Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ Director Shrugs Off Oscar Buzz

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.

Michael Jackson: 'This Is It'
Michael Jackson: 'This Is It'

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.”

Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ Opens Worldwide

The wait is finally over for Michael Jackson fans. The Michael Jackson documentary film This Is It, featuring The last video footage of the late superstar performing, hits theaters worldwide on Tuesday.

Michael Jackson: "This Is It"
Michael Jackson: "This Is It"

This Is It will premiere around the world on Tuesday to sold-out crowds. The Hollywood premiere of the film will take place at the Nokia Theatre. This Is It director Kenny Ortega, along with celebs such as Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron and Smokey Robinson are expected to attend.

Fan reaction to the film so far has been mixed. While millions of fans are eagerly anticipating seeing video of Michael Jackson in his final days, some are not so positive about the documentary. One collection of fans has launched a “This Is Not It” campaign, claiming Michael Jackson was pushed beyond his limits the last few months of his life by business colleagues and friends alike.

Few actually saw the film in its entirety before its release. Even entertainment journalists were granted only a 12 minute clip of the film to review last week. One who was granted a viewing of the entire film – Michael Jackson longtime pal Elizabeth Taylor. Posting on Twitter Monday, Taylor said This Is It “is the single most brilliant piece of filmmaking I have ever seen… It cements forever Michael’s genius in every aspect of creativity.”

>> Previously: New Video from Michael Jackson This Is It Rehearsal