Hollywood Flashback: In 2002, Michael Jackson Announced Plans to Launch His Own Movie Studio

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter – By Meena Jang | All Things Michael


“I dream great dreams,” Jackson said. “Everything I’ve achieved started with a dream, and of all the dreams, this is the one I am most passionate about.”

Michael Jackson may be best remembered for revolutionizing the music scene, but in 2002, the King of Pop had other ambitions. Just months after the release of his 10th and final album, Invincible, Jackson made plans to enter the film business with the launch of his own independent film company, Neverland Pictures.

The mini-studio was the result of a proposed $20 million partnership between Jackson’s Neverland Entertainment and production company MDP Worldwide. The news was made public at a private dinner reception at MDP chief Mark Damon’s home, where nearly 300 guests — consisting mostly of distributors who had shopped projects at AFM earlier that day — eagerly awaited Jackson’s arrival.

The pop icon made a rare appearance at the event, arriving arm-in-arm with longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor. “He called 
me beforehand and asked if he could bring his friend — his best friend,” Damon tells The Hollywood Reporter. “When the distributors saw Michael and Liz Taylor next
to him, they all fainted. To this 
day, [some] still tell me that it was the greatest experience of their lives.”

At the dinner, Jackson spoke enthusiastically about his vision for Neverland Pictures: He and producing partner Raju Patel would produce family films and reboots of classic fairy tales, some of which Jackson also would direct and star in.

“I dream great dreams,” Jackson said. “Everything I’ve achieved started with a dream, and of all the dreams, this is the one I am most passionate about.”

But nothing came of Jackson’s movie-mogul plans, as the deal never closed. “Michael had too many distractions with his life at the time,” Damon recalls. “At times he was totally focused, and other times it was just a vacant stare.”

He had a cameo in the 2004 fantasy comedy Miss Castaway and the Island Girls (he played “a Vatican agent projected by an R2-D2-like droid”) and later starred in the 2009 concert doc Michael Jackson’s This Is It, which was released after his death and grossed $261 million worldwide.

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Why Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Will Always Be The Best-Selling Album Of All Time

Sources: Business 2 Community – By Ben Taylor | All Things Michael


On Nov. 30, 1982, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” hit music stores across America. Along with the famous title track, the record featured a parade of hit singles, from “Billie Jean” to “Beat It.” The album went on to win a record eight Grammys, top the Billboard 200 for two straight years and sell over 50 million copies worldwide — a Guinness-verified world record.

“Thriller” has since ceded its Grammy crown (Santana’s “Supernatural” and U2’s “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” each won nine awards), while Adele’s “21” matched Jackson’s two-year run at the top of the charts in 2011 and 2012. But over 30 years later, “Thriller” remains unbeaten in the biggest category of all; it’s the undisputed top-selling album of all time.

The numbers say “Thriller” will never be beat.

How is the King of Pop’s lead so safe? New albums face a slew of economic and distribution problems — challenges “Thriller” didn’t have to overcome. The most obvious issue, however, is the skyrocketing growth of the single, which has been the format of choice since the early 2000s.

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If you want to point fingers, you might start by blaming file-sharing sites like Napster. As the Internet went mainstream, consumers figured out how to get their favorite hits for free, rather than buying a steady stream of $16 CDs.

But if file-swapping opened the coffin, iTunes nailed it shut. Ever since Apple offered tunes for 99¢ a pop, album sales have fallen precipitously. Single sales may still be at historic heights, but it’s cold comfort for record labels, which earn almost all profit from pricey albums.

And then there’s the streaming revolution. With Spotify, TIDAL, Pandora and Apple Music all offering monthly subscriptions for a near-unlimited catalog, the album has gone from marginal to practically irrelevant. Even the mighty single seems headed for trouble. With the industry’s economics looking worse every year, big record labels are less likely to bet millions on a single album. Consider that “Thriller’s” production budget was roughly $750,000 — nearly $2 million in 2015 dollars.

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That’s not to say that the “Thriller” legacy was guaranteed from the moment the album came out. The ‘80s and ‘90s were golden decades for the multi-track format, as the CD made albums cheaper to make and more accessible to the masses. In the decade leading up to “Thriller,” there were an average of two 10x platinum* albums per year. By the ’90s, there were 4.5 each year — culminating in a record seven smash hit albums in 1994.

*A record achieves “platinum” status after selling one million copies.

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Whitney Houston (“The Bodyguard”), Shania Twain (“Come On Over”) and the Spice Girls (“Spice”) each flirted with Jackson’s record, settling in just a few spots below on the all-time list. Jackson himself rode the CD revolution to two more hits, with “Bad” (1987) and “Dangerous” (1991) — each selling well enough to crack the top 30 all time.

But the window would close for good at the turn of the millennium, and the album-friendly CD would go on to die a quiet death, just like every popular music format before it.

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Administrator’s Note: According to Michael’s estate and other sources, it has been documented that Thriller has actually sold over 100 million copies worldwide. (Source) (Source)10151955_10152367747476473_5401832316763104596_n


Michael Jackson, Live In Bucharest

Sources: Today’s OZY – Shannon Sims | All Things Michael


In 1989, a swell of Romanians wanted just one thing for Christmas: the death of their leader. And as the 42-year-old communist regime was swept away in a flood of violent unrest, on Christmas Day, wrists bound in a wintry backyard, Nicolae Ceaușescu was executed. Just a few short years later, in 1992, 70,000 desperate, agitated Romanians gathered at the National Stadium in Bucharest, screaming for something different: “Michael! Michael! Michael!” Mr. Jackson was in town.

He enters the stage and freezes for an exaggerated amount of time, wearing gold lamé briefs over pants and a visible bandage on his arm: the ever-complicating details now familiar in Jackson’s legacy. As the seconds tick by and smoke swirls around the still figure, as much a mirage as a man, the effect is that of a building pressure, pressing down on the jugular of the crowd until they almost can’t stand it; watching now, it still releases goosebumps. And then, suddenly, he’s alive.

The King has taken full command of a broken empire…..

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On This Day In History 1992: Jackson Concert Sets HBO Record

Sources: Variety | All Things Michael


HBO’s airing of Michael Jackson’s concert in Bucharest, Romania, on Saturday night was the pay cable net’s highest-rated special ever, scoring a 21.4 rating, 34 share in HBO’s 17.5 million homes.

That means approximately 3.7 million homes tuned in to the 90-minute special, which was part of the pop singer’s “Dangerous” tour.

The Oct. 10 telecast was the first time Jackson has allowed one of his concerts to be aired on TV.

While the performance was a high for HBO, it translates into about a 4 rating for the traditional TV networks.

Network viewing levels were somewhat lower Saturday in the overnight markets, which may be attributable in part to the Jackson special. Aggregate network viewing was boosted by tune-in for the baseball playoffs.

The performance put the Jackson concert on par with the airing of one of Madonna’s “Blonde Ambition” tour concerts on HBO. That special scored a 21.5/31.


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Michael Jackson: Music Legend Performed At The National Bowl 27 Years Ago Today (September 10)

Sources: OneMK – Chris Knight | All Things Michael


American music icon Michael Jackson performed live at The National Bowl in Milton Keynes 27 years ago today (September 10), as part of the Bad world tour which spanned 127 shows.

Opening with Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, the singer reeled off hits such as Smooth Criminal, Dirty Diana, Thriller, and Billie Jean, before finishing with Man in the Mirror.

Take a look below at news coverage of Jackson’s sensational showing in Milton Keynes:

The Bad tour was the singer’s first ever solo world tour, opening in Tokyo on September 12, 1987. Concluding on January 27, 1989, the tour spanned a total of 16 months and reached more than four million fans across the globe.

Below is another snippet of Jackson’s performance at The National Bowl:

Despite an impressive collection of hits, Jackson is undoubtedly best remembered for his hit Thriller:

Were you at Jackson’s concert at The National Bowl 27 years ago today?


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Michael Jackson At Aintree: 27 Years Since The Landmark Concert

Sources: Liverpool Echo – By Jade Wright | All Things Michael

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The King of Pop had a special place in his heart for Liverpool.

“I have always considered Liverpool the home of contemporary pop music, by virtue of its being the birthplace of the incomparable Beatles,” he said.

And at the height of his fame, in September 1988, he came to Liverpool to play at Aintree.

Some 125,000 flocked to see him play – it was reported to be the largest concert ever performed by a solo artist in the UK at that time.

It was the last British date in the iconic Bad world tour, that covered Japan, Australia, the United States and Europe.

The tour, sponsored by Pepsi and spanning 16 months, included 123 concerts playing to 4.4m fans across 15 countries. When the tour concluded it had grossed a total of $125m, adding two new entries in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest grossing tour in history and the tour with the largest attended audience.


It was nominated for Tour of the Year 1988 at the inaugural International Rock Awards.

He’s been to the city before, performing with the Jackson 5 at the Liverpool Empire in 1972. He was only 14 at the time.

The ECHO the night before reported: “The biggest thing happening to Liverpool this weekend is the arrival of The Jackson Five for their show at the Empire tomorrow night. It should be enough to put their new single single Looking Through The Windows, right into the charts. It is already selling very well in some local stores, coinciding with their visit to Liverpool is today’s release of Michael Jackson’s new single Ben which is going very big in America.”

On the day of the sell out concert, fans brought the city centre to a standstill, and their dad Joe had to stop the show on two occasion and plead for calm amongst the hysterical fans who where trying to storm the stage.

“Traffic outside the theatre was brought to a standstill by hundreds of fans who hadn’t been able to get a ticket but who had come along just to get a glimpse of their idols. The final word on Liverpool’s long day of screams came from Michael Jackson the group’s 14 year old lead singer and the fans heart throb when he said “It was just great the fans were really wonderful, I hope we come back again soon”


By the time he returned to Liverpool, 16 years after his first visit, excitement was reaching fever pitch.

Never one to do things by half, on his return in 1988 he took over an entire floor of the Atlantic Tower hotel in Chapel Street.

But it was hardly the rock’n’roll excess that stars these days expect.

Arriving in disguise – a parka anorak and a red polo neck – with mum Katherine, his entourage of 10 arrived by helicopter at Speke and travelled in three black Daimler limousines with a police escort, through Aigburth and Otterspool.

Day trippers to the garden festival stared on as the convoy passed by.

He’d requested the £100 a night Port of Liverpool Suite, which offered a view over the Mersey waterfront, and was transfixed by the telescope in there – watching the boats come and go on the river.

Staff at Aintree spent months preparing for the concert, which extended as far as the first three jumps in the Grand National.

Tickets were £16.50 and fans had been queuing all day in the hope of getting a place near the front. Merseyside police cancelled all leave and drafted in 500 extra officers, but despite rumours to the contrary, just 31 people were taken to hospital, mostly after fainting in the crowd.

Kim Wilde was the support act to Jackson. After his two-hour set, including a Beatles medley in tribute to being in Liverpool, the superstar left the city and returned to America.

The most famous man in the world had come back to see the city he loved. And it loved him in return.


See more pictures here. Can you spot yourself in any of these photos? 

This Week in Billboard Chart History: 20 Years Ago, Michael Jackson Was ‘Alone’ At The Top

Sources: Billboard -Gary Trust| All Things Michael

Michael Jackson during 1995 MTV Video Music Awards Show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

In 1995, ‘You Are Not Alone’ became the first song to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Plus, remembering chart feats by Metallica, the Beatles and Aerosmith.

Your weekly recap celebrating significant milestones from more than seven decades of Billboard chart history.

Aug. 31, 1991
Twenty-four years ago today, the best-selling album since Nielsen Music began tracking sales (in May 1991) debuted atop the Billboard 200: Metallica‘s self-titled set. The album has sold 16.2 million copies in the U.S. since its release. It outranks runner-up Shania Twain’s Come On Over (15.6 million) and the third-best-seller in that span, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.

Sept. 1, 1973
Kind of impossible to hear this one without thinking of comic genius Louis C.K. Forty-two years ago today, Stories‘ “Brother Louie,” now the theme to the comedian’s FX series Louie, spent its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Sept. 2, 1995
Twenty years ago today: Michael Jackson‘s “You Are Not Alone” becomes the first song ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The ballad (the last of Jackson’s 13 No. 1s) was written and produced by R. Kelly.


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Essential Musical Acts Of The ’70s

Sources: CNN – By Brandon Griggs | All Things Michael

The Jackson 5


This Motown family made history by being the first recording act whose initial four singles — “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” “ABC” and “I’ll Be There” — all hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts. Powered by the soprano of a little, prepubescent Michael Jackson, the five Jackson brothers became one of the first black acts to achieve huge success with white audiences. With their costumes, youthful looks and synchronized dance moves, the Jacksons also paved the way for such boy bands as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and the Jonas Brothers.

Learn more about the music of the 1970s in the season finale of “The Seventies,” which airs Thursday, August 13, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CNN.

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