With Billboard estimating that Jackson's 50 shows this summer at London's O2 Arena could end up taking in more than $100 million—plus another $15 million in merchandise sales—Jacko is in the process of adding even more bells and whistles to what promises to be one heck of a spectacle, whichever way the ball bounces.
E! News has confirmed that magician Ed Alonzo, who most recently helped trick out Britney Spears' Circus tour, has come aboard to fashion some magical moments for Jackson's shows.
"I met with Michael Jackson a couple of days ago and am now officially creating magic and illusions for his concert," Alonzo said Friday. "I will not be performing in the show as I do with Britney. I'm just creating the magic that Michael has requested in his vision."
Instead, Jackson, whose most recent trick was an 12-year disappearing act from touring, will take the magic into his own hands.
Jackson "has a great knowledge of magic and has performed illusions in his shows before," Alonzo, who's heading to London with the Circus in June, said.
"Michael has two routines in mind so far using magic elements that I am creating," he added. "I have to show him a demo of the effects next week. Then the props are to be built and he will start rehearsals. I will teach him the effects and help in staging them."
Here's hoping the idea of a 50-date return to live performing isn't the biggest illusion of them all.
Concert promoter AllGood Entertainment is trying to put the kibosh on Jackson's gigs, claiming the singer is in breach of contract because he had promised to participate in a Jackson 5 reunion show and is not allowed to perform anywhere else until said reunion takes place.
Nonsense, responded AEG Live, which called the allegations "completely meritless."
And for any skeptics who doubt that Jackson has the physical stamina to make it through a 50-night engagement, turns out the 50-year-old passed his requisite physical "with flying colors," AEG CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard.
Those hefty production costs have been fully insured, Phillips said.
With tickets selling for around $115 and audiences numbering 15,000 on average, Jackson's take figures to be upward of $50 million, analysts estimate.