Michael Jackson will be hitting the big screen on one of the toughest dates of the year at the box office.
Sony Pictures today confirmed the long-reported deal that it is joining with Sony Music Entertainment to release a movie featuring behind-the-scenes and rehearsal footage from preparation for the late singer’s “This Is It” concert series in London.
Sony paid $60 million to concert producer AEG and the singer’s estate for rights to turn the footage into a movie. Though the deal was negotiated last month, it was officially approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge today.
The studio will release the film, also called “This Is It,” worldwide on Friday, Oct. 30. Sony will no doubt be tying the opening into Michael Jackson’s Halloween-oriented classic album and video “Thriller.” But with the holiday falling on a Saturday, attendance will likely be soft on what’s normally the busiest movie-going day of the week.
Many of the fall’s best release dates are already taken, however. The only other movie currently scheduled to open Oct. 30 is The Weinstein Co.’s comedy “Youth in Revolt.”
Sony also revealed that some sequences, which were shot for use in the concert, will be in digital 3-D.
Now that the deal has been approved by the court, said a source close to the project, Sony will begin negotiations with “High School Musical” director Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s creative partner on the concert series, to direct the movie.
That will consist primarily of sorting through and editing the hundreds of hours of footage for which Sony has obtained theatrical rights.