LET'S SEE if we have this straight:
* After roaring to the biggest first weekend gross in movie history, "Batman Returns" has gone flabby at the box office. After garnering $46 million that initial weekend after much advertising and hype, the domestic gross for the movie is now estimated to total $160 million, according to Entertainment Weekly. That's not bad, but still far below the $200 to $285 million range reached by the original Batman, Terminator 2 and Home Alone. Apparently, word-of-mouth spread that unless one
likes his movies drowsingly dark and devoid of story, the film might best be avoided.
* The Olympic Triplecast has now been confirmed as one of broadcasting's great flops. The cable executives behind the pay-per-view project now confirm a slight miscalculation; while early research for Triplecast indicated only 1 percent of respondents said they would "definitely" buy it, executives added in the numbers of those who answered they would "probably" buy it, according to a story in the New York Times. "Probably" turned out to mean "probably not." The executives also admit they overpriced the service. Even after cutting the hefty $29.95 a day price by a third, the offer didn't attract many more subscribers. The loss for Triplecast, while not confirmed, has been estimated as high as $175 million.
* President Bush's campaign is, to this point at least, having more difficulty trafficking in negative campaigning than it did in 1988. The public, pundits believe, are fed up with personal attacks.
Can it be the American people truly are discerning consumers? Now that is good news.