China Okays MJ!


The King of Pop’s post-mortem reign over the world continues. On Wednesday, This Is It, the Michael Jackson part-documentary part-concert movie debuted internationally. And the film, which chronicles the ill-fated star between April and June 2009, grossed over $20 million on its first day.

Although most of the profits came from North America, Japanese fans racked up a noteworthy $1.2 million in ticket sales, with their Chinese counterparts coming in close behind with about $730,000. We’ll have to wait and see what happens next, but I think it’s safe to assume that This Is It will continue to amass audiences around the world.

Breaking into the China market is no mean feat–the country of 1.3 billion only has 20 slots available per year for foreign film imports and This Is It is now officially in. The last hit foreign movie shown in China was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and that grossed $59 million. Personally, I’m rooting for Jackson to posthumously moonwalk all over Transformers’ China sales.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.

Meanwhile, some top critics have already given the movie positive reviews. The New York Times for instance, makes a pretty convincing case for seeing it, suggesting the film may restore any disillusionment you had from Jackson’s ‘wackier’ later years: ‘Death returned Michael Jackson’s humanity, and in a curious tentative way so does Michael Jackson’ s This Is It.’

Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Diplomat Brief