillips acknowledged that Jackson could have sold out even more dates, but this would have conflicted with other career plans that the singer had. On March 13, the other 50% of seats for dates 1–45 and all the seats for dates 46–50 went on sale to the general public. Within four hours, all 50 dates had sold out. At this stage, the sales of King of Pop were up 400% and the sales of Thriller were up 200%. Tickets appeared on eBay for as much as £10,000.
Songs performed in the film:
1 "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
3 "The Drill"
4 "They Don't Care About Us"
5 "Human Nature"
6 "Smooth Criminal"
7 "The Way You Make Me Feel"
8 "I Want You Back"
9 "The Love You Save"
10 "I'll Be There"
11 "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)"
12 "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
14 "Beat It"
15 "Black or White"
16 "Earth Song"
17 "Billie Jean"
18 "Man in the Mirror"
19 "This Is It"
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Link on eBay to the This Is It!
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