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The Dictator's Sacha Baron Cohen and Madagascar 3's Chris Rock Surprise CinemaCon Attendees

By April 24, 2012

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Sacha Baron Cohen in The DictatorParamount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation's CinemaCon presentation took place on April 23rd at Caesars Palace, with DreamWorks Animation showing off 25 minutes of footage from Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted followed by 15 minutes from Rise of the Guardians. Chris Rock took the stage to help promote the third Madagascar film, a movie he calls the best of the lot thus far. Claiming Madagascar 3 is very Salvador Dali/very David LaChapelle-ish, Rock said this third film is the "sprinkles and whipped cream" atop the Madagascar ice cream.

Rock had the audience cracking up when he boldly announced Spider-Man and Batman have nothing on Madagascar 3, joking those films and the rest of this summer's box office releases are "crap" and promising Madagascar 3 will be the biggest hit of the summer. And although I'm embargoed from talking about the footage, I've got to say the 3D was impressive and the story had me interested (more so than Madagascar 2).

Also showing up to show off upcoming DreamWorks Animation fare was Chris Pine who provides the voice of Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians. Pine talked about how when he was a kid his family would go to Lake Arrowhead and he'd wake up amazed at finding footprints in the fireplace. That feeling of wonder and believing in Santa and other mythical creatures is what DreamWorks Animation is trying to capture with Rise of the Guardians, the animated adventure featuring the voices of Pine, Hugh Jackman, and Alec Baldwin.

But while Rock and Pine were good at promoting their films, Sacha Baron Cohen stole the show by showing up in his full costume as General Aladeen from The Dictator. Parading down the aisles of the Coliseum at Caesars Palace accompanied by two male guards clearing the way and two sexy female bodyguards trailing behind, Cohen had the audience of theater owners and professionals eating out of his hands. Shouting "Death to the West," Cohen said he was so happy to be at Cinnabon to promote his film.

Cohen, who took a playful jab at DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg by calling him the other dictator in attendance, told the exhibitors that if they didn't play his film, they could very well find bombs under their seats. "Trust me," said Cohen, "There are bigger bombs than John Carter." Disney was also the target of another joke by The Dictator star who told the studio not to worry, they can always shoot an executive if a film bombs, then added, "Wait, you already did," in reference to the recent departure of Disney studio head Rich Ross.

As Cohen was leaving the Coliseum, Katzenberg caught up with him in the aisle and bowed down at his feet.

(Photo © Paramount Pictures)

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