Three months after Michael Jackson’s death, I’m still surprised by the passion of his fans. On Thursday, fans in Los Angeles began lining up for tickets to his concert documentary, This Is It — the film doesn’t open until Oct. 27, but tickets go on sale Sunday morning.
I once invested a whole day in line for Rocky IV tickets, so I’m not about to tell anyone that these Michael Jackson fans are wasting their time. But I sort of feel like Tom Hanks in Big, when he tentatively raised his hand in the business meeting to say, “I don’t get it.” I don’t get it. I mean, I grew up in the 1980s, but I never felt like Michael Jackson’s music grew up with me. His songs were my musical equivalent of Star Wars toys, fossilized artifacts of a frivolous childhood. At some point, his sound ceased to evolve, and eventually, I moved onto other toys, other music. Don’t get me wrong, the opening bars of “Billie Jean” are still thrilling, but little more than a special edition Boba Fett figurine.
I know I’m in the minority on this.
So I have no idea what to expect with This Is It. Fans are lining up to watch a cobbled documentary about an artist whose body is practically still warm. I wouldn’t be surprised if the film grossed $10 million or $200 million during its limited two-week run. No clue. Where is This Is It on your radar? What are your expectations or fears with this movie? How long would you wait in line for a ticket to opening night?