Can Josh Hutcherson defeat Oscar-favorites to win Male Performance at MTV Movie Awards?

When you consider Best Male Performance at the MTV Movie Awards, you’ll notice that one of these things is not like the others: 21-year-old Josh Hutcherson from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” who faces a quartet of this year’s top Oscar contenders. That may seem like an uphill battle for the young actor, but in this contest he may actually have the advantage.

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Hutcherson competes against Best Supporting Actor-nominee Bradley Cooper (“American Hustle“), Best Actor nominees Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave“) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street“), and Best Actor-winner Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“).

Of those, Cooper and DiCaprio have won this category before. DiCaprio prevailed for “Titanic” (1998) and “The Aviator” (2005), and Cooper is the defending champion, having won last year for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

McConaughey is also a previous MTV Movie Award-winner. He was awarded Best Breakthrough Performance in 1997 for his early starring role in “A Time to Kill.”

Ejiofor is nominated for the first time.

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In that impressive group, Hutcherson is ranked second by our predictors with 12/5 odds. DiCaprio is ahead of him with 8/13 odds. McConaughey (16/1), Cooper (50/1), and Ejiofor (100/1) are in hot pursuit.

But are we underestimating Hutcherson? Though Cooper is the defending champ and DiCaprio is a perennial favorite, Hutcherson won this category the last time he was in contention for his “Hunger Games” role (2012). Also, his film is by far the biggest box office hit ($864 million worldwide) and may appeal more strongly to the MTV demographic, who vote online for the winners.

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