Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Jackson eyes $400m comeback plan

By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Michael Jackson announces his comeback

Michael Jackson could earn more than $400m (£283m) from a comeback deal involving new music and movies as well as concerts, his promoter has revealed.

The pop superstar has announced 10 gigs at the O2 arena in London this summer.

Randy Phillips, head of AEG Live, which is staging the gigs, said they had a wider deal that could cover a world tour and a 3D film based on Thriller.

He also said: "We're talking to him about helping him figure a new plan for the release of singles, new music."

Last tour

Jackson appeared at the London venue on Thursday to announce his comeback concerts.

He billed them as "the final curtain call" and "my final show performances in London".

Speaking afterwards, Mr Phillips said: "These will be the last shows in London. Whether he will go on from here around the world... this will be his last tour.

"All he's agreed to are the London shows at this point."

He said AEG Live had a "broader relationship" with Jackson.

"We have a film development deal that's part of this to do a film, Thriller 3D," he said.

It would be a new film that could star Jackson himself, he said.

Asked how much Jackson could earn from the ventures, Mr Phillips replied: "If we complete the full three-and-a-half year plan, he could gross over $400m in that time. London could be north of $50m (£35m)."

The star made a five-minute appearance in front of hundreds of screaming fans on Thursday to announce the 10 London dates.

I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear - this is the final curtain call
Michael Jackson

His first words to fans were: "I love you so much.

"This will be it. When I say this is it, it really means this is it," he added.

"I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear."

Jackson had been expected to appear at the 02 arena at 1600 GMT, but arrived an hour and a half late for the announcement.

The first concert at the 20,000-capacity venue will be on 8 July, with tickets costing between £50 and £75. They go on general sale on 13 March.

Jackson last toured 12 years ago. In 2006, he performed at the World Music Awards in London, but disappointed fans by singing just a few lines of We Are The World.

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