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'The Dictator' moves off 'Dark Shadows' release date

April 9, 2012 |  3:13 pm

The Dictator moved off of Dark Shadows date
It turns out that even "The Dictator" is fearful of the power of Johnny Depp.

To avoid sharing a release date with Depp's "Dark Shadows," Paramount Pictures has decided to release the comedy about a dictator from a fictional Middle Eastern country on May 16 -- five days later than originally planned.

Paramount decided upon the last-minute move because the studio felt both the film starring Sacha Baron Cohen and "Dark Shadows" were comedies that would have to fight for the same audience. The Depp movie, produced by Warner Bros. and directed by Tim Burton, follows a vampire who is transported from the 1700s to the 1970s. A recent trailer for the picture revealed the film may have a lighter bent than previously imagined, featuring Depp's out-of-place character becoming acquainted with '70s staples like television and the Carpenters' hit single "Top of the World."

Now, "The Dictator" will play on a weekend against Universal Pictures' action film "Battleship" -- which is hoping to attract both genders and all ages -- and Lionsgate's female-centric "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Though  the movie about pregnancy is also a comedy, Paramount believes that it will appeal to young women and that "The Dictator" will do best with young men.

"The Dictator" was initially scheduled for release  May 11, and "Dark Shadows" later moved to the date. As my colleague Patrick Goldstein recently noted, Warner Bros. is "the most aggressive studio when it comes to jumping onto other studio dates." The studio is planning to release a number of its upcoming films on the same date as other studio blockbusters, including "Hangover 3," which will hit theaters on the same day as Universal’s “Fast & Furious 6.”


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‘Dark Shadows’ set-visit exclusive: Johnny Depp, Tim Burton back in black

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Sacha Baron Cohen and Megan Fox star in "The Dictator." Credit: Paramount Pictures