DreamWorks and Paramount have decided to go wide with director Tim Burton's big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical Sweeney Todd on Dec. 21, versus a platform release, according to Variety.
The original plan was to give the Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter starring film a limited bow on the 21st and then go wide on Jan. 11, the thought being that the movie is less commercial and less accessible than most musicals because of its darker storyline. Along those lines, a platform opening would provide a chance to build buzz.
However, when DreamWorks executives began seeing clips from Sweeney Todd, they realized it had far broader appeal, particularly with Depp starring as the revenge-seeking barber of Fleet Street who uses his blade in gruesome ways to seek justice for the deaths of his wife and child.
The hope is that Sweeney Todd will be the sort of signature role for Depp that Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was.
DreamWorks and Warner Bros. are partners on Sweeney Todd, with DreamWorks/Paramount handling domestic. Warners will release the musical overseas. The studios believe Sweeney Todd will work as a holiday film.