Box Office: ‘The Dictator’ can’t overthrow ‘The Avengers’ on Wednesday

Sacha Baron Cohen has spent the last few weeks appearing all over the country as Admiral General Aladeen in hopes of enticing moviegoers to see his latest comedy, “The Dictator.”  So far, it hasn’t worked.

The Larry Charles-directed comedy originally was supposed to open last Friday, but Paramount decided to move it to the Wednesday after in hopes of avoiding a clash with Johnny Depp’s “Dark Shadows.” Instead, both pictures seem to be suffering under the onslaught of “The Avengers.”  “The Dictator” opened on Wednesday to just $4.1 million.  The film has been polling for a $35 million five-day gross, but with a C Cinemascore grade and mixed reviews it may struggle to get past $20 million.

Meanwhile, Joss Whedon’s blockbuster keeps rolling right along.  “The Avengers” found another $6.3 million on Wednesday for $395 to date.  The picture should cross the $400 million mark domestically sometime on Friday. It’s currently the 13th biggest release of all time and should jump to No. 10 or even No. 9 by Sunday.

“Dark Shadows” keeps trying to wake the dead, er, moviegoers with another $1.8 million and $36.4 million in just 6 days. With upcoming releases “Battleship” and “Men in Black 3” polling under expectations, Warner Bros. is hoping “Shadows” can find some light throughout the rest of the month.

Look for continuing box office updates this weekend on HitFix.