The Chicago Sun-Times reports that beloved and influential film critic Roger Ebert has passed away this afternoon.
The entire Boxoffice.com team sends our condolences out to Mr. Ebert's family and friends.
Here's what Ebert had to say about the biggest box office hit of all time:
"Watching Avatar, I felt sort of the same as when I saw Star Wars in 1977. That was another movie I walked into with uncertain expectations. James Cameron's film has been the subject of relentlessly dubious advance buzz, just as his Titanic was. Once again, he has silenced the doubters by simply delivering an extraordinary film. There is still at least one man in Hollywood who knows how to spend $250 million, or was it $300 million, wisely.
Avatar is not simply a sensational entertainment, although it is that. It's a technical breakthrough. It has a flat-out Green and anti-war message. It is predestined to launch a cult. It contains such visual detailing that it would reward repeating viewings. It invents a new language, Na'vi, as Lord of the Rings did, although mercifully I doubt this one can be spoken by humans, even teenage humans. It creates new movie stars. It is an Event, one of those films you feel you must see to keep up with the conversation." Read the full review here.
And here are Siskel and Ebert debating the merits of Titanic: