The MTV Movie Awards have reintroduced Best Virtual Performance, which was awarded just once before (2003), when it went to Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” Andy Serkis played Gollum in the “LOTR” films, and he’s back in the category with another motion-capture performance: as Supreme Leader Snoke in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
But despite the massive popularity of “Star Wars” (it has 11 nominations), Serkis is not the frontrunner to win according to the combined predictions of our Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s winners and the hundreds of total Users who make up our largest and often savviest bloc of predictors.
Instead, Amy Poehler gets best odds to prevail for her voice performance as Joy in Pixar’s “Inside Out.” Out of our two dozen top users, 16 are backing Poehler, giving her 4/7 odds. And all four of our editors – Chris Beachum, Marcus Dixon, Rob Licuria and I – agree with that assessment. It would be Poehler’s second win at these awards, following her Best WTF Moment victory for peeing in a sink in “Baby Mama” (2009).
But four of the five other nominees also get support from our top users, so it looks like there’s plenty of room for an upset. Three more top users are betting on James Spader, who voices the evil cyborg Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Spader and Serkis both play sci-fi villains, though Spader gets significantly more screentime in his film. But Spader has never won an MTV Movie Award before.
Two other top users are forecasting a victory for Jack Black for voicing the title character in “Kung Fu Panda 3.” This is his first nomination in nine years at these awards, but he is a past winner: Best Comedic Performance for “The School of Rock” (2004).
One top user apiece is betting on Serkis and his “Star Wars” co-star Lupita Nyong’o, who gives a motion-capture performance as Maz Kanata, an old smuggler with ties to Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Nyong’o has no previous wins at these awards, but she was nominated for Best Female Performance for “12 Years a Slave” (2014), which also won her an Oscar.
None of our top users are betting on the last nominee in this category: Seth MacFarlane, who voices the title animated teddy bear in “Ted 2.” MacFarlane previously won Best On-Screen Duo with Mark Wahlberg for the first “Ted” film in 2013.
Make your MTV Movie Awards Awards predictions starting with Best Virtual Performance to the right or at the bottom of this post.
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Photo credit: Disney Pixar