In a dull piece about the culture of box-office reporting and editorializing, Slate‘s Bryan Curtis is calling Exhibitor Relations spokesperson Paul Dergarabedian one of the industry’s “color men… whose job it is to peer at the data and extract larger truths.”
Whoa there, sunshine. Dergarabedian does not extract larger truths from box-office data. He extracts larger homilies and bromides. He’s an extremely dull, water- soluble stats man who would choke on real color. There’s something vaguely anesthetic and Orwellian about Paul Dergarabedian. I’ve seen saying this for five or six years now and nobody ever listens. Journalists writing Sunday box-office stories need to find a guy who talks bluntly and colorfully (someone who talks like a cigar-chomping sports writer from the ’70s), and then toss Dergarabedian’s phone number once and for all.
And box-office assessment is no longer a Sunday routine, by the way. The basic indicators in any box-office weekend are 90% discernible when Friday’s numbers are made available on Saturday morning. I know a guy who’s been giving me figures on Friday night.