Release Date Round-Up: ‘The Dictator,’ ‘Ender’s Game,’ and ‘Maleficent’ Get Scheduled

By  · Published on April 10th, 2012

If it’s a Monday, Hollywood is cleaning out the refuse left over from the weekend – like a big old mess of release date announcements and changes! While scheduling shuffles and calendar mix-abouts might seem like the driest of movie news, they often can signal studio confidence (or not) in a film, which could in turn give us an idea of how excited (or, well, not) we should be for the final project. And, thankfully, today’s announcements provide something for just about everyone.

After the break, check out the newly-minted release dates for The Dictator, Ender’s Game, and Maleficent, along with news of potential conflicts and expectations for the films. Get your tickets now?

The Dictator

The release date: Deadline Corpus Christi reveals that Paramount has moved the date of its Sacha Baron Cohen-starring The Dictator to May 16. You are not crazy, that is indeed a Wednesday.

Previous date: Friday, May 11.

Why? Deadline cites the looming specter of Dark Shadows as the major reason why the film has been pushed five days – which, as the outlet notes, puts the film closer to the Memorial Day weekend and allows the film a nice berth from Dark Shadows’s Friday release date.

Currently slated for that date? Dark Shadows opens on the Friday before – May 11, with Battleship and What to Expect When You’re Expecting opening on May 18.

What it means: With Dark Shadows looking more amusing by the minute, someone had to break and do the move – Paramount just went for it first. Though Battleship may be the blockbuster of that weekend, this move gives The Dictator room to breathe and might make it the number-one comedy of the week – unless What To Expect ends up being more hilarious than horrific. And, on the plus side, this gives Cohen more time to schedule promotional appearances where he dumps flour on Ryan Seacrest.

Ender’s Game

The release date: Deadline Victoria reports that Gavin Hood’s take on the Orson Scott Card sci-fi classic (starring Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Stenfield, and Viola Davis) has been pushed to November 1, 2013.

Previous date: March 15, 2013.

Why? No word as to why – with the film’s producers churning out a lively production blog, everything looks to be going swimmingly. Perhaps more time for post-production? Or…perhaps to move the film closer to awards season?

Currently slated for that date? Sony’s Singularity. While the Roland Emmerich film definitely feels a bit too techy and sci-fi for Ender comfort (per Moviefone, it is “set 50 years in the future, where a famous nanotechnology pioneer uses a dangerous new procedure to save his injured son, Adam. The process gives Adam super powers, thanks to a swarm of nanobots, and he ends up on the run from the evil corporation that developed the technology”) and Ray Kurzweil himself will reportedly do some script revisions, the film has already faced serious delays. This new Ender release could end this date for the film.

What it means: Let’s bank on studio confidence that the film can hang tough with awards-bait heavyweights. Release date pushbacks aren’t always bad news – and going to the fall can be a very, very good thing.


The release date: Disney sent out a press release today scheduling the Robert Stromberg-directed and Angelina Jolie-starring take on the Sleeping Beauty story for March 14, 2014.

Previous date: None.

Why? This long-gestating twisted fairy tale needed a date – so, um, here it is?

Currently slated for that date? Dreamworks’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Wait, is that still a thing?

What it means: The film needed a date! Here it is! Also, they still don’t have a second lead (Elle Fanning is reportedly in talks for the role of Beauty herself, Princess Aurora), so pushing the film out almost two years gives the studio plenty of time for that. Also? This film has been talked for years and years, and setting it for 2014 only adds to the perennial question – is this thing really going to be made?