After all the camel rides, fake press conferences and one giant cleaning bill for Ryan Seacrest, "The Dictator" was completely buried at the box office this weekend -- its underwhelming $17.4 million domestic total good enough for third place, behind "Battleship" ($25.1 million) and "The Avengers" ($55.1 million).
Now the question is, what happens to Sacha Baron Cohen? Considering all the (fake) publicity the comic drummed up for his latest release, his film's weekend total was a disappointment. (Although, compared to openings for Cohen's previous prank-filled flicks, "The Dictator" wasn't a complete disaster: "Bruno" made $30.6 million and "Borat" came in at $26.5 million.)
So will Cohen continue with his scare-the-sheltered American schtick? With his role in the upcoming adaptation "Les Misérables," along with rumors to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a future biopic, it's clear Sacha is interested in portraying more than just another Borat-type character. (His role as the Station Inspector in "Hugo" definitely proved his worth as an actual actor.)
Then again, Cohen's not the type of person to let anyone but himself, let alone pour box-office receipts, dictate his future projects. Even so, would you want to see another Sacha comedy along the lines of "The Dictator"? The film received decent reviews from critics and fans, so maybe General Admiral Aladeen isn't the end of the line for what Sacha Baron Cohen's best known for: Exploiting the stereotypes of the West.