BIGGEST JUMPS IN OSCAR PREDICTIONS THIS WEEK: As "Spotlight" debuted in movie theaters nationwide, it increased its lead in the Best Picture race with half of the 22 experts at Gold Derby (Oscarwatchers at Yahoo, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, etc.) predicting it to win. That's up from eight last week, boosting its odds (11 to 2). Will actual Oscar voters really back it so strongly? Or are the journalists in this poll overly smitten with a heroic cinematic portrayal of their peers (reporters who unmasked the sex scandal in Boston's Catholic diocese)?
One month ago, "The Martian" wasn't even in the Gold Derby top 10, but now it's rocketed to second place (up from third last week) and has 17 to 2 odds.
BIGGEST DROP OF THE WEEK: "Steve Jobs" fell from fourth place to fifth (11 to 1 odds) and lost the support of the only two experts picking it to triumph: Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Matthew Jacobs (HuffPo) both switched to "Spotlight." To blame: poor box office. However, that's probably due to lousy planning by Universal Studio, which rolled out the biopic too wide, and may not matter with actual academy members, who seem to like "Steve Jobs" a lot.
Still unseen by the journalists, "Joy" dropped from second place to third. Now four experts pick it to win (down from five last week), but it's technically tied with "The Martian" at same racetrack odds.