Oscar predictions: Best Picture nominations for ‘Spotlight,’ ‘The Revenant,’ ‘The Big Short,’ ‘Mad Max’ …

spotlight the revenant the big short mad max fury road oscars best picture

The Oscar nominations will be announced this Thursday (January 14). After recent surprises among the nominees for both the PGA and BAFTA Awards as well as the winners at Sunday's Golden Globes, what will be nominated for Best Picture?

The Oscars expanded Best Picture to 10 films in 2009 and then adopted a sliding scale of between five and 10 nominees starting in 2011. That sliding scale resulted in nine contenders in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and then eight last year.

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The top 10 films we think will be nominated for Best Picture are below in order of their racetrack odds, with the predicted winner, "Spotlight," noted in gold. These official odds are derived from the predictions of 25 Expert film journalists along with the Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year's Oscar nominations and the thousands of Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors.

"Spotlight" – 9/2 
"The Revenant" – 8/1
"The Martian" – 17/2
"The Big Short" – 17/2
"Mad Max: Fury Road" – 10/1
"Carol" – 11/1
"Bridge of Spies" – 12/1
"Brooklyn" – 14/1
"Room" – 18/1
"Straight Outta Compton" – 28/1

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

Our experts and Top 24 Users agree on that lineup, but our editors differ slightly, picking "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" rather than "Straight Outta Compton."

Our collective users also differ slightly, opting for "Joy" in the 10th Best Picture slot instead of "Star Wars" or "Compton."

When it comes to picking the winners, 21 out of 25 experts still say "Spotlight" will prevail despite its recent shutout at the Golden Globes and shortfall at the BAFTAs: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Dave Karger (Fandango), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly), Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (LA Times), Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com).

Two others, Tim Gray (Variety) and Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), are backing "The Martian," while Michael Musto (Out.com) thinks it'll be "The Revenant" and Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) anticipates a victory for "The Big Short."

Five out of six editors also say "Spotlight" will prevail: Chris Beachum, Rob Licuria, Tom O'Neil, Paul Sheehan and me. The outlier is Marcus Dixon, who is backing "The Big Short."

Also forecasting "Spotlight" to win are 17 of our Top 24 Users, including Denton Davidson and Cinemateo21, who tied with the highest accuracy (79%) predicting last year's nominations. Another five are predicting "The Big Short," while one says "The Revenant" and the last is going out on a limb for "Bridge of Spies."

Dish all the Oscar races in our red-hot forums with Hollywood insiders

What do you think will win Best Picture? 

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Photo Credits: "Mad Max" and "The Revenant" by Moviestore/REX; "Spotlight" by Open Road Films; "The Big Short" by Paramount Pictures

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