By MCN Editor



Chicago, IL, 2/20/12 — Last Friday the Music Box Theatre, via its social networks, threw down the gauntlet and challenged Roger Ebert, one of the greatest living film critics, to a battle of Oscar guesses.  After a period of what we can only assume was deep and thoughtful consideration, Mr. Ebert publicly accepted our‘foolish’ challenge.

On February 8th, as part of his annual “Outguess Ebert” contest, Mr. Ebert announced his predictions for the 2012 Academy Awards, which take place this Sunday.  The Music Box (and its fans) believe we know better.

From Mr. Ebert’s website: “In self-defense, I will point out that the deadline for my predictions was Feb. 7, with the Oscars more than two weeks away, on Feb. 26. Predicting so far in advance is a handicap, and as a result, you have an excellent chance of outguessing me. Still, this annual contest is fun and provides me with an opportunity to show how badly I can do.”

The Music Box Theatre will solicit the opinions of their over 13,000 Facebook fans and nearly 8,000 Twitter Followers in six categories to help make predictions to outguess Ebert.

So, while the winners of Mr. Ebert’s challenge could win an all-expense paid free trip to L.A. for a film premiere, the gentleman’s bet between the Music Box Staff and Ebert is simple… if the Music Box Theatre wins, Mr. Ebert will offer up signed copies of his books to give away to Music Box patrons… but if we lose, and dark prevails, Mr. Ebert will get to pick a film of his choosing to screen publicly at the Music Box Theatre.

That’s right, if Roger wins, he gets the Music Box for a night.

Here’s how it will work: From Monday, February 20th through Friday, February 24th the Music Box will post a Facebook poll each day, asking the assistance of their fans in making a decision in five categories:  Foreign Language Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, & Best Picture—at the end of the workday, the Music Box staff will make a prediction and award prizes to those who participated!

On Sunday night either the Music Box or Mr. Ebert will emerge victorious.  Tune in to the Music Box Theatre Facebook and Twitter feeds for all the fun!

People are encouraged to sign up for the official “Outguess Ebert” contest here:

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“At a recent screening of Creed, as the familiar fanfare of Bill Conti’s beloved Rocky score signaled the start of the final round of the big fight, the audience burst into spontaneous applause. This was no sneak-preview crowd, primed with free admission and popcorn, but a room full of critics and journalists armored in professional skepticism. A cynic might say that the cheering was a Pavlovian reflex set off by a piece of commercial entertainment in the hands of a skilled, manipulative director. This cynic, however, was too busy choking up and clapping to form the thought.”
A. O. Scott On Creed

The physical object is so banalized nowadays, you have to bring something else. And the audience is completely ready to get that, and want that, voilà. It’s difficult because it’s a lot of work and there are a lot of requirements, but you have to try to be more and more unique; if not, you’re just releasing a DVD in the old way, and even if a title might interest some cinephiles, it won’t be enough regarding the fact that they could see on S-VOD for ten bucks hundreds of movies. So how do you bring this audience who’s continuing following you because they have the same feeling of cinephilia to acquire what you’re releasing ? And even though we can see of course that the 3000-limited-edition of Body Double is to be able to go out-of-print very quickly, at the same time it will increase interest on the title itself.
~ Carlotta Films’ Vincent Paul-Boncour