A Fresh Way to Predict the Oscars

Chinese Theatre tourists weigh in. And the results are...


Oscar predictions delight and cheer us this time of year.

We're not talking about the critics weighing in, those people who've spent all year thinking about film. We're talking about the more, um, unusual ways to guess who'll walk up the big stairs to the podium. (Wait, it is more of just a microphone now, right? We think we'd need a podium to lean off, if we won. Just saying, nice Oscar people.)

Last year there were stories of Twitter trends predicting the whose names would get called. Then there are the office pools in all of their photocopied, bickered-over glory. And Michael Schneider of Franklin Avenue? Yep, his baby has been known to pick a winner or two.

And now? Tourists. The Chinese Theatre -- which sees a tourist or two a day, you might have heard -- has spent the last couple of weeks polling its forecourt visitors on who they think will win.

The ballots were handed out in front of the landmark; people could hop online to vote.

The results are out: "The Artist" for Best Picture, the film's director Michael Hazanavicus for Best Director, George Clooney for Best Actor, Viola Davis for Best Actress, Christopher Plummer for Best Support Actor and Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress.

All the predicted winners garnered roughly a third of the vote, give or take a percentage point or two. Ms. Davis garnered the largest percentage of any of the groups at 34.4%.

Balloting Grauman's on this topic intrigues. One, tourists visiting the Chinese Theatre probably do like movies a whole lot. We know, that is a super controversial theory. And two? Twitter and our offices and all the other places where people get together to pick the Oscar winners are likely not cheek-by-jowl with the Kodak Theatre. Proximity counts for a little local magic, right?

Now, please excuse us. We've got ballots to photocopy and actors to put a checkmark.

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