The film about Michael Jackson’s tour rehearsals, “This Is It,” is being kept fairly secret right up until its opening.

“This Is It” is set to open on Wednesday, October 28th, released into theaters for two weeks by Sony. But so far no advance screenings have been scheduled other than one for the cast and crew, in Los Angeles, on Monday the 26th. The location is being kept hush-hush, too.

One screening for the Jackson family was cancelled, I am told, when Michael’s brother Randy insisted on bringing a guest. Sony said no, and the screening proceeded without any family members.

Many showings of “This Is It” have already sold out in advance. Sony is readying a CD soundtrack which will be released the same week, to capitalize on the film’s popularity.

A source who’s been working on “This Is It” told me yesterday: “The tragedy is, the film is great. The public is finally going to appreciate Michael Jackson, and it’s too late.”

Meantime, the book of Michael Jackson taped interviews, by Shmuley Boteach, has not been much of a hit. It’s listed around number 332 on The average customer review is 2 out of 5 stars.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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