There’s something missing in this AP story about the King Kong shortfall. It says that Peter Jackson’s film “eked out” a box-office win last weekend but “has little so far to be thumping its chest about” because it’s “falling well short of blowout blockbuster status like that earned by such box-office gorillas as the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises.” And it has the relentlessly bland Paul Dergarabedian saying one reason is the 187-minute length: “They can’t show it as many times during the day, so that may have lessened its box office strength,” blah, blah. But the story seems averse to considering the basic fact that few if any moviegoers out there in Ticket-Buying Land are over-the-moon about Kong. My reading (based on the e-mails I’ve received) is that they’re a good deal more negative than the critics, and even the ones who like it are feeling a bit underwhelmed. This is the deal: 2/3 of Kong is a rousing ride but the movie as a whole isn’t good enough to blow anyone away or set new box-office records…and that’s that. It’ll make $250 million domestically and be an overall hit, but it’s still The Gorilla That Never Quite Roared. If anyone had predicted this outcome in late November when the Kong buzz was bubbling and spilling over the rim, that person would have been dismissed as a blabbering, saliva-dribbling fool.