With 1/3 odds from our Experts (journalists who cover film awards year-round), “La La Land” is predicted to win Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards on Saturday, Jan. 28. Over its 27-year history, this precursor prize has racked up an enviable track record at presaging the eventual Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards. The guild and the academy have agreed 19 times on the best film of the year.
This year, all nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture number among the 10 PGA contenders; only “Deadpool” was snubbed by the academy. The closet rival to “La La Land” is “Moonlight” with odds of 8/1 followed by “Manchester by the Sea” at 40/1. Three films — “Arrival,” “Lion” and “Hacksaw Ridge” — have odds of 66/1 while another three — “Fences,” “ ” and “Hell or High Water” — are at 80/1. “Deadpool” rounds out the field with odds of 100/1.
Besides our experts, we also canvas four other groups for predictions: our in-house panel of Editors, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year’s PGA winners, the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years, and thousands of total Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors. All of them agree that “La La Land” is far out in front.
While the PGA pick last year — “The Big Short” — was not the best pic according to the academy (that honor went to “Spotlight”), the two groups had agreed for the previous eight years in a row. Of course, the PGA did double its odds in 2013 by declaring an unprecedented tie between “Gravity” and eventual Oscar winner “12 Years a Slave.”
Key to the import of this precursor prize is that it picks a winner using the same kind of counting as the Oscars — the preferential ballot. While the academy also uses this method to determine nominees in most other races (e.g., acting, directing, writing), the winners of those categories are decided by pure popular vote.
Be sure to make your PGA Awards predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our PGA odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on January 28 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.