Sacha Baron Cohen’s General Aladeen won’t go directly into battle with Johnny Depp’s Barnabas Collins after all.
Paramount has shifted next month’s release of Cohen’s “The Dictator” from Friday, May 11 to Wednesday, May 16. That avoids an opening weekend showdown with Depp and Tim Burton’s campy take on vampire soap “Dark Shadows.”
Originally it may have appeared the films would target different audiences, but the recent marketing campaign for “Shadows” has revealed the film has a heavy comedic slant. Even with “Borat” on his resume, Cohen may not be a match for the one-two punch of Depp and Burton. Their last collaboration, “Alice in Wonderland,” grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
“The Dictator” now gets a two day jump on May 18’s key opener: the sci-fi action adventure “Battleship” starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson and Rihanna.
Ensemble romantic comedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” with a cast including Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez is also scheduled to open May 18.