CATEGORIES Movies
Roman PolanskiTicket sales for the new Michael Jackson documentary are breaking presale records around the globe, despite some cryptic statements Johnny Depp will return for 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,' the Weinstein Co. loses its first battle to gain distribution rights to 'Precious,' and more of today's top movie headlines. The Michael Jackson concert documentary 'This Is It' doesn't hit theaters until Oct. 27, but it is already racking up record-breaking presales across the globe for its limited two-week theatrical engagement. The film, which documents MJ's rehearsals for the 'This Is It' concert series, accounted for 80% of all online ticket sales in its first 24 hours of sales, sold out opening-day Los Angeles screenings within two hours, sold 30,000 tickets in London within 24 hours, earned more than $1 million in ticket sales in Japan in its first 24 hours, and also sold out opening-day screenings in France, Australia, Germany and New Zealand. [Variety] | ['Michael Jackson's This Is It' showtimes and tickets]

Despite Johnny Depp's cryptic earlier comments that the sudden departure of studio chief Dick Cook from Disney had caused a "fissure" in his enthusiasm to make 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,' Disney is assuring fans that Depp is most definitely NOT jumping ship for the upcoming fourth installment in the lucrative franchise, which sails into theaters in summer 2011. So breath easy, mateys -- Captain Jack will be back. [Cinema Blend]

A federal judge has rejected the Weinstein Co.'s claim that it bought distribution rights to the buzzed-about upcoming indie film 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire' before rival studio Lionsgate. Just days after Lionsgate picked up rights to 'Precious' in January, Weinstein Co. filed suit alleging that indie film sales agent John Sloss sold the film to Weinstein first but reneged when Lionsgate ponied up a better offer. But their claim has suffered a major setback, with the ruling that Weinstein Co. never had a written deal in place. Three other lawsuits regarding rights to the film are still pending. [L.A. Times]

The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland this weekend for a 32-year-old charge of having sex with a minor has done more than leave the Oscar-winning director and international authorities in an uproar. It has also put his upcoming political thriller 'The Ghost,' which stars Pierce Brosnan as a fictional British prime minister, in limbo -- with much post-production work, including sound mixing and musical scoring, yet to be done. [The Hollywood Reporter]

'House' star Olivia Wilde and 'Black Donnellys' star Jonathan Tucker have joined Elizabeth Banks and Russell Crowe in writer-director Paul Haggis' thriller 'The Next Three Days.' Based on the French film 'Pour Elle,' 'Days' stars Crowe as a man on a quest to prove his wife's (Banks) innocence after she's arrested for murder. Wilde will play a young mother who befriends Crowe's character, and Tucker will play the runner of a meth lab. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Always the busy man, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star in 'The Deep Blue Goodbye.' An adaptation of the John D. MacDonald mystery novel series, the film would star DiCaprio as Travis McGee, a Florida surf bum who lives on a 50-foot house boat and pays the bills by undertaking dangerous missions to recover lost or stolen property for his clients. [Variety]

George Clooney sure does love Italy. The star, who owns a gargantuan villa on Italy's Lake Como, has begun shooting the thriller 'The American' in the land of spaghetti and meatballs. Based on Martin Booth's novel 'A Very Private Gentleman' and directed by 'Control' helmer Anton Corbijn, the film stars Clooney as an assassin who finds love, friendship and possibly doom while hiding out in the Italian countryside as he awaits his next -- and final -- mission. [Empire Online]