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Sweeney Todd Box Office: Tim Burton & Johnny Depp Horror Musical Rescued by International Moviegoers

Sweeney Todd Johnny Depp Helena Bonham CarterSweeney Todd with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. International moviegoers came to the box office rescue of Tim Burton’s horror musical based on Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s 1979 Broadway hit.
  • Sweeney Todd box office: Despite its moderate budget, the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp horror musical has failed to break even in the North American market. But no need to despair: International moviegoers have rallied to rescue the DreamWorks production.

Sweeney Todd box office: Latest Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration fails to recover its (however moderate) cost in the domestic market

Distributed by Paramount, DreamWorks’ $50 million horror musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has ended its run with a mere $52.9 million at the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office, as per (updated final) figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

This mediocre commercial performance of the latest Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration serves as further evidence that Depp is a reliable domestic box office magnet only when playing Capt. Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise.

Something else Sweeney Todd’s domestic box office take reminds us of: Hollywood wouldn’t be Hollywood without the international market.

One more Hollywood production saved by ‘foreigners’

Released by Warner Bros. overseas (over-Rio Grande in the case of Mexico), Sweeney Todd scored nearly twice as much internationally: $100.5 million, lifting its worldwide total to $153.4 million – likely (albeit barely) enough for it to end up in the black at the box office alone.

The London-filmed and -set horror musical’s top territories were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($21.8 million), Japan ($19.7 million), France ($9.3 million), Italy ($6.2 million), Spain ($5.1 million), Australia ($5.1 million), and South Korea ($5 million).

Third and final “reminder”: In relative terms, Johnny Depp is clearly a bigger box office draw outside the U.S. and Canada. Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, the three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and even The Libertine all raked in more – at times far more – cash internationally than domestically.

Sweeney Todd movie cast

Based on Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s 1979 Broadway hit* (itself based on Christopher Bond’s play), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tells the razor-sharp story of a mid-19th-century London barber/avenging serial killer (eventual Best Actor Academy Award nominee Johnny Depp; his third nod†) and his psychopathic accomplice (Helena Bonham Carter, Oscar nominated for The Wings of the Dove, 1997).

Also in the Sweeney Todd movie cast: Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Laura Michelle Kelly, Jayne Wisener, and Ed Sanders.

* The landmark Tony Award-winning musical starred Tony winners Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury.

† Johnny Depp had been previously shortlisted for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and Finding Neverland (2004).


Sweeney Todd Box Office” endnotes

Unless otherwise noted, “Sweeney Todd Box Office: Tim Burton & Johnny Depp Horror Musical Rescued by International Moviegoers” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should usually be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources.

Comments about Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, international pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses can be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is accounted for). Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take; however, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street movie image: DreamWorks Pictures | Paramount Pictures.

Sweeney Todd Box Office: Tim Burton & Johnny Depp Horror Musical Rescued by International Moviegoers” last updated in August 2022.

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