Wednesday, July 14, 2004


There was a very interesting show on NPR last week about group-thinking (I forget the official term they used). Basically, it's the fact that groups of people can often make decisions better than individuals, especially in a betting situation. For instance, Las Vegas odds often predict the winners of sporting events, and the audience almost always gets the right answers in "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." This is one reason the U.S. government wanted to set up a betting pool on terrorist attacks.

I decided to test the theory with the Hollywood Stock Exchange, one of the most popular prediction markets. My subject is Catwoman. It's kind of hard to read, because it's not set up as a predictor, but I decided to use other superhero movies as a baseline. Spiderman 2's stock price is at $326, Batman Begins is up to $190, and Catwoman is at $47. Not good, but still abstract. But there's a handy feature that lists upcoming movie weekend releases in a group. By their ratings, Bourne Supremacy will beat the pants off Catwoman on their opening weekend. Bourne has a price of $92. I'm still not sure if I'm reading this right, but hopefully I'll figure it out.

On a personal note, I admit that the Catwoman trailer makes Halle Berry look really sexy, but that's what bothers me. Take Halle Berry out of this movie, and it looks like it would go straight to video. Can she carry the movie? We'll see. But check out her career bond...I wish it was detailed enough to see what caused that huge nosedive. I'm guessing Swordfish.

And is it just me, or is Catwoman Barbie just plain wrong?

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