Is Ansel Elgort as strong a bet as I think he is to win Best Male Performance at the MTV Movie Awards? The 21-year-old actor has never been nominated before, but this year he’s up for a whopping five awards for his performance as a teenager with cancer in “The Fault in Our Stars,” which is the most nominated film with seven total bids. And both the film and its source novel have a rabid fan base.
Since 2009, every Male Performance winner but one has been a young heartthrob under age 25: Zac Efron (“High School Musical 3,” 2009), Robert Pattinson (“Twilight” saga, 2010-2011), and Josh Hutcherson (“Hunger Games” franchise, 2012, 2014). Like Elgort this year, Pattinson and Hutcherson appeared in adaptations of young-adult novels.
The one exception in recent years was 2013, when 38-year-old Bradley Cooper prevailed for “Silver Linings Playbook,” but that race skewed older; the youngest nominee was Channing Tatum, who was 32 when he competed for “Magic Mike.” Cooper also had the benefit of his “Silver Linings” co-star Jennifer Lawrence; the “Hunger Games” star’s popularity might have helped Cooper and the film cross over to the MTV demographic.
But not everyone agrees with me about the leader of this contest. Among Gold Derby Editors, three out of six are backing Elgort, but Marcus Dixon, who was the highest scoring Editor last year (43%), believes Chris Pratt will win for “Guardians of the Galaxy.” There’s good reason to think so. “Guardians” was the third highest grossing film at the domestic box office last year, it’s also nominated for seven awards, and Pratt has his own swoon-worthy appeal (consider his Shirtless Performance nomination).
Meanwhile, Matt Noble predicts Bradley Cooper will win again, this time for “American Sniper.” He certainly proved his popularity with MTV fans with his “Silver Linings” win, and “Sniper” out-grossed both “Guardians” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” to become 2014’s top film. The question is whether “Sniper” has enough youth appeal to be competitive in this particular contest; if these were the Fox News Movie Awards, he’d be a shoo-in.
Speaking of youth appeal, Chris Beachum is betting on Miles Teller, the second youngest man in this category at age 28. Teller competes for the Oscar-winning “Whiplash,” but he might also be helped by his role in the “Divergent” series. However, “Whiplash” grossed only $13 million, far less than most of his competitors, so Teller might have to hope for support from fans who like him enough to vote for him even if they haven’t seen this particular film.
No Editors are predicting Channing Tatum (“Foxcatcher“). He received the Trailblazer Award in 2014, but he’s never won competitively, and if he couldn’t prevail for more popular films like “Dear John,” “The Vow,” and “Magic Mike,” he might especially struggle with a low-grossing prestige drama like “Foxcatcher.”
Our Top 24 Users (the best predictors at last year’s awards) agree that Elgort is out front, with Pratt on his heels. 17 of them are picking Elgort, including JDMintz, who wiped the floor with the rest of us by correctly forecasting 65% of the winners (I had a lowly 36% by comparison). In fact, he’s betting on a clean sweep for “The Fault in Our Stars,” favoring it to also win Female Performance (Shailene Woodley) and Movie of the Year.
When the predictions of our Editors, Top 24 Users, and All Users are combined, Elgort is out front (5/6 odds), while Pratt is second (3/1), Cooper is third (13/2), Teller is fourth (14/1) and Tatum is a distant fifth (100/1).
Overall, last year’s Top 24 team didn’t do any better than Editors or Users – we all scored 35.71% correct, down from the previous year when we all forecast 50% of winners, which was down from the year before that, when the Top 24 and All Users scored 66.67% correct and Editors had 58.33%.
That means all of Gold Derby’s predictors are hoping to make a comeback, and you can help. If you think you know who will win this year’s MTV Movie Award races, click here to make your predictions. Your picks will be pooled together to generate our official racetrack odds, and if you have this year’s best predictions, you’ll win a $100 Amazon gift card (if you qualify according to our contest rules).
And don’t forget to use your big bets. Longshots pay out bigger if they upset, so if you place your two 200-point bets and one 500-point bet on a 100/1 underdog and they win, you score even higher. We use those scores to break ties if multiple users have the highest predictions percentage, so don’t take them for granted.
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