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Marcus Theatres Passes on "Sweeney Todd" - Citing High Expense from Studio

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2007 4:44 PM

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If you want to see Johnny Depp singing on the big screen in the movie "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," you'll need to go somewhere other than a theater run by Marcus Theatres Corp.

According to multiple news reports, Marcus is not going to be showing the movie at its theaters due to the high cost requested by the studio, Paramount Pictures. Here's a quote from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article "Marcus Slashes 'Sweeney Todd'":

Bruce J. Olson, president of Marcus Theatres, said: "This decision was reluctantly reached because the price requested by Paramount to show the film in Marcus Theatres was too expensive in the opinion of our film buyers. . . . We must be able to control all of our costs so that we can continue to provide the best entertainment value for our guests."

This is the first time I can think of that a large theater chain has declined to book a movie because of the pricing structure from the studio/distributor. However, as margins continue to shrink and the agreements that theaters are asked to agree to, this might come up more often in the future.

It will also be interesting to see if there is a last-minute play by both parties that will result in the movie playing in Marcus locations after all.

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