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MJ magic tops plex charts
Mohit Nimavat,
school student
I have been looking forward to the film for weeks now and had to watch it on the first day

Lake Gardens and Labony have joined London and Los Angeles in thronging the multiplexes to watch MJ moonwalk for one last time.

This Is It, a 111-minute film on Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for the comeback concert that had been planned at London’s O2 arena and the final days before his death in June, released in the city, along with the rest of the world, on Wednesday.

With the distributors setting a two-week limit to screen the documentary, multiplexes have lined up a flood of shows.

“We decided to go big with the number of shows because Michael Jackson as a phenomenon seems to be growing with each passing day. We have been receiving enquiries from fans for weeks,” said Virendra Marya, the regional director (east) of INOX, which has lined up nine shows of the film at its three properties.

The pre-release buzz for This Is It has prompted Fame South City to slot six shows daily. “Like the rest of the world, Calcutta has been waiting for a peek of the man behind the star. The response on Day One has been very good and despite London Dreams and Aladin releasing this Friday, we expect This Is It to draw in more people over the weekend,” said Rishi Negi, the chief operating officer of Fame Cinemas.

Curiosity about Jackson’s personal life and his meteoric rise to fame is the biggest draw for This Is It. “In Mumbai, fans came dressed as MJ and many couldn’t stop crying during the film, because here you see Jackson as he was in life. Just like Michael mania cut across all sections of society, queries about the film have come from all quarters,” said Anjali Malhotra, the public relations head of Sony Pictures, which is distributing the Kenny Ortega-directed film.

Shivaji Basu, 19,
CA student
I am a hardcore MJ fan and have brought my mother along to give her a feel of the music of the man

The span of the King of Pop’s fan base was in evidence outside the city multiplexes on Wednesday. Nine-year-old Ashwath Raj Capur, who dragged his mother and kid sister to INOX Forum on Wednesday afternoon, said: “I am a big Michael Jackson fan and Smooth Criminal is my favourite track.”

College student Amit Tandon, who watched a morning show at Fame South City, said: “The film actually seems like a Michael Jackson concert for which everyone in the auditorium has a front-row ticket.”

City musicians, too, don’t want to miss the MJ swansong. “As a musician, Michael Jackson was right at the top and I am curious to see the kind of preparation he put in before his shows,” said percussionist Bickram Ghosh.

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