Will the PGA Awards predict the Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards?

Oscar watchers are sure to tune in to the Producers Guild of America Awards on March 24. The guild and the academy have agreed on 21 of the most recent 31 Best Picture champs. That success rate stems from the fact that the PGA uses the same system as the Academy Awards — the preferential ballot — for the final vote.

When the Oscars expanded to 10 nominees in 2010, the PGA Awards followed suit. But while the academy shifted to a sliding scale in 2012, the guild stuck with 10 contenders. That leeway has helped it maintain a staggering success rate at previewing the eventual Oscars roster. Indeed, the Producers Guild of America Awards has predicted 94 of the 106 (i.e., 89%) of the Best Picture nominees over the past 11 years.

Seven of this year’s 10 contenders for Best Picture at the PGA Awards — “Judas and the Black Messiah,”  “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,”  “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” — are also in contention for that prize the Oscars. The PGA snubbed “The Father” in favor of  “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami.”

Last year, the guild nominated “Ford v Ferrari,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” “Knives Out,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “1917,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Parasite.” While “1917” won over the PGA, it was “Parasite” that prevailed at the Academy Awards.

In 2019, the PGA cited all eight of the Oscar contenders: “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,”  “Green Book,”  “Roma,” “A Star is Born” and “Vice.”  The guild slate also included “Crazy Rich Asians” and “A Quiet Place.” “Green Book” won with the producers before taking home the top Oscar.

In 2018, the guild went seven for nine: “Call Me by Your Name,” “Dunkirk,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” The other three guild nominees were “I, Tonya,” “Molly’s Game” and “Wonder Woman” while the Oscars rounded out their roster with “Darkest Hour” and “Phantom Thread.” Both bodies awarded “The Shape of Water” their top prize.

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In 2017, the PGA Awards previewed all nine of the Oscar nominees: “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures.” “La La Land,” “Lion,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight.” The 10th nominee with the guild was the blockbuster “Deadpool.” While “La La Land” danced off with the DGA prize, it was “Moonlight” that (eventually) won Best Picture at the Oscars.

In 2016, the guild foresaw seven of the eight Oscar contenders: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max; Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant” and “Spotlight.” It missed “Room,” opting instead for “Ex Machina,” “Sicario” and “Straight Outta Compton.” While “The Big Short” won over the producers, academy voters opted for “Spotlight.”

Likewise, in 2015, the PGA went seven for eight: “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash.” It went with “Foxcatcher,” “Gone Girl” and “Nightcrawler” over eventual Oscar nominee “Selma.” “Birdman” was the top pick for best pic with both groups.

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In 2014, eight of the PGA nominees made the cut with academy: eventual Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” as well as “Gravity” (which had tied with it at the PGA), “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips,”  “Dallas Buyers Club” “Her,” “Nebraska,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The other two PGA contenders — “Blue Jasmine” and “Saving Mr. Banks” — were snubbed by the academy. Rather, Brit hit “Philomena” was the ninth Oscar nominee.

In 2013, eight PGA nominees also reaped bids for the top Academy Award — “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Les Miserables,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Rounding out the roster at the PGA were “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Skyfall.” The guild snubbed the French-language “Amour,” which netted a Best Picture nod from the academy. “Argo” prevailed with the PGA before taking home the Oscar.

In 2012, the PGA predicted seven of the eventual nine Best Picture contenders, including “The Artist” which won with both groups. The PGA filled out their slate with popular pictures “Bridesmaids,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “The Ides of March” while the Oscars went with “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “The Tree of Life.”

In 2011, the PGA previewed nine of the eventual 10 Best Picture Oscar nominees. The guild went for “The Town” while the academy opted for “Winter’s Bone” for the tenth slot. Both groups chose “The King’s Speech” as the Best Picture of the year.

And in 2010, the Oscars concurred with the PGA on eight of the 10 contenders. PGA nominated “Invictus” and “Star Trek” over Oscar choices “The Blind Side” and “A Serious Man.” Both groups picked as best pic “The Hurt Locker.”

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