There’s something about the prose stylings of box-office analyst Paul Degarabeidan, currently with Hollywood.com, that has always driven me up the wall. His box-office assessments — bland, toothless, oppressively mundane — have time and again prompted the same “involuntary reaction,” as I wrote in ’03, emanating from “a perfectly likable box-office analyst with a warm smile and a narcotizing way with words.”
Yesterday Degarabedian hit one out of the park while speaking to AP reporter David Germain about the huge success of The Karate Kid, which is very much a Smith family affair — it stars 11 year-old Jaden Smith, and was produced by dad Will Smith and mom Jada Pinkett Smith.
Germain wrote that The Karate Kid “had an opening weekend that stacked up well against the track record of [Jaden’s] superstar father who has had only two bigger debuts — I Am Legend at $77.2 million and Hancock at $62.6 million.
And then Degaradebian chimed in with one of his little pearls: “It’s like ‘Who’s the biggest star now, dad?’ It proves the box-office apple doesn’t fall far from the money tree in that household.”
Yes, that appears to be true — the Smith family is indeed a money machine, and the son is clearly competing with the father now. And I would like very much to leap from a rooftop like Jack Nicholson in Wolf and chase Degarabedian down like a deer.
In the wake of the $76 million opening weekend for I Am Legend, Degarabedian said that “it’s no wonder Will Smith feels so lonely…everyone else on earth is in the movie theater.”
Here’s a piece I wrote about Degarabedian in ’07. It was mostly inspired by a 7.12.07 New York/”Vulture” piece called “Paul Degarabedian Must be Stopped” (written by Dan Kois), and borrowed liberally from my ’03 article.