'The Dictator' Surrenders Release Date to 'Dark Shadows,' Moves Back 5 Days


No one in Hollywood is surprised that one of the two films blinked, since Tim Burton's Johnny Depp starrer turned out much more comedic than expected; Sacha Baron Cohen's satire will now be closer to the lucrative Memorial Day corridor.

Sacha Baron Cohen's irreverent new comedy The Dictator has moved back its domestic release date by five days to May 16 to avoid a potential showdown with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's The Dark Shadows on May 11.

The announcement from Paramount, home studio of Dictator, was hardly a surprise. Dark Shadows, Warner Bros.' big-screen adaptation of the classic vampire soap opera, has turned out much more comedic than expected.

In its new date, Dictator -- more narrative than Cohen's previous films -- opens on a Wednesday, two days before Universal's action tentpole Battleship and Lionsgate's ensemble What to Expect When You're Expecting roll out.

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Paramount insiders say Dictator will be closer now to the Memorial Day frame, which gets under way May 25 with Sony's Men in Black 3 and Warner Bros.' horror entry Chernobyl Diaries.

It's the second time in recent months that Paramount and Warner Bros. have squared off. In December, Paramount moved back the release of Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol by five days to avoid going up directly against Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.