No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” PT Barnum once famously said. Clearly the fabled showman/entrepreneur might have had the ongoing media brouhaha over Christian Bales’s arrest earlier this week in London for assaulting his mother and sister in mind. The details that have emerged about the incident have been bizarre—was it verbal assault, apparently a cardinal offense in Jolly Ole England, or just a mere “push and a shove?”

Naturally, each camp is presenting their own “Rashomon” take on things. Bales’s team has categorically denied the charges and has suggested this was a shakedown with mom and sis insisting he’d unload some of his untold millions their way— certainly mom and sis running to the police station to file charges the eve before Bale’s blockbuster film The Dark Knight premiered in the UK does raise suspicion that some untoward, mercenary motive was at play. Making matters worse, mom supposedly insulted Bale’s wife—not a very ingratiating thing to do, especially when you’re trying to elicit money from your millionaire movie star son.

Reps for mom and sis are saying that Bale went ballistic due to a family dispute. Also, some reports are saying that they never filed charges and they simply don’t know why or how this whole incident got blown out of control. Oh, good grief…

As a result of Bale’s allegedly aggressive actions, some movie industry analysts went on a TV tour of entertainment shows on Monday predicting the crashing halt of the unstoppable The Dark Knight juggernaut, which shattered box office records in the U.S. opening weekend with a $158 million take, trouncing previous record holder, “Spiderman 3.” The heart flutters. Is the Batman gravy train now a memory?

Apparently not. According to, a site that tracks the box office gross of movies currently in release, The Dark Knight took in over $20 million on Tuesday, the day after Bale’s arrest made headlines, which now brings the total gross to well over $200 million in five days, thus setting yet another record! Look out Titanic, the all-time box office winner.

I can hear PT Barnum laughing in his grave.

By Iris Dorbian

  • Matt Quinn

    Actually – it WASN’T Barnum who said this… It was Brendan Behan…

    And the full quote is “There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”

    …Which bad publicity very often IS!