For weekending fun, Barry Petersen filed from Tokyo for CBS on "the American disease" infecting Japan. Expanding waistlines are a symptom of increased obesity. The government has mandated that corporations be responsible for making their workers thinner--except for one traditional industry. Petersen closed with those perennially winning images of sumo wrestlers. CBS had Bill Whitaker on the movie beat Thursday, granting free publicity to the boffo opening of the Batman sequel. Now Rehema Ellis offers a superfluous plug for The Dark Knight on NBC. ABC's John Berman (embargoed link) put the box office in the context of the overall state of the economy. Since 1991, movies have become a better value. In that period the price of a baseball ticket has gone up 300% but a movie theater charges only 67% more. With 17% more moviegoers this June compared with the same month of 2007, "Hollywood's happy days might not be in spite of a sputtering economy but because of it."
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