Oscar predictions for Best Visual Effects: Marvel poised to set new record

The Oscars released their shortlists in 10 categories on December 21. That included Best Visual Effects, where 10 films are now left to compete for the final five nomination slots. Those 10 films include all four of this year’s Marvel Cinematic Universe releases: “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” How many of them will make the cut? The MCU has never had more than two Oscar nominees in the category in a single year, but that could change.

Since the MCU formally launched, the sprawling superhero franchise has earned 10 nominations for Best Visual Effects (excluding superhero films that take place outside of the canonical Marvel universe):

2008: “Iron Man”

2010: “Iron Man 2”

2012: “The Avengers”

2013: “Iron Man 3”

2014: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”

2016: “Doctor Strange”

2017: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

2018: “Avengers: Infinity War”

2019: “Avengers: Endgame

As you can see, there has only been one year when the MCU has gotten two movies into the ultimate nominations lineup: 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The motion picture academy has been pretty selective when it comes to the Marvel movies it recognizes. Consider that “Black Panther” (2018), the only MCU movie to receive a Best Picture nomination thus far, wasn’t even nominated for its visual effects. And so far no MCU movies have won. In fact, no superhero movie of any kind has won this category since 2004’s “Spider-Man 2,” which is pretty remarkable considering how superheroes have come to flood the industry.

However, the COVID pandemic has hampered big-budget blockbusters, so this year the MCU could be the big fish in a smaller pond. Indeed, the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users favor at least two Marvel movies to make the final five: “Shang-Chi” in third place with 6/1 odds and “Eternals” in fourth place with 8/1 odds. But don’t underestimate “Spider-Man,” which is on the bubble in sixth place with 12/1 odds; that film has received strong reviews and made headlines as the first movie to gross $1 billion worldwide since the pandemic, so it might inspire support from industry insiders anxious about the fate of movie theaters. Though it could also elicit backlash from some of the same insiders who over the years have bemoaned Marvel’s stranglehold on the industry.

Either way, it might be tough for a Marvel movie to win the prize this year considering they’re up against Denis Villeneuve‘s Best Picture contender “Dune,” which so far has a substantial lead in our odds.

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify Hollywood chiefs and stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where 5,000 showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

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