Experts’ Oscar predictions update: ”The Martian’ on the rise, ‘Joy’ closing in on frontrunner ‘Spotlight’

Oscar predictions Best Picture Spotlight Joy 13579086

Our 21 Oscar experts — journalists who cover this beat year-round for major media outlets like Variety, Yahoo and USA Today — are divided over what will win Best Picture. After another boffo box office weekend “The Martian,” a sci-fi epic about the rescue of an astronaut marooned on Mars, just picked up the support of Variety scribe Tim Gray and now has three experts in its corner. Seven are still forecasting a win for “Spotlight,” a docudrama that delves into the coverup of the Catholic church sex scandal in Boston. And five predict victory for “Joy,” a drama inspired by the life of a Long Island homemaker turned inventor. These votes translate into leading odds of 6/1 for “Spotlight” with “Joy” right behind at 15/2 and “The Martian” coming on strong at 12/1 (it was at 14/1 last week). 

Our experts still predict that “Joy” helmer David O. Russell will finally win Best Director on his fourth bid. He has nine votes compared to three for Tom McCarthy ( “Spotlight”) and two for Ridley Scott (“The Martian”). (See the complete breakdown in odds for these two races as well as the four acting and two screenplay categories below.)

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Three of the four acting races continue to have clear frontrunners according to our experts: leads Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs“) and Brie Larson (“Room) as well as supporting player Rooney Mara (“Carol“). Only Best Supporting Actor looks like a competitive contest, with Michael Keaton (“Spotlight”) just having pulled ahead of Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation“) for the top spot. 

See the Experts’ odds in nine Oscar races. See how each Expert ranks the nominees according to likelihood of winning. (Click on the image below to see how all 21 Experts rank the Best Picture contenders.)

Here’s the Best Picture winner predictions of our 21 Oscarologists.

“Spotlight” (7 Experts)
Thelma Adams (Gold Derby)
Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood)
Kevin Polowy (Yahoo)
Keith Simanton (IMDB)
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
Susan Wloszczyna (

“Joy” (5 Experts)
Edward Douglas (ComingSoon)
Tariq Khan (Fox News)
Michael Musto (
Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby)
Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby)

“The Martian” (3 Experts)
Tim Gray (Variety)
Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)
Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood)

Carol” (2 Experts)
Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair)
Christopher Rosen (EW)

Steve Jobs” (2 Experts)
Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post)
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)

“Bridge of Spies” (1 Expert)
Jack Mathews (Gold Derby)

Room” (1 Expert)
Jenelle Riley (Variety)

Experts Oscar predictions: Top 9 categories

Below, the Experts’ odds for the leading contenders in the top eight Oscar categories. Click on the category title for a more in-depth look at each race. And click here to see the Experts’ predictions in all top 9 categories

“Spotlight” – 6/1
“Joy” – 15/2
“Steve Jobs” – 9/1
“The Revenant” – 10/1
“The Martian” – 12/1
“Room” – 12/1
“Carol” – 12/1
“Bridge of Spies” – 12/1
“The Hateful Eight” – 16/1
“Brooklyn” – 22/1

David O. Russell, “Joy” – 10/3
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” – 9/2
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant” – 11/2
Danny Boyle, “Steve Jobs” – 15/2
Todd Haynes, “Carol” – 9/1

Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs” – 12/5
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant” – 4/1
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl” – 11/2
Johnny Depp, “Black Mass” – 17/2
Matt Damon, “The Martian” – 12/1

Brie Larson, “Room” – 23/10
Cate Blanchett, “Carol” – 7/2
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy” – 4/1
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn” – 9/1
Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette” – 14/1

Oscar box office report: ‘The Martian’ & ‘Bridge of Spies’ fly high, ‘Steve Jobs’ stumbles

Michael Keaton, “Spotlight” – 7/2
Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation” – 9/2
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies” – 8/1
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight” – 8/1
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant” – 10/1

Rooney Mara, “Carol” – 11/5
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl” – 10/3
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs” – 9/2
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight” – 12/1
Jane Fonda, “Youth” – 12/1

“Spotlight” – 14/5
“Joy” – 7/2
“The Hateful Eight” – 5/1
“Inside Out” – 5/1
“Bridge of Spies” – 12/1

“Steve Jobs” – 2/1
“Carol” – 11/2
“Room” – 11/2
“The Revenant” – 15/2
“Brooklyn” – 10/1

Make your Oscar predictions and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Oscar nominations).

Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby’s in-house team of Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)

Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.

As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

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