I wrote a column piece nearly three years ago that lamented the persistent presence of the soul-stifling industry stooge Paul Der- garabedian, the Exhibitor Relations spokesperson who’s always quoted in box-office stories. My January ’03 piece, called “The Man Who Would Be Dull”, described Dergarabedian as “a nice, depend- able guy who always has the numbers at hand and is always ready to discuss them on Sunday afternoons, when box-office stories are usually written. And yet I feel he’s giving the art of Hollywood box-office analysis an unfortunate taint of roteness and tedium. His pronouncements are almost oppressively mundane. I can’t think of any statistic or judgment he’s ever put forward that was wrong, but to me he always sounds so damn- ably measured, safe, underwhelming and status-quo affirming, which has a kind of Orwellian effect after a while.”