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The This Is It movie will be opening on 25k screens worldwide, with estimates for the two-week engagement ranging from $60-100m in the U.S.
I.B. BAD WONDERS WHO’S GOT THE LEGS TO POWER THROUGH Q4
The Majors Roll Out Their Heavy Artillery in the Looming Shadow of the This Is It Colossus
The fourth quarter’s first Super Tuesday had its share of surprises, topped by Fueled by Ramen’s latest chart-topper in Paramore’s 185k-selling sophomore album—marking another #1 record for producer and new WMG Chief Creative Officer Rob Cavallo. Performing better than expected were #2 Barbra Streisand (Columbia), whose first album in six years bowed with 177k; #4 Breaking Benjamin (Hollywood, 136k); and the reformed Alice in Chains (Virgin), which debuted at #5 with 128k. On the other side of the coin, Interscope’s A.F.I. did far less business than anticipated, as the band dropped from a 183k first week on its 2006 LP to just 53k. And though Island/IDJ’s Mariah Carey bowed at #3 with 173k, many were surprised the album didn’t generate a far bigger number given its two successful radio tracks and Carey’s TV blitzkrieg, leaving the pundits to ponder where the disconnect is. But will these hit singles and heavy spins enable the album to build momentum as the holidays approach? That question leads to another: which of the above releases will have the legs to carry them through the next three months?… Pearl Jam’s #1 debut last week brings additional credence to the hypothesis that certain acts no longer need a major label partner to sell records and maintain careers… The Michael Jackson This Is It movie will be opening on 25k screens worldwide, with estimates for the two-week engagement ranging from $60-100m in the U.S. The limited run is intended to advance the perception that this is a must-see event, potentially further ramping up demand for the DVD, which will be released as the gift-giving season kicks into high gear. The Epic soundtrack album streets Oct. 27, a day before the movie opens, with the title track hitting next week. Initial shipments are said to be in the range of 3-4m worldwide… As these mega-paydays approach, Jackson family attorney Londell McMillan continues to reveal his personal agenda through his renewed efforts to have John Branca removed as Special Administrator for the estate, citing the fact that Michael Jackson fired his longtime friend and colleague in 1990 as part of a general housecleaning. McMillan failed to note that Jackson and Branca renewed their association three years later and remained close until the artist’s death, building the estate through a series of shrewd deals before resigning in 2006 after Jackson surrounded himself with incompetent advisors. McMillan’s agenda is easily discernible, according to insiders: the attorney is desperate to wet his beak, with $200-300m in revenues anticipated during the next year, and no fees coming to him unless he can upset the applecart... Some wonder whether Katherine Jackson is being led down the garden path by her husband, who would like nothing more than to dip his hand deeper into the purse, and by Randy Jackson, who is emerging as the face of dissent for the family. All but forgotten is the fact that Randy once sued Michael, and that he, like several of his siblings, has a history of approaching Michael with his hand out… Randy Phillips has virtually disappeared from public view since embarrassing boss Tim Leiweke and top dog Phil Anschutz by exposing what critics are describing as his “self-serving” character, further noting that Leiweke has resumed his role as the voice and face of AEG, as he should have been all along. But concerns that Phillips’ onscreen presence in the This Is It movie would again inspire industry-wide retching—as did his grandstanding public display in the weeks following Jackson’s death—have been allayed by insiders, who reveal that the spotlight-craving Phillips is barely in it, perhaps by edict from the AEG brass. Said one relieved non-fan, “You won’t have to take a Dramamine before you go see it after all.”... Live Nation and Ticketmaster executives are back on Capitol Hill this week in an effort to move along the decision-making process on the prospective pairing. It was expected that the merger would be approved by late summer or early fall, but the process is still ongoing. Even those close to the action—or inaction—are uncertain as to how the situation will play out, as if the government is equally uncomfortable with either outcome… Many are attributing anemic ticket sales for the stillborn Kanye West-Lady Gaga tour to a sizable Kanye backlash following his latest embarrassment during the VMAs and to general over-exposure. Lady Gaga’s headlining tour is already generating brisk demand... Names in the Rumor Mill: Lucien Grainge, Steve Barnett, Mark DiDia, Tommy Mottola, Rob Stevenson, Kelly Curtis and Joel Katz.
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Bring your umbrella.
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What drugs will help us get there?
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