Although the posthumous Michael Jackson movie "This Is It" reportedly grossed more than $100 million worldwide in its first week, the behind-the-scenes work by concert promoters AEG Live to deliver the film could have made for its own film.

At the sixth annual Billboard Touring Conference in New York, AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and AEG Live/Concerts West co-CEOs Paul Gongaware and John Meglen joined Billboard's Ray Waddell to discuss the journey from Jackson's tragic death to the King of Pop's celluloid tribute.

The roots of the movie go back to January 2007, during the initial meetings for a planned series of concerts by Jackson.

"Early on, there were a lot of different representatives around Michael, so weeding through that was always a very, very difficult thing," Meglen says. "I think the important point was that, what we laid out to Michael was the breadth of the company, of AEG. I think from the very get go, we kind of planted into Michael that we were a great match for him."

The Jackson/AEG partnership resulted in a contract that initially included 31 dates, a number chosen by Jackson because it would be 10 more concerts than Prince performed. The number planned shows at the 02 Arena in London later grew to 50.

"There were phases," Phillips says. "We never got ahead of Michael and what he wanted to do, both creatively and financially. We knew this was the way to go."

The days immediately after Jackson's June 25 death included numerous conference calls and meetings to quickly organize ticket refunds. Phillips says that 14% of ticket holders held on to their tickets, which were designed by Jackson himself.

The company also mobilized quickly to secure the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a Jackson memorial, obtaining the broadcast rights as well.

Soon after the memorial, the footage of the concert rehearsals that turned into "This Is It" arrived at the AEG offices in Los Angeles under lock and key, and with no committed plan to turn it into a movie.

After deciding to go forward with a film, and with major studios lining up to bid on the rights, "the biggest concern was that something would leak on the Internet and destroy the value of the intellectual property," Phillips says. "That's why I've never seen security like this in my life. It was like working in the Pentagon."

Although AEG faced an onslaught of media criticism leading up to the film's release, Phillips is confident in the group's handling of the entire situation.

"I think this company acted in a classy manner," he says. "The people we work for were incredibly supportive, even with not knowing if we were going to be able to recoup the amount of money we had out. We were never put under pressure and I think we've always tried to do the right thing, including when we modified our agreement with the estate in probate court. I think we always did, or tried to do, the right thing."