Michael Jackson saves Sony

Michael Jackon may do more to save CEO Howard Stringer's job than improvement in PS3 sales

By 247 wallst Nov 2, 2009 8:17AM

Poster for Michael Jackson's 'This Is It'; Credit: © Mark Ralson/AFP/Getty ImagesSony (SNE) just announced its fourth consecutive quarterly loss. Part of that was due to red ink at its studio division.


Its best chance for a blockbuster film in the current quarter is almost certainly the Michael Jackson rehearsal film “This Is It.” Jackson did not disappoint. Global ticket sales went above $100 million worldwide for the first five days after release.

The Jackson movie is only scheduled to be in theaters worldwide for two weeks. Many industry experts believe that the run will be extended if ticket sales continue to be as brisk as they were over the weekend.

 

“This Is It” receipts are likely to pass $200 million by the end of next weekend. That will leave producers with the decision of whether it should go quickly to DVD, which it is likely to drive brisk sales, or to keep it in movie houses for another week or two.


Some analysts predicted the film would eventually gross $600 million, putting in among the thirty top grossing movies of all time. That looks unlikely as of now.

 

One of the financial advantages the Jackson movie has is that it is rumored to have cost $60 million to make. Most extremely successful movies have production and marketing budgets of over $100 million. Films from the “Harry Potter”, “Spiderman”, and “Transformers” franchises have been much more expensive than that to make.

 

“This Is It” is already a success by most measures, and at the bottom line it may be one of the more profitable films ever made.

 

Top Stocks writer Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

 

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