"Charlie Wilson's War" Surpasses "Sweeney Todd" at Saturday Box Office

News   "Charlie Wilson's War" Surpasses "Sweeney Todd" at Saturday Box Office Aaron Sorkin's "Charlie Wilson's War" edged out Tim Burton's take on "Sweeney Todd" at movie theatres Dec. 22, with boths films expected to remain among the top five highest-grossing films of the weekend.

"National Treasure: Book of Secrets" took in an additional $15.6 million Saturday, according to estimates, and is expected to finish as the No. 1 (with $45.5 million) top-grossing film of the weekend. The sequel is followed by last week's toppers, "I Am Legend" (adding $12.5 million Dec. 22 to its gross - $34.2 million for the weekend) and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (picking up $10.9 million more Saturday - making a projected $29 million for this weekend).

"Sweeney Todd" took in an opening-night tally of $3.8 despite only being shown in approximately a third of the movie houses as the top three films. (The movie musical played on 1,249 screens compared to "Treasure" - 3,832; "Legend" - 3,620; and "Alvin" - 3,499.)

"Sweeney Todd"'s Saturday tally, $2.8 million, was bested by Aaron Sorkin's "Charlie Wilson's War", $3.7 million (on 2,575 screens). The Mike Nichols-directed film starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman is expected to edge out "Sweeney" for the weekend (at $9.6 and $9.3 million, respectively). "Charlie Wilson's War" will likely be the fourth highest-grossing film of the weekend with "Sweeney" in the fifth position.

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Even before the official release, "Sweeney Todd" had garnered acclaim. It was among 2007's top ten films for the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, Time Magazine and the Las Vegas Film Critics Society. "Sweeney Todd" was also nominated for Critics' Choice Awards (Best Picture, Acting Ensemble, Actor - Johnny Depp, Director and Young Actor - Edward Sanders) and Golden Globes (Picture, Director, Actor - Depp, Actress - Helena Bonham Carter). John Logan ("The Aviator," "Gladiator," Never the Sinner) penned the DreamWorks/Warner Bros. film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical.

The film stars Depp as the title barber, Bonham Carter as piemaker Mrs. Lovett as well as Alan Rickman (Private Lives), Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen. The ensemble also features Laura Michelle Kelly (Fiddler on the Roof), Jamie Campbell Bowen, Jayne Wisener and newcomer Edward Sanders. For more information visit sweeneytoddmovie.com.

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