Oscar predictions update: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to lead with 5 wins & 10 nominations, ‘Spotlight’ for Best Picture

Our 23 Oscar experts drawn from major media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, HuffPo and Variety have been busy updating their predictions after seeing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and analyzing the nominations for three key precursor prizes: the Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice awards. 

Below, we break down the predicted nominations and wins (as indicated in goldacross the 19 Oscar categories in which feature films contend. We expect “Mad Max: Fury Road” to lead with both the most nominations (10) and the most wins (5). However, it will be six-time nominee Spotlight” that takes Best Picture. Among the other leading contenders, Carol” and “The Martian” will reap nine bids each. 

Last year at this time, we already had forecast 64 of the eventual 91 nominees across these 18 categories (there were eight Best Picture nominees and three in Makeup & Hairstyling) for an accuracy rate of 70%. We were doing much better predicting the nominees in the top eight races going 34 for 43 (79% accuracy) versus 30 of the 48 nominees in the craft races (63%%). Take a look at what we were getting right (and wrong) at this point last year HERE. (By nominations morning, we were up to 69 correct.) 

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Mad Max: Fury Road” (10 nominations; 5 wins)
Best Picture
Best Director, George Miller 
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Production Design
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 

Best Visual Effects

Carol” (9 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Director, Todd Haynes
Best Actress, Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actress, Rooney Mara
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design
Best Score

The Martian” (9 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Director, Ridley Scott
Best Actor, Matt Damon
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Film Editing
Best Production Design
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects

“The Revenant” (8 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Picture
Best Director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing 
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 

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Spotlight” (6 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Picture
Best Director, Tom McCarthy
Best Supporting Actor, Michael Keaton
Best Supporting Actor, Mark Ruffalo
Best Original Screenplay
Best Film Editing 

“Bridge of Spies” (6 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor, Mark Rylance
Best Original Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Production Design

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (4 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Score
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 
Best Visual Effects

“Inside Out” (4 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Original Screenplay
Best Score
Best Animated Feature

“Brooklyn” (4 nominations)
Best Picture
Best Actress, Saoirse Ronan
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Costume Design

“The Danish Girl” (4 nominations)
Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne
Best Supporting Actress, Alicia Vikander
Best Costume Design
Best Score

“Room” (3 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Actress, Brie Larson
Best Adapted Screenplay

“Steve Jobs” (3 nominations, 1 win)
Best Actor, Michael Fassbender
Best Supporting Actress, Kate Winslet
Best Adapted Screenplay

Click here to see odds and rankings of our Oscar Experts

“The Hateful Eight” (3 nominations)
Best Supporting Actress, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Best Original Screenplay
Best Score

“Cinderella” (2 nominations; 1 win)
Best Costume Design
Best Production Design

“Joy” (2 nominations)
Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence
Best Original Screenplay

“Sicario” (2 nominations)
Best Cinematography
Best Sound Editing

“Youth” (2 nominations)
Best Supporting Actress, Jane Fonda
Best Song, “Simple Song 3”

Compare Oscar odds: Experts vs. Editors vs. Top 24 Users vs. All Users

“Anomalisa” (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

“Beasts of No Nation” (1 nomination)
Best Supporting Actor, Idris Elba

“The Big Short” (1 nomination)
Best Picture

“Black Mass” (1 nomination)
Best Makeup & Hairstyling

“Creed” (1 nomination)
Best Supporting Actor, Sylvester Stallone

“Fifty Shades of Grey” (1 nomination)
Best Song, “Love Me Like You Do”)

“45 Years” (1 nomination)
Best Actress, Charlotte Rampling

“Furious 7” (1 nomination, 1 win)
Best Song, “See You Again

“The Good Dinosaur” (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

“The Hunting Ground (1 nomination)
Best Song, “Till It Happens to You”

“Jurassic World” (1 nomination)
Best Visual Effects

“The Peanuts Movie” (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

“Sean the Sheep” (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

“Spectre” (1 nomination)
Best Song, “Writings on the Wall”

“Straight Outta Compton” (1 nomination)
Best Sound Mixing 

“Trumbo” (1 nomination)
Best Actor, Bryan Cranston

“The Walk” (1 nomination)
Best Visual Effects

Click here to see ups and downs of Oscar races over entire awards season

Make your own early Oscar predictions now and change them later as often as you wish. What do you think will win Best Picture? Cast your ballot below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. If you reap one of the top three scores forecasting nominations, you can win our top contest prizes: $500, $300 or $200 Amazon gift certificates. See contest rules. 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). 

Photo credits: “Spotlight” (Open Road); “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Warner Bros.)

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