Johnny's demon barber faces a brutal slashing
Warner Bros. Butchering Sweeney Todd? Because nothing says "family fun" like a musical about cannibalism!
Alright, so I'm not big on gore. At all. I don't really like blood, and overly violent films (such as Sin City) do not appeal to me at all.
That said, I have faith in Tim Burton to make this film awesome and while I am slightly concerned that it would be a little gorey...for god's sake, it's SWEENEY TODD! The musical is about a man who slits people's throats recreationally. And then the bodies are made into meat pies! It's not like he's taking a beloved fairy tale and turning into a dark, twisted horror movie. It's already dark and twisted.
Some people on Rotten Tomatoes were blaming the travesty on Johnny Depp's teen appeal and the need for the studio to get a PG-13 rating. While I won't write off this argument entirely, I don't know if it's entirely accurate.
For instance, The Libertine was rated R, and while it didn't do well in the theaters, the movie was a) not very good, and b) didn't have the draw of being a Tim Burton film with Alan Rickman, etc. Johnny Depp was the only real draw The Libertine had, and without him, the film would have been a total flop. Indeed, Johnny Depp is the only reason that film did as well as it did. Sweeney Todd will find it's audience, and it will be bigger and more successful than The Libertine, despite a dark theme and an R-rating.
Secondly, saying that an R rating will deter audiences is ridiculous. Seth Rogan, Johan Hill, and Evan Goldberg (the guys behind Superbad) were on "Shootout" recently and discussed out studios called their film "fundamentally unmake-able." The reason was that they were making a high-school teen movie with an R rating. However, Superbad has now been the top grossing box office film for the past two weekends. Despite it's high school subject matter, that doesn't mean the audience will be specifically high school students. The movie is a huge hit with college audiences, as well as fans of dumb comedy movies overall (Harold and Kumar-style). And I'm sure there have been plenty of under 17's who managed to buy tickets and see the film, despite the rating.
Further, a film like Sweeney Todd is not targeting the under 17 audience, nor should it. While some 14 year old girls may lament being unable to see the film, they would most likely be disappointed if they did. People excepting Captain Jack should look instead at Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, or even The Libertine for a more accurate picture of what Sweeney Todd will be. And if the studio is trying to advertise the film any differently, then they are just assholes. I understand the need for money and the utter desire for cold, hard cash, I don't think this film is going to have a problem. Burton hasn't grossed less that $50 million on a film since Mars Attacks in 1996. And aside from The Libertine (which wasn't widely released and only grossed $5 million), a Johnny Depp film hasn't grossed less than $50 million since From Hell in 2001. And those are only the domestic grosses**.
People will see this movie. Money shouldn't be an issue. Nor should the rating. It makes me sad that the studio is trying to interfere.
Alright. I'm spent. I'm not going to read over this before posting, so I apologize for anything that doesn't make sense or lacks consistency.
**Grosses as reported on boxofficemojo.com