By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com



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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“I run a movie for myself the first time, and if I can forget I had anything to do with the picture, and I’m halfway through the movie and I’m just the audience, then that is my litmus test for a film working. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for anybody outside of myself, but when I lose the aesthetic distance between the screen and where I’m sitting, the first time I run a picture that I’ve directed for myself, if I’m aware to the very end that I’m the director, and all I can do is find things to fault, then I know I have my work cut out for me. And I have to roll up my sleeves and fix everything. But when I can watch a movie and I can forget that I made the movie, that’s the first sign that I’m going to be pretty happy with it, that I’m going to be able to live with it.”
~ Steven Spielberg On When He Thinks A Movie Is Working

“I was brought up on newspapers. I love newspapers. I love old-fashioned newspapers, but today I read them on the Internet because of time. And in New York, I read the morning papers, then I read the London papers on my iPad. But entertainment is very important. With broadband coming, everything is changing. People now spend four or five hours on their iPhones, their smartphones, which is changing the world totally. I found it with my young children. They are on their iPhones while they are watching television, doing two things at once. The fact that now we have 2.5 billion people with smartphones, with access to knowledge all over the world, with access to each other, government is going to change, the world is going to change. And it’s going to change very fast. We’ve only had smartphones for eight years, and now we have 2.5 billion of them. In another eight years, we will have 5 billion. The whole world will be on them… If newspapers have opinions, if they are really well-written, if they’re very reliable, people will pay for them. Then they are viable. We found [that] with the Wall Street Journal. You have newspapers on the Internet which are so good people will pay for them. There are people who steal things, rewrite them and put them out, like Google, but they are not reliable at all.”
~ Rupert Murdoch