MJ has officially “Beat It” into China’s exclusive film import quota. Premiering globally on October 28, the Michael Jackson documentary, “This Is It,” was able to snatch one of the last of China’s 20 annual foreign movie import slots. Chinese censors approved the film before National Day, just in time for China’s premiere date on October 30, says the AP.
Directed by longtime Jackson collaborator Kenny Ortega, “Michael Jackson: This Is It” draws on hundreds of hours of footage of Jackson preparing for a series of London concerts: the ones for which he was rehearsing before his death on June 25. “This Is It” was meant to be the name of MJ’s comeback tour this year. The tagline for the trailer is, “His music reaches billions. His dreams inspired the world. But there was still one dream he wanted to share with everyone.”
Chinese acceptance of the music icon’s documentary should not be too surprising. With our flash mob commerations, frequent tributes at clubs, lip-synching self-videos, renditions of the moonwalk, and a rather swift post-death biography (130,000 words in 48 hours!), it’s evident that Michael Jackson occupies a very special place in China’s hearts. Heck, Shanghai’s even getting a replica of the Neverland ranch and the “Man in the Mirror” made the Global Times’ birthday list of sixty most influential foreigners in the past 60 years of the PRC.
Of course, China’s not the only one getting excited. Since “This Is It” will have a limited run of just two weeks, there has been a furious scramble for tickets worldwide. All 3,000 tickets for an advanced screening at Regal Cinemas Stadium 14 in Los Angeles were sold out in two hours. 30,000 tickets were sold in less than a day in London. Hundreds of screenings in North America have already sold out, a month before the film’s October 28 opening.
In addition to the documentary, a two-disc album featuring a new song, “This Is It,” will be released on October 27 to coincide with the movie’s theatrical release. The new single drops on October 12 (MTV). If you want to see how “Off The Wall” this “Thriller” is, check out the trailer below: