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Jackson fans rush for tickets to 'This Is It' film
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LOS ANGELES: Michael Jackson fans scrambled to snap up tickets for the upcoming film about the entertainer's final concert rehearsals, studio chiefs said Monday, cranking up hype for the eagerly-anticipated movie.

A statement from Sony Pictures Entertainment said fans around the globe had rushed to buy tickets ahead of the release of "This Is It," which will include unseen footage of Jackson preparing for his series of London comeback shows.

Advance screenings of the film will begin on October 27 before a worldwide release a day later. The movie will screen for two weeks only.

Sony said an "unprecedented number" of shows across the United States had sold out and other cities including London, Sydney, Bangkok and Tokyo had experienced similar levels of demand.

London distributor Vue Entertainment said the film sold 30,000 tickets within 24 hours, director Stuart Boreman enthused, outstripping demand for films such as "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings."

"I've never seen anything like it in the 25 years I have been film buying," Boreman said. "It's a true phenomenon and sales show no sign of slowing down."

In the United States, more than 500,000 fans performed searches for showtimes on the film's official website, Sony reported.

Japanese fans snapped up more than one million dollars worth of tickets within 24 hours of their release, an advanced-sales record unmatched by any movie in history, Sony said.

Tickets for first showings also sold out in Thailand, the studio reported.

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