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Michael Jackson’s This Is It Poster. Concert promoter AEG Live has faced criticism since the film’s confirmation, largely in the form of accusations that the film was made simply for profit. Multiple members of Jackson’s family refused to support the film, and some family members even attempted to stop the film agreement in August 2009. Despite originally being set for October 30, the film’s release date was rescheduled for October 26, 2009 due to a strong demand by Jackson’s fans.
The film was given a worldwide release and a limited two-week theatrical run from October 28 to November 10, 2009, but theatrical release was later extended. Jackson and his performances were generally praised, although some critics and fans of Jackson felt that the film was made to profit from Jackson’s death and argued that the artist would not have wanted the film released because he was a perfectionist. Despite some fans boycotting the film, and his family not endorsing it, the ticket sales for This Is It broke international records a month before its release. The film begins with a short text introduction stating the purpose of the footage and its intent: “For the fans” After short dialogues from various dancers, Ortega is heard talking through the original concert opening sequence involving a body suit made from screens which display fast clips and images with bright intensity from which Jackson emerges on stage. During the dance sequence, puppets are suspended in the audience aisles while Jackson emerges from a robotic spider originally seen in the vignette.
Jackson and Ortega rehearsing the cherry-picker is seen next, along with Jackson rehearsing “Beat It”. Contains an a cappella snippet of “Speechless”. The second verse has been cut in the film, but was rehearsed as a complete song. The rap has also been cut down significantly in the film. Contains a sample of “Another Part of Me”. A military dance sequence which features samples of “Bad”, “Dangerous”, and “Mind Is the Magic”.
Contains samples of “HIStory”, “She Drives Me Wild” and “Why You Wanna Trip on Me”. Michael Bearden, the show’s musical director. Also played during an alternate final video clip shown after the end credits. Was rehearsed as a complete song, but first lines not recorded. Features a clip from Gilda where Jackson is digitally inserted into the video. Includes the song “Put the Blame on Mame” from the film.
Includes scenes from Jackson’s past film Moonwalker. Features a clip from The Big Sleep where Jackson is digitally inserted into the film. The anti-gravity lean sequence is cut from the film, but was rehearsed. Performed with the slowed-down intro from the 30th Grammy Awards ceremony. The first verse is performed after the intro, but this was not shown. It was only shown being performed in the intro. Part of The Jackson 5 Medley.
Performed with backing vocalist Daryll Phinnessee. Contains a sample of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough. Performed as an instrumental dance sequence with the chorus sung by the backing vocalists. Was rehearsed on June 23, however no footage of this rehearsal was shown during the feature film. This song was planned to occasionally replace Human Nature during different nights. Note: The song’s placement during differ from the placement of the song during rehearsals.