Oscar predictions flashback: How accurate were we 12 weeks before nominations?

Yes, it is still a dozen weeks before Oscar nominations are announced on January 14. So you might be wondering why we are predicting them already when we haven't even seen some of the top contenders. Part of the art of punditry is being able to foresee what will (and won't) appeal to Oscar voters. As you can see from the image above, we predicted the majority of the Best Picture nominees in each of the last two years. 

Last year at this same time on the awards calendar — a full 12 weeks out — we predicted 35 of the eventual 43 nominees in the top eight categories. That is an accuracy rate of 81%. We nailed three of the four acting races. While we thought Michael Keaton would be the big winner for "Birdman" it turned out to be writer/director/producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

In 2013, we went 29 for 44 (66%). We predicted that "12 Years a Slave" would win Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyongo) and Adapted Screenplay. And we foresaw that Best Actress win for Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"). 

Below, a recap of what we got right (and wrong) with placements on our charts noted throughout. Click on the two dates to explore these charts in more detail and change the dates on the calendars in the upper left corners to see other snapshots. 

After reviewing our track records from the last two years, CLICK HERE to read about our predictions in these categories for this year's Oscars. Then be sure to make (or update) your Oscar predicitons at the bottom of this post. Like us, you can keep changing them for till early in the morning on nominations day, January 14. 

October 23, 2014

Best Picture (6 of 8 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had "Boyhood" winning with eventual champ "Birdman" in third.

Underestimated:
"Selma" (had at #10); "Whiplash" (had at #11); "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (had at #12)

Overestimated:
"Unbroken" (had at #2); "Interstellar" (had at #6); "Gone Girl" (had at #7); "Foxcatcher" (had at #8)


Best Director (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had Richard Linklater winning for "Boyhood" with eventual champ Alejandro Gonzalez Inariitu for "Birdman" in second.  

Underestimated:
Morten Tyldum for "The Imitation Game" (#7)
Wes Anderson for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (#12)

Overestimated:
Angelina Jolie for "Unbroken" (#3)
Christopher Nolan for "Interstellar" (#5)


Best Actor (5 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had Michael Keaton winning for "Birdman" with eventual champ Eddie Redmayne for "The Theory of Everything" in second. 


Best Actress (4 of 5 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: Julianne Moore for "Still Alice"

Underestimated: Marion Cotillard for "Two Days, One Night" (#10)

Overestimated: Amy Adams for "Big Eyes" (#3)


Best Supporting Actor (5 of 5 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: J.K. Simmons for "Whiplash"


Best Supporting Actress (5 of 5 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: Patricia Arquette for "Boyhood"


Best Original Screenplay (4 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had "Boyhood" winning and eventual champ "Birdman" in second. 

Underestimated: "Nightcrawler" (not even in top 28)

Overestimated: "Interstellar" (#5) 


Best Adapted Screenplay (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had "Unbroken" winning (it was not nominated) and eventual champ "The Imitation Game" in third.

Underestimated: "American Sniper" (#7)

Overestimated: "Gone Girl" (#2)

Oscar experts clash over predictions: 'Spotlight' vs. 'Joy'

October 24, 2013 

Best Picture (6 of 9 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: "12 Years a Slave"

Underestimated:
"Nebraska" #10); "Her" (#13)

Overestimated:
"Saving Mr. Banks" (#5); "The Butler" (#7); "Inside Llewyn Davis (#8); "August: Osage County" (#9)


Best Director (4 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had Steve McQueen winning for "12 Years a Slave" and eventual champ Alonso Cuaron for "Gravity" in second.  

Underestimated:
Alexander Payne for "Nebraska" (#6)

Overestimated:
Paul Greengrass for "Captain Phillips" (#3)


Best Actor (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had Chiwetel Ejiofor winning for "12 Years a Slave" with eventual Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club" in third.

Underestimated:
Leonardo DiCaprio for "Wolf of Wall Street" (#9)
Christian Bale for "American Hustle" (#11)

Overestimated:
Robert Redford for "All is Lost" (#2)
Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips" (#4)


Best Actress (4 of 5 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine"

Underestimated: Amy Adams for "American Hustle" (#6)

Overestimated: Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks" (#5)


Best Supporting Actor (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave" with eventual champ Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club" in second. 

Underestimated:
Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle" (#8)
Jonah Hill for "Wolf of Wall Street" (#17)

Overestimated:
Tom Hanks for "Saving Mr. Banks" (#3)
Daniel Bruhl for "Rush" (#5)


Best Supporting Actress (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: Luptia Nyongo for "12 Years a Slave"

Underestimated:
Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County" (#7)
Sally Hawkins for "Blue Jasmine" (#8)

Overestimated:
Oprah Winfrey for "The Butler" (#2)
Octavia Spencer for "Fruitvale Station" (#3)


Best Original Screenplay (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted Winner: We had "American Hustle" winning and eventual champ "Her" in eighth. 

Underestimated: "Dallas Buyers Club" (#10)

Overestimated:
"Inside Llewyn Davis" (#3) 
"Gravity" (#5)


Best Adapted Screenplay (3 of 5 nominees)
Predicted (and Eventual) Winner: "12 Years a Slave"

Underestimated: "Philomena" (#7)

Overestimated: "August: Osage County" (#4)

Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).

Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's in-house team of Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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