The reason Paramount has bumped the opening of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s The Dictator from Friday, 5.11 to Wednesday, 5.16 is to avoid a big nasty face-off with Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows, which opens on 5.11. This happened for two reasons. Okay, one reason — i.e., The Dictator is weak (or weak-ish) and Dark Shadows is getting stronger and stronger, perception-and expectation-wise.

Paramount knows that Cohen has come to the end of his string with playing eccentric deadpan loons in found-footage pseudo-docs, and that The Dictator is basically another Borat/Bruno — i.e., not that muscular, light in the loafers. And Paramount has also realized (along with everyone else) that Dark Shadows isn’t Sleepy Hollow as much as Beetlejuice. Even I didn’t get this until I saw a recent Shadows trailer in a theatre a week or so ago.