2018 Oscar predictions: ‘Three Billboards’ closes in on Best Original Screenplay lead

Lady Bird”’s loss to “Get Out” for Best Original Screenplay at Sunday’s Writers Guild Awards has taken some of the wind out of its sails (or is it wings?) for the Oscars, but “Get Out” is not the sole beneficiary of the WGA results. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which was ineligible at WGA, is inching up on “Lady Bird” in the Oscar Best Original Screenplay race in our latest predictions.

“Lady Bird” has topped our Best Original Screenplay odds since nominations were announced on Jan. 23. “Get Out” was briefly in second before “Three Billboards” jumped over it a week later. With “Lady Bird”’s WGA loss, its lead has dwindled to 19/10 combined odds from our Experts, Editors and Top 24 Users, while “Three Billboards” has risen to 21/10 odds and “Get Out” has climbed to 13/5.

SEE Writers Guild Awards winners: ‘Call Me by Your Name’ and ‘Get Out’ win on way to Oscars

“Three Billboards”’ ineligibility at WGA makes it difficult to gauge where exactly it is in the screenplay race, but the Golden Globe champ is in second in Best Picture behind “The Shape of Water” and the last five Best Picture winners have all won a screenplay award. “Three Billboards” also won the Globes’ single screenplay award — where “Get Out” wasn’t even nominated — and is the odds-on favorite for the Best Original Screenplay prize at the BAFTAs this weekend.

Since the Best Picture expansion eight years ago, four WGA-ineligible scripts won the Oscar: 2010’s “The King’s Speech (Best Original Screenplay), 2012’s “Django Unchained” (Best Original Screenplay), 2013’s “12 Years a Slave” (Best Adapted Screenplay) and 2014’s “Birdman” (Best Original Screenplay). Three of them (“The King’s Speech,” “12 Years a Slave” and Birdman”) won Best Picture and two of those also won Best Director (“The King’s Speech” and “Birdman”), where “Three Billboards” was snubbed. But “Three Billboards” looks poised to have what none of those do: two acting wins with lead and supporting frontrunners Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.

Will “Three Billboards” overtake “Lady Bird” before the week is out?

PREDICT the Oscar winners now; change them until March 4

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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