Nonetheless, Sony claimed victory Sunday, declaring 'This is It' the "highest grossing concert film of all time" and announced it was extending the planned two-week run through Thanksgiving weekend. Relative to the wildly optimistic forecasts for the Michael Jackson rehearsal film 'This is It,' the movie's five-day worldwide box office opening -- $32.5 million domestic, $68.5 million foreign ($101 total worldwide) -- qualifies as a disappointment. One of its backers had actually predicted a $250 million five-day performance.
Nonetheless, Sony claimed victory Sunday, declaring 'This is It' the "highest grossing concert film of all time" and announced it was extending the planned two-week run through Thanksgiving weekend.
'This is It' broke records for its midnight premiere Tuesday, with a $2.2 million take, and then saw its business level off to about $7.5 million per day through the weekend. That's not terrible, but the earth was not shaken.
What the numbers tell us is that Jackson's most ardent fans showed up for the midnight premieres and the next most ardent fans, along with the merely curious, carried it from there. Positive word-of-mouth (CinemaScore's exit poll had fans giving it an A) and mixed to positive reviews will help Sony hold on to most of 3,400-plus theaters.
Still, a $200 million worldwide tally now seems a distant goal.
While 'This is It' was making Jackson fans happy, the mini-budgeted haunted house thriller and Paramount gravy train 'Paranormal Activity' added another $16.4 million for a cumulative total of $84.8 million. Though it would be hard to prove, some industry experts are calling 'Paranormal' the most profitable - cost vs. box office - movie of all time.
In a distant third was 'Law Abiding Citizen,' with $6.9 million, followed by 'Couples Retreat' ($6.0 million), 'Where the Wild Things Are' ($5.1 million) and 'Saw VI' ($5.1 million), the sixth annual entry in the torture flick franchise.
Given its dreadful 10-day total of $22.4 million, this may be the last time anyone sees a 'Saw.'
DOMESTIC BOX OFFICE TOP 10:
1. 'Michael Jackson's This Is It,' $21.3 million
2. 'Paranormal Activity,' $16.5 million
3. 'Law Abiding Citizen,' $7.3 million
4. 'Couples Retreat,' $6.1 million
5. 'Saw VI, $5.6 million
6. 'Where the Wild Things Are,' $5.1 million
7. 'The Stepfather,' $3.4 million
8. 'Astro Boy,' $3.04 million
9. 'Amelia,' $3 million
10. 'Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant,' $2.8 million