Oscar predictions: Top 24 User Riley Chow notes ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Mad Max,’ ‘The Revenant’ missed key bids

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Our reader and contributer Riley Chow (screen name thedemonhog) did so well at predicting last year’s Oscars — 3rd place out of more than 3,200 predictors — that he’s now showcased in a league along with the other Top 24 Users to forecast this year’s winners. He had an accuracy rate of 91.67% and 24,432 points last year, missing only two categories: Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

This year, Chow says that “The Big Short” will be the eventual Best Picture winner because the other apparent frontrunners all missed out on key bids from Oscar precursors. Is he right? Below, see his explanations for his savvy Oscar predictions and resist the urge to copy or steal them as your own. (Click here to see his current Oscar rankings in all 24 races.)

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“People keep saying that each Best Picture contender has something holding it back,” surmises Chow. “‘Spotlight‘ missed BAFTA Direction and Editing, plus ACE. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ missed BAFTA Film and Direction. ‘The Revenant‘ missed Screenplay at the Oscars and SAG Ensemble. But what did ‘The Big Short’ miss (industry-wise)? It has all of those, plus there is that thing about how it won PGA.

“I was surprised that ‘Spotlight’ won SAG, but the template here is 2013 when another third-place film (‘American Hustle’) beat the Best Picture (’12 Years a Slave’). That Best Picture actually should have posed a better threat for SAG since it won an acting Oscar (Lupita Nyong’o), a BAFTA for someone else (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and had three performances nominated instead of just one like ‘The Big Short.’

“Given that it came out in May and is so off-brand for the academy, ‘Mad Max’ needed everything to go right, so I would say that BAFTA killed it. It is a distant third — for DGA. The question that I have is if it will win even half of the Oscars that Gold Derby is predicting for it or if it will have settle for just three (makeup and both sounds).

“The media has downplayed ‘The Big Short’ because they had already decided that ‘Spotlight’ was the Best Picture by the time that they even saw ‘The Big Short.’ But Oscar predictions are not a game of instincts, so you cannot be stubborn about changing when it turns out that you are wrong; I switched from ‘Spotlight’ to ‘The Big Short’ when ACE nominations came out.

“I could see ‘The Revenant’ winning, given its extraordinary box office, that the academy loved ‘Birdman’ like no other and how it demonstrated a surplus of support in the Oscar nominations. I have it taking Director. I do not actually think that it missing Screenplay and Ensemble are a big deal, given that it has not been cited for its writing all season and came out so late for SAG. It just seems hard to love opposite ‘The Big Short’ (and this was affirmed by PGA).”

Oscar predictions: Top 24 User Kevin Spellman sticks with ‘The Big Short’ despite SAG loss

What do you think will win Best Picture at the Oscars? Make your predictions using the menu to the right or below. 

You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — 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 winners). Be sure to read our contest rules.

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