Sunday the posthumous documentary about the King of Pop's preparations for that residency, "Michael Jackson's This Is It," has broken advance ticket sales records for a movie.
According to Reuters, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio that paid $60 million for the more than 100 hours of hi-def rehearsal footage of Jackson following the singer's death in June, hundreds of screenings in North America have already sold out, a month before the film's October 28 opening.
Among the cities with the strongest sales are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and New York. Records were also set in Japan, where more than $1 million in tickets were sold on the first day they were available. In London, fans bought more than 30,000 tickets on the first day, eclipsing the advance interest in the "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings" films, which were wildly popular in Britain. Record sales were also reported in Holland, Sweden, Belgium and New Zealand, MTV.com reports.
It was also reported, while online sales were high, fans also lined sidewalks waiting for tickets in Paris, Bangkok and Munich, Sony Pictures said.
U.S. authorities are investigating what lead to Jackson's death from an overdose of prescription drugs on June 25, focusing on doctors who treated him.
The rehearsal footage for "This Is It" was produced as Jackson prepared for a series of 50 sold-out comeback shows in London that were supposed to begin on July 13. Sony paid $60 million for the footage to make the movie, ABC News reports.
MTV.com quoted Jeff Blake, chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures, as saying, "Michael Jackson has an army of fans everywhere around the world. We are giving the audiences an incredible opportunity to join together in celebration of Michael Jackson's incredible career."
The news came on the same day a new clip from the movie was released, showing Jackson rehearsing the song "Human Nature" for his planned series of 50 gigs at the O2 arena in London, MTV.com reports.