Film and TV

Phil Anschutz's profits on Michael Jackson's This Is It film: Ka-ching!

Denver mega-buckser Phil Anschutz has reportedly recouped his entire investment in the late Michael Jackson's aborted "This Is It" tour (after seeming on the verge of multi-million-dollar losses) thanks to the sale of rehearsal footage that makes up the just-released This Is It film. Now all that's left is to watch the moolah roll in -- a process that's already started. The flick racked up $7.4 million in the U.S. on Wednesday, when it opened at theaters nationwide. Granted, that's not a record for a concert film (which this is, sorta): Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour earned $8.6 million on its first day. However, This Is It's prospects are much better globally, where those nasty sleeping-with-young-boys accusations did little to dent Jackson's marketability -- and indeed, the film earned $12.7 million on Wednesday beyond America.

Right now, the movie is only slated to remain in theaters for two weeks -- but a proposed pre-Christmas DVD release has already been pushed back to early 2010, suggesting that its run could be extended if the Michael maniacs keep coming. Anschutz wouldn't object to that, since he's slated to receive 10 percent of the profits. And the rich get richer.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts