July 15, 2005

‘Charlie’ set for sweet weekend at box office

By Nicole Sperling

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Johnny Depp is set to
lure kids of all ages to movie theaters this weekend when
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" rolls down the conveyer

Industry experts put the film's three-day gross in a wide
range: conservative estimates are at the high $40 million mark,
while optimistic predictions reach as high as $60 million.

Also opening Friday is "Wedding Crashers," a raunchy comedy
starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Insiders place the
film's gross in the $30 million range.

Both films are tracking well with audiences and could do
much to boost overall sales, which ended a 19-week losing
streak last weekend thanks to the better-than-expected $56
million debut of "Fantastic Four." Twentieth Century Fox's
Marvel Comics adaptation is likely to fall at least 50% this

Warner Bros.' "Charlie," in which Depp plays reclusive
confectionery magnate Willy Wonka, has received primarily
positive reviews leading up to its opening in 3,770 locations.

Director Tim Burton's take is truer to Roald Dahl's classic
1964 fantasy novel, faithfully adapted by screenwriter John
August, than to the beloved 1971 film, "Willy Wonka and the
Chocolate Factory," which starred Gene Wilder.

The PG-rated film co-stars Freddie Highmore (Depp's co-star
in last year's "Finding Neverland"), Deep Roy, David Kelly and
Helena Bonham Carter, among others.

If whimsy and fantasy don't do it for the average filmgoer,
perhaps sexual escapades and R-rated comedy will. "Wedding
Crashers" stars Vaughn and Wilson, as business partners and
lifelong friends who share the unique hobby of springtime
wedding crashing.

From director David Dobkin, who worked with Wilson on
"Shanghai Knights" and Vaughn on "Clay Pigeons," "Crashers"
co-stars Rachel McAdams, while Sen. John McCain makes a cameo.
New Line Cinema's R-rated release opens in 2,925 theaters.

In limited release this weekend, Lions Gate Films will bow
"Happy Endings," written and directed by Don Roos and starring
an ensemble cast including Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal and
Tom Arnold. The film weaves multiple stories in a look at love,
family and the unpredictability of life.

Miramax Films will open "The Warrior," the first film from
British director Asif Kapadia. Shot throughout India, the drama
centers on a warrior who renounces his longtime role as an

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter