Visual Effects Society Awards predictions: ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Birdman,’ …

This year’s clear frontrunner for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars — “Interstellar” — is is also way ahead in our predictions for the winners of the Visual Effects Society Awards.  It is all but certain to win the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture.

Among the films it is likely to defeat are of its Oscar rivals for Best Visual Effects —  “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” — as well as “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and “Maleficent.”

The fifth Oscar nominee, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” was snubbed in this top race at the 13th annual edition of these kudos

Birdman” is favored to win Supporting Visual Effects over “Divergent,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game” and “Unbroken.”

And “#The Lego Movie” is tipped to take Animated Effects over “Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2” and “Rio 2.” 

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

The nominees in 24 categories for film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games were chosen by VES members who viewed submissions at the FotoKem screening facilities in Burbank and New York, FotoKem’s Spy in San Francisco, and facilities in London, Sydney, Vancouver and Wellington. Winners will be announced Wednesday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. J.J. Abrams is to be feted with the Visionary Award. 

Last year, “Gravity” won six of its eight VES bids, including the top prize. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. 

In 2012, “Life of Pi” won four of its six VES bids, including the big award, where it edged out Oscar rivals “The Avengers,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “Prometheus” as well as “Battleship.” It went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. 

In 2011, two of the Oscar nominees — “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Hugo” — each won two VES awards. “Hugo,” which won the supporting visual effects award, went on to claim the Oscar over, among others, “Apes,” which took the top prize at the VES. 

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

In 2010, “Inception” won all four of its bids including the top prize. It took home the Oscar too. In 2009, “Avatar” won six of the seven VES races in which it contended and also prevailed at the Academy Awards. At the VES, “Avatar” is tied with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” for second place while “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” reigns supreme with seven awards. 

In 2008, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” won the top prize with both the VES and the Oscars. However, in 2007, the top VES winner “Transformers” lost the Visual Effects Oscar to “The Golden Compass.”

Over the first five years of the VES kudos, the winners matched four times — in 2006 (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”), 2005 (“King Kong”), 2003 (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) and 2002 (“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”). In 2004, the VES chose “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” while the Oscar went to “Spider-Man 2.”

If you haven’t made your Visual Effects Society Awards predictions yet, there’s still time. Click here to visit our predictions center, where you can enter your picks or use the easy drag-and-drop menu below to get started and be in with a chance to win $100 if you get the highest score. 

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