Blockbusters and breakthroughs: this weekend's US movie releases - 'This Is It' selling out

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The Independent Culture

Already breaking advance ticket sales records, the big thriller this Halloween weekend will be the Michael Jackson documentary, This Is It, releasing worldwide on October 28, and destined to shove horror phenomenon Paranormal Activity off the top of the US box office.

With hundreds of screenings sold out across the US, Japan, the UK, and other countries, more screenings in theaters have been added. Though limited to a two-week run, there is speculation that the release will be extended due to the demand over the last month.

The film chronicles the rehearsals for Jackson's sold-out summer dates for his comeback at London's O2 arena, prior to the performer's death on June 25. It includes the last footage of behind-the-scenes with Jackson, interviews and crew performances, approved by the singer's estate.

It's directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega, who choreographed Dirty Dancing and directed/choreographed the High School Musical movies, who worked with Jackson on his 1992 and '96 world tours.

Based on pre-sales figures, This Is It is expected to be the biggest-ever concert documentary film with opening day screenings sold out in many cities. According to entertainment trade publication Variety, more than $1 million in tickets sold the first day in Japan and in Los Angeles, advance screenings sold out within two hours.

However, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, scheduled for release November 20, may actually beat all records. When the vampire film sequel, starring Robert Pattinson, went on sale in September, dozens of screens sold-out immediately.

If Astro Boy and Amelia with Hilary Swank couldn't touch the appeal of the horror phenomenon of Paranormal Activity, other smaller films releasing this coming weekend, including comedy Gentlemen Broncos with Sam Rockwell and dramedy Turning Green with Timothy Hutton, don't stand a chance against icon Michael Jackson.