Taking in a huge $101 million on its worldwide opening, Michael Jackson’s This Is It — a concert film drawn exclusively from rehearsal footage — has now extended its intended two-week run in theaters through Thanksgiving. Maybe now the American audience won’t drag its ass. The $21.3 million domestic total for the weekend was enough to hit No. 1 and send the hot-hot-hot Paranormal Activity to second place, with $16.5 million, even on Halloween. But, please, America, your middling interest in This Is It almost had the late King of Pop eating the dust of the OMFG dreadful Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds 3-D Concert Tour.
So I’m asking: What kept you away? Were you too busy this weekend trick-or-treating? Or does your reluctance go deeper than that? Did the pedophilia scandals dogging Jackson turn you off? Or maybe you thought rehearsal footage doesn’t constitute a ‘real’ concert film? Because I think This Is It offers a probing and privileged look inside the artistic process of a world-class entertainer, I’d like to hear your reasons. I’d also like to hear your picks for the best rock concert films. For the emotions as well as the heat they generate, I’d go with The Last Waltz, Stop Making Sense, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is and, yes, Woodstock.
Arguments will now be heard about what are the best rock concert films and whether Michael Jackson’s This Is It deserves to join the exclusive club.