Oscar predictions: ‘Carol,’ ‘The Martian’ to get 9 nominations; ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to win 4

Our 22 Oscar experts drawn from major media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, HuffPo and Variety have been busy updating their predictions after the slew of critics awards announced in the past week. They have seen all of the leading contenders save one — “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — and will have to wait till mid December to see the seventh installment in that fabled franchise.

Below, we break down the predicted nominations and wins across 17 Oscar categories (the sole category in which feature films contend that we are not predicting is Best Song). We expect Carol” and “The Martian” to lead with nine nominations apiece. However, we are forecasting that Spotlight” and “Mad Max Fury Road” will be the big winners with four Oscars each (as indicated in gold). 

Last year at this time, we already had forecast 58 of the eventual 86 nominees across these 17 categories (there were eight Best Picture nominees and three in Makeup & Hairstyling) for an accuracy rate of 67%. We were doing much better predicting the nominees in the top eight races going 32 for 43 (74% accuracy) versus 23 of the 43 nominees in the craft races (53%%). 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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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)
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

Mad Max: Fury Road” (8 nominations; 4 wins)
Best Picture
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Production Design
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 

Best Visual Effects

“The Revenant” (7 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Picture
Best Director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing 
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 

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Spotlight” (6 nominations; 4 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)
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor, Mark Rylance
Best Original Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Production Design

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (5 nominations; 2 wins)
Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Best Score
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing 
Best Visual Effects

“The Danish Girl” (4 nominations, 1 win)
Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne
Best Supporting Actress, Alicia Vikander
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup & Hairstyling

“Steve Jobs” (4 nominations, 1 win)
Best Picture
Best Actor, Michael Fassbender
Best Supporting Actress, Kate Winslet
Best Adapted Screenplay

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

“Inside Out” (3 nominations, 1 win)
Best Original Screenplay
Best Score
Best Animated Feature

Click here to see odds and rankings of our Oscar Experts

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

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

“Joy” (3 nominations)
Best Picture
Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence
Best Original Screenplay

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

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

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

“Anomalisa” (1 nomination)
Best Animated Feature

“Black Mass” (1 nomination)
Best Actor, Johnny Depp

“Crimson Peak” (1 nomination)
Best Costume Design

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

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

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

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

“Jurassic World” (1 nomination)
Best Visual Effects

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

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

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

“The Walk” (1 nomination)
Best Visual Effects

“Youth” (1 nomination)
Best Supporting Actress, Jane Fonda

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). 

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