Does the film with the most other Oscar wins usually take home Best Picture?

Does the film that wins the most Oscars in other races take home Best Picture, too. And what about the movie with the most nominations? How do they fare in regard to winning Best Picture? I’ve examined the last 20 Academy Awards ceremonies, and here’s what I found out.

Out of the last 20 ceremonies, the eventual Best Picture winner has won the most amount of Oscars on 15 occasions. So 75% of the time, the film that wins the most other awards claims the top prize too. Furthermore, 10 of the last 20 ceremonies has seen the year’s most nominated film go on to win Best Picture. So the amount of nominations is a much less reliable crystal ball than the number of wins.

However, if we take into consideration the academy reverting to a method of preferential voting, which was introduced in 2009, then these figures change slightly. Since it’s now the 10th year of the academy using this method, let’s look back at the last decade.

Five of the last 10 ceremonies have seen the Best Picture winner claim the most Oscars: “The Shape of Water” with four, “Birdman” with four, “The Artist” with five, “The King’s Speech” with four, “The Hurt Locker” with six, and “Slumdog Millionaire” with eight. “Birdman” and “The King’s Speech” were tied for the most awards at their ceremonies, with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Inception,” respectively.

The film with the most nominations is an equally unreliable Best Picture predictor, too.  In the last 10 years, the film with the most Oscar nominations has gone on to win Best Picture on only four occasions: “The Shape of Water” with 13 nominations, “Birdman” with nine nominations, “The King’s Speech” with 12 nominations, and “The Hurt Locker” with nine nominations. However, “Birdman” and “The Hurt Locker” tied for the most nominations with another film in their years, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Avatar,” respectively.

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What does all of this mean for this year’s nominees, and how can we work out who will win Best Picture? Well, here’s a list of the films currently predicted to earn the most nominations and wins at this year’s Academy Awards. The Best Picture category is included in the nominations total but not the wins total.

A Star is Born” – 11 nominations – two wins
The Favourite” – 10 nominations – three wins
“Black Panther” – 10 nominations – one win
Roma” – Seven nominations – three wins
Vice” – Six nominations – two wins
“BlacKkKlansman” – Five nominations – one win
“Green Book” – Five nominations – one win

Based on our current combined odds predictions, “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” and “Green Book” would all be Best Picture winners with only two Oscars in total, like “Spotlight.” It’s not impossible, but it makes it very unlikely. Before “Spotlight,” you’d have to go all the way back to 1953 for a Best Picture winner that won that low amount of Oscars – that was “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

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Three other films are predicted to win more awards than those three.

“A Star is Born” and “Vice” and would win three Oscars overall if either won Best Picture, which would then see it tied for the most with “The Favourite” and “Roma.” But only three times in the last 20 years has the Best Picture winner shared such bragging rights with another film. These were: “Birdman,” winning four as did “The Grand Budapest Hotel;” “The King’s Speech,” winning four as did “Inception;” and “Crash,” winning three as did “Brokeback Mountain,” “King Kong,” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

“The Favourite” and “Roma” would be Best Picture winners with four total Oscars. That’s a more likely figure for a potential BP champ – “The Shape of Water,” “Birdman,” and “The King’s Speech” all hit that mark. Plus, “The Favourite” and “Roma” are predicted to win the joint most awards of this year’s ceremony, too, so that would fall nicely into that pattern of Best Picture winners winning the most Oscars mentioned above.

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So it’s a bit of a dead heat between “The Favourite” and “Roma,” in this theory anyway. How can we separate them? Well, “Roma” is predicted to win Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron but in recent years, we’ve seen a split between picture and director in four of the last 10 years. And “The Favourite” is predicted to win a screenplay award (original), which is an Oscar that Best Picture winners claim quite a lot. Eight of the last 10 Best Picture winners have also won a screenplay award. Only “The Shape of Water” and “The Artist” didn’t.  Four of the last ten Best Picture champ have won both Best Director and a screenplay award: “Birdman,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 22.

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