Michael Jackson movie already a hit

Thousands of showings of the Michael Jackson movie “This is It” have sold out in advance of the movie’s Oct. 28 opening, with fans snapping up tickets to midnight showings Oct. 27, and moviegoers planning to wear sequined gloves in homage to the late King of Pop.

The movie has been booked for a limited two-week run at theaters around the country, which isn’t an unusual tactic for a concert film, according to Harry Medved of online ticketing service Fandango.

Last year the Hannah Montana film ran in theaters for a single week.

“It makes it more of an event, so people feel like they want to be there, along with other people,” said Medved.

None of the shows at the AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 in Morrow had sold out as of early last week, said manager Vincent Seay. The multiplex will show the movie on four screens, including an IMAX version, he said.

“This is It” will be shown at a total of 22 screens in Atlanta, according to AMC spokesman Andy DiOrio. And though no special events are planned at those theaters, “I’m sure there will be some impromptu MJ impersonators standing in line.”

Advance tickets to the movie have been selling at twice the pace that the Hannah Montana tickets sold last year, said Medved, and have dominated all online sales.

“In the last hour alone, 26 percent of [Fandango’s] ticket sales were for the Michael Jackson movie,” he said recently.

The film was created from 120 hours of rehearsal footage, shot by Jackson’s own crews.

They were documenting four months of preparations for the comeback concerts Jackson had planned this year at London’s O2 arena.

Jackson’s sudden death June 25 brought an end to the concert plans, but triggered a feverish effort by director (and long-time choreographer) Kenny Ortega to create a movie from the documentary footage.

Among Jackson’s fans anticipation is high, with the movie standing in as the next best thing to a Michael Jackson performance.

“I now know how my parents felt when Elvis Presley passed away too young,” wrote MJFan40yrs on the Fandango Web site. “Definitely will have a box of Kleenex. This one hurts a lot still.”