Michael Jackson’s decision to return to the stage seemed like a wise economic move, given that concerts have become one of music’s most lucrative revenue streams and that he’s short on cash. But The Wall Street Journal puts a finer point on it, revealing that Jackson could make $400 million from his final shows:
WSJ: The touring deal with concert promoter AEG Live could be worth as much as $400 million for Mr. Jackson over three and a half years. The first phase of the tour includes 10 concerts at London’s O2 arena beginning July 8, but he has the option to extend the run for additional dates at venues spread across three continents…
Depending on the strength of ticket sales for the first 10 shows, Mr. Jackson may add more dates at the O2, with the ultimate goal of exceeding the record-setting 21-night stand by Prince in 2007. Depending on how many dates he adds, Mr. Jackson’s take from the London concerts alone could be between $30 million and $50 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Tickets to the London performances are to go on sale, via an online lottery system at MichaelJacksonLive.com, next Wednesday for £50 ($70) to £75 ($105) each.
Mr. Jackson would then have the option to add more dates in Europe, Asia and finally North America. But he is not committed to play any shows beyond the original 10, and would in any event not reach the U.S. before 2011.
The Journal also reveals that, as part of the deal, AEG’s parent company, Anschutz Corp. will invest in a 3-D movie based on the song and music video for “Thriller.” No word yet on how this fits into the planned Thriller Broadway musical or music video director John Landis’s royalty lawsuit.
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