It's been a long, hard summer for Hollywood's foremost number-comparing banalcoholic, box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian — with the record-busting success of The Dark Knight, he was forced to grapple with a number larger than any he'd ever seen in his entire life! So, we're pleased to report that this weekend finally gave the poor guy a much-needed break; when he arrived at work yesterday, it was to compare the smallest box-office grosses for any weekend in seven years.
How easy was Paul D.'s job this weekend? Well, Nicolas Cage's new masterpiece, Bangkok Dangerous, debuted in the top slot with a hilarious $7.8 million (the lowest haul for a No. 1 movie since David Spade's Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star opened with $6.6 million in September 2003); Tropic Thunder made $7.5 million; and The House Bunny earned $5.9 million — and even someone who isn't Paul Dergarabedian could likely put those three numbers in order of biggest to smallest. "The marketplace is definitely shifting gears," Dergarabedian told his friends at the AP. "The attention is shifting to the small screen." Then, he unplugged the phone, put his feet up, and watched three football games followed by the VMAs.