Save Paul Dergarabedian! Don’t Go to the Movies This Weekend

Don't let this happen! Photo: Photo-illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: istockphoto, Courtesy of IFC Films

Look, we certainly have our problems with Hollywood obvious-restater Paul Dergarabedian, the head of box-office analysis firm Media by Numbers. We've called, with no success, for entertainment reporters to stop depending on Dergarabedian's inane commentary. But we certainly wish the guy no physical harm — which is why we're so alarmed by the story in this morning's Variety speculating that the darkness-and-light one-two punch of The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia! could make this coming weekend the most lucrative in box-office history.

What if Variety's right, and the box office this weekend surpasses the $218.4 million brought in that weekend in July 2006 when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest opened? Can you imagine what would happen Monday morning? Paul Dergarabedian, whose entire life is comparing numbers with other numbers, would be faced with a number that's bigger than any number he's ever seen before. We shudder to imagine the consequences (though we're happy to have our genius photo editor Everett illustrate them, above).

How can you avert the horrible explosion of poor Paul Dergarabedian? Simple: Don't go to the movies this weekend. Don't let those box-office receipts pile up! If you were thinking about seeing Mamma Mia!, go to the zoo instead. If you already bought your tickets to see The Dark Knight in IMAX, give 'em to us. But for the love of God, don't let Paul Dergarabedian see a number on Monday morning that's larger than $218.4 million. No one wants that.

Studios eye box office record [Variety]

Earlier: Paul Dergarabedian Must Be Stopped
Paul Dergarabedian Watch: Paul D. Compares Numbers With Other Numbers
This Weekend, ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ Battle for the Very Soul of America