We've launched the Best Sound Editing category in our Oscars predictions center. The Oscars for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing tend to favor films that include a lot of loud action, like past winners "Skyfall," "Inception," "The Hurt Locker," "The Dark Knight," and "The Bourne Ultimatum." The categories also tend to award the same films: in the past 10 years, Mixing and Editing matched six times, including the pair of wins for "Gravity" in 2013.
When the two categories split, it's usually because there's a musical in the running. Musicals tend to win the Sound Mixing award, but not Sound Editing, as was the case for the defending champion "Whiplash," as well as "Les Miserables," "Dreamgirls" and "Ray" in recent years.
But Best Sound Editing almost always rewards loud action films, and strong overall support from the academy also helps; the categories often goes to the most action-packed Best Picture contenders, like last year's winner "American Sniper," as well as "Zero Dark Thirty," "Hugo," "Letters from Iwo Jima," "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," and aforementioned champs "Hurt Locker" and "Gravity."
The fact that many champs have been military- or war-driven is probably not a coincidence. Those films tend to include abundant gunfire and explosions, but have more prestige than other genres of action film, which makes them appealing to academy members averse to sci-fi, fantasy and other kinds of big-screen action blockbusters.
Other action-packed contenders include "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" "Jurassic World," "Sicario," "Spectre," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Furious 7," "In the Heart of the Sea," "Ant-Man" and "Jupiter Ascending."
"The Martian" and "The Revenant" photo credit: Moviestore/REX