'This Is It' makes $2.2 mil in its first night

Michael Jackson doc enters first full day Wednesday

Sony's music-filled Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It" got off to a dulcet-toned start with an estimated $2.2 million in domestic boxoffice from Tuesday night performances, a curtain-raiser leading to its first full day of release Wednesday.

Sony unspooled the film at 9 p.m. PT, amid projections of a $40 million-plus bow for "This Is It" through Sunday. The studio reported that early Wednesday matinee numbers were exceeding the Tuesday night figures.

The studio acquired worldwide distribution rights for a reported $60 million, and it is opening in 99 countries. The first round of reviews resulted in an 86% fresh rating from top critics on RottenTomatoes.com.

Advance ticketing on the pic was strong, with sellouts reported of early showtimes at many venues. Positive early reviews should stoke that enthusiasm further.

"This Is It" contains rehearsal footage, interviews and backstage scenes from preparations for what would have been the late singer's monthlong concert extravaganza in London. AEG Entertainment subsequently announced plans for the doc, which was directed by "High School Musical's" Kenny Ortega.
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