The Michael Jackson documentary This Is it took over at number one in the weekend box office,Â pushing low-budget horror hit Paranormal Activity down to the number two spot.
This Is It landed at number one at the box office over the weekend, raking in a domestic total of $21.3 million. The film has so far garnered over $101 million worldwide since its release five days ago.
Low-budget horror darling Paranormal Activity slipped to number two in the box office over the weekend, raking in $16.5 million, for a total of $84.8 million overall. Not too shabby for a film reportedly filmed for somewhere around $15,000 and purchased for only $300,000 by Paramount. In contrast, Sony Pictures paid $60 million for the film rights to This Is It.
Sony has announced it will extend the theatrical run for This Is It for an additional three weeks in the U.S. and one to three weeks overseas.
Kenny Ortega, the director of the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, has spoken out about speculation the film might be nominated for an Academy Award.
Sony Pictures has received two disappointing blows this week so far in their release of the Michael Jackson This Is It documentary. First, the film as so far generated much lower ticket sales than projected, garnering only $20.1 million so far of the $60 million investment made in the film. Second, Sony Pictures has pulled plans to release the film on DVD in time for the holiday shopping season due to protests from movie theater owners who feared the quick DVD release would damage ticket sales.
In spite of the less than blockbuster success expected for the film, there is some good buzz for Sony Pictures. Speculation This Is It might come away with more than a few award nominations, including an Oscar nod. Unfortunately the film was released too late to be nominated for the Best Documentary category, but it could still be eligible for other Oscar awards, including Best Picture.
This Is It director Kenny Ortega is not lending much weight to the Oscar speculation yet, however. “Awards, Oscars, that’s all great wishful thinking,” Ortega said, according to CBS news. More important for Ortega though was “telling a good story and creating a film for the fans, really enabling them to understand what Michael Jackson had dreamed for them.”