Guns N’ Roses complete third most successful tour of all time

Rock group Guns N’ Roses recently wrapped up their Not in This Lifetime Tour and posted impressive numbers. Launched in April 2016, the tour was three and a half years long and included 158 concerts played on six continents. According to Billboard, the band sold over 5.3 million tickets—for a total revenue of $584.2 million. That makes it the third highest grossing music tour in history, trailing only Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour ($775 million) and U2’s 360 Tour ($736.4 million).

The tour’s massive success can be ascribed to the fact that it was essentially a reunion tour, with original members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan performing together for the first time since 1993’s Use Your Illusion Tour. Billboard summed up the latest tour’s structure:

“From 2016 to 2019, GNR maintained a busy schedule, maximizing their global potential with trips around the world. The tour was rooted in North America, with 87 of 158 shows (55%) taking place in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. But there were also multiple visits to Europe (31 shows), Asia (16) and South America (15), plus eight dates in Australia and one in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“With more time in North America, the band was able to play a more even mix of stadiums and arenas, as opposed to quicker runs of only stadiums internationally. Their home-continent touring amounted to $258.5 million and 2.3 million tickets sold, still far ahead of Europe’s $166.1 million.”

Consequence of Sound reports that Guns N’ Roses are now headed to the studio to work on a new album, with Slash telling the publication that he and the other band members would be “focusing on getting a new record done” after the tour was completed. Their last album was Chinese Democracy, from 2008. The last to feature Axl, Slash and Duff—Use Your Illusion—was released back in 1991.

Household names attached to Michael Jackson biopic

A dramatic film about pop star Michael Jackson’s life and career is reportedly in the early stages of development. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Graham King is going to produce the movie and the script will be written by John Logan. King has produced a number of major commercial hits including “Traffic,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed,” “Hugo,” and, most recently, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddy Mercury biopic. Logan has penned such movies as “Gladiator,” “The Last Samurai,” and 007 films “Skyfall” and “Spectre.”

The Michael Jackson estate has reportedly granted King the rights to Jackson’s music, raising questions about whether the film will be a whitewash of Jackson’s life. If his estate thought the makers of the film intended to portray Jackson in a negative light, it probably wouldn’t cooperate with them. But time will tell.

“The film will cover his entire life and career, which includes his beginnings with the Jackson Five, a rise to pop superstardom and, later in life, legal struggles with both civil and criminal lawsuits stemming from allegations of child sex abuse. Jackson died in 2009 at age 50,” the Hollywood Reporter writes.

The Jackson estate recently sued HBO following the release of “Leaving Neverland,” a documentary detailing Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of young boys. The film was protested by Jackson fans and reportedly led to death threats against its two principal witnesses, Wade Robinson and James Safechuck. The two men were part of Jackson’s inner circle when they were children (because that’s not weird at all) and now claim that they were repeatedly assaulted by Jackson, though they had previously testified under oath that Jackson did not sexually abuse them.

“Leaving Neverland” won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.