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Big Sunday shows 'This Is It' isn't performing like a concert film

November 2, 2009 |  1:13 pm

JacksonIt "This Is It" continues to throw all the old rules about concert movies out the window.

Domestic ticket sales for the Michael Jackson movie totaled $8.3 million on Sunday, nearly $2 million more than the $6.3 million Sony Pictures projected Sunday morning and 17% more than the movie grossed on Saturday. The movie's total domestic gross is now $34.4 million, making the worldwide number $103 million.

Concert movies traditionally see ticket sales decline rapidly after they premiere, as avid fans who turn out on opening day make up most of the audience. But "This Is It" grossed more on Sunday than any day since it debuted, a sign that word-of-mouth is strong and moviegoers who initially may have been hesitant are turning out. There also may be repeat viewing, which is often the case for concert films.

If the trend continues, "This Is It" should enjoy a relatively modest decline next weekend, and what initially looked like a middling domestic performance may actually turn into a pretty good one, albeit not nearly as big as overseas. That's where Jackson is really cleaning up.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Michael Jackson in "This Is It." Credit: Kevin Mazur