Home Music Michael Jackson Doc Draws 5000 to Press Preview in Japan

“Michael Jackson: Inside the Private World” is a hit in Japan.

On Thursday night, 5000 people showed up for a press preview that accommodated only 200 people at a venue behind the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tokyo. A Japanese singer appeared and sang “Human Nature.” The town, apparently, went wild.

Since then, the film, which was licensed to Japan by Jackson partner Marc Schaffel, has sold out all its shows. It’s expected to take in between $5-$8 million.

The Jackson estate has settled its issues with the distribution company, and all is well for an uninterrupted release. Both Schaffel and Debbie Rowe, mother of Michael’s two eldest kids, were there for the premiere. On Wednesday, Rowe was the guest of a Buddhist temple where a special tour and ceremony were set up for her.

The two hour movie includes a lot of intimate behind the scenes stuff with Jackson and his family, and at Neverland, It also features Japanese fans talking about Michael. It will be edited down to a more manageable 90 minutes when it’s sold in other countries.

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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.
14 replies to this post
  1. No kidding!!

    Many Japanese fans are getting so angry to this film!!
    Why don’t you write truth?

    I’m disgusted at the distorted article!

  2. Roger, Don’t tell a lie.
    Please write the truth!

    The Japanese fans despairs to this film.
    The respect to Michael doesn’t exist in this film.
    Love of “For the fans” doesn’t exist either.
    Many of Japanese fans hope to stop at once.
    Is such the lowest film shown to the fans in the world?
    It is foolish!!

  3. Marc Schaffel was very close to Michael, and surely has a lot to reveal, should he choose to. They were personal buddies and Marc travelled the world with Michael and his family, in addition to producing music and video for him.
    Being outside the family machine I bet he has a fresh perspective to share.

  4. To commentor above re: Estate. Roger did mention the Estate..

    “The Jackson estate has settled its issues with the distribution company, and all is well for an uninterrupted release. ”

    They have settled whatever issues it had with the distribution company. The issue to begin with was the advertising that made it appear that this was sanctioned by the Estate. They will remove that from future advertising and trailors before it’s shown.

  5. Please do not believe it!!

    Many Japanese fans are discouraged in this.

    It’s NOT possible to endure, and there are even people who left the theater on the way.

    This is a film getting tired of.

  6. I watched this movie on 25th.
    It was wasting of time…

    I’ve already seen most of the footage on the net.
    Picture and editing quality is bad.
    Majority of this movie is fans interview.
    NO MJ’s music…
    I got bored, and I got angry at the movie distributing agency and
    Marc Schaffel who made this movie for money.

  7. I am continually amazed at the sheer number of dubious characters with which Michael was surrounded and/or surrounded himself with during his lifetime. Why and how was he surrounded by the mob/gay porn producers/Nation of Islam/crooked banksters/and so on? All of them conspired to take him down by handing him too much rope. It is obvious to me that he was treated like a commodity to be used, abused and exploited for money. It was always just about the money and Michael knew it. He knew how this was going to end. It’s too incredible for belief. Has it been a year already? You’re gone, Michael, but with all the marketing blitzes and new deals it seems like you’re still here.

  8. Why didn’t you mention that it is not approved by the Estate?And that Schaffel guy is a sleazebag, just like Joe and the others who are trying to take a slice of the pie now that Michael is gone.He’s no different from Joe,Rowe and the others.The fans are not stupid Roger.We remember what Schaffel did to Michael, so stop kissing his behind.

  9. Roger, thanks for keeping up with the developments that continue to surround MJ even in death. Debbie Rowe and Marc Schaffel – what an unlikely pair. I would still like to see this film though.

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