The Twitter crystal ball -- 'Hurt Locker' or 'Avatar' for Oscar Best Pic?

The Twitter crystal ball -- 'Hurt Locker' or 'Avatar' for Oscar Best Pic?

As the Oscars draw near, the best indication of which film will land the Best Picture award may be given by Twitterers
Oscar statues
Never had so much been tweeted over a golden statuette.

The hot Oscar topic of the moment is whether multi-billion dollar blockbuster "Avatar" or gritty war psycho-drama "The Hurt Locker" will be given the Academy Award for Best Picture this year. And if the votes that counted were from twitterers instead of registered members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the little gold man would be in the hands of "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow.

It's a prediction made by communications agency Waggener Edstrom (WE) based solely on analysis of Twitter conversations through their Twitter monitoring application. With the buzz surrounding the two movies, WE came to the outcome based on tweets noting a definitive vote for “Hurt Locker” or “Avatar,” while accounting for overall level of influence. “Hurt Locker” was the winner with over 460 votes, and “Avatar” received over 200 votes.

"We identified a clear leader for best picture, and determined that Roger Ebert, one of the foremost respected film critics, is leading the discussion -- proof that influence can and is crossing media channels and mediums," said Karla Wachter of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.

Venerable film critic Roger Ebert was identified as a top influencer and contributor to the Academy Awards conversations on Twitter. Ebert picks "The Hurt Locker" for best picture and "Avatar" as the other top candidate, noting that these two films represented two ends of the Hollywood spectrum in budget, scope and storyline. "Avatar" is the highest grossing film of all time as the only film in history to cross the US$2 billion mark in worldwide grosses, while "The Hurt Locker" is the quintessential underdog movie without the big Hollywood budget.

The Twitter community picked up on the budget differences between the two films, as well as the recent controversy regarding producer Nicholas Chartier’s e-mail blunder for Academy voters to choose “The Hurt Locker” instead of a "$500 million film" -- causing him to be banned from the awards. Just earlier this week, @ebertchicago tweeted, “Although the rule-breaking producer of “The Hurt Locker” will lose Oscar tickets, his goof won’t affect the outcome.”

So, what's your Oscar prediction and are you tweeting about it?

A technology reporter and wannabe entrepreneur in a previous life, Larry is now City Editor for CNNGo Singapore, where he sacrifices his nights, caffeine intake and waistline to the demands of the job.
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