Forecasting Oscar-winning movies is possible

Just like forecasting future sales modern data analytics is able to forecast a lot of other things including the next Oscar-winning movie. Usually, predicting Oscar winners is a tradition among movie fans and media but a couple of tech companies claim that the winning movie might be pointed through data analytics.

This way they have predicted that The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio will be named as Best Picture at the 88th Academy Awards. And they were meticulously accurate!

How they did it?

There is a lot of data behind any object. Speaking of possible Oscar-winning movies the key variables are the box office performance, audience demographics, IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes reviews, as well as NPS (Net Promoter Score).

Clarabridge, a company specialized in customer experience analytics, did the hard work by digging deep into historical Oscars data, trends and used sentiment analytics to build a predictive model. Thy found out that 90% positive critics reviews are the exact number of winning best picture award. Just a percent less is not enough since 7 movies with 89% positive critics review didn’t won.

Audience reviews should be positive at 11 out of 15 or higher. More valuable are the powerful feelings that particular movie is able to evoke. It seems that Oscar-winning films induce much less humor, love, and sadness. The trend is for movies which are more emotionally explosive with anger and violence.

It seems that movies with an intense negative sentiment like anger, for instance, are the likely winner, says Nirav Patel from Cognizant, IT consulting company, quoted by BBC. Their study shows that negative emotions triggered by 12 Years A Slave were awarded with the best picture figurine in 2014.

oscar forecasting

Data patterns found in IMDB reviews shows that heavy genre bias prevails. Some of 90% of Oscar nominee films are categorized as drama movies. The second most successful genre is the biography, which claims 26% of the nominees. Romance movies take the third place but their box office is not as good as drama and biopics and it is unlikely to get the grand Oscar award.
Based on this very data analytics findings, both Clarabridge and Cognizant rated the nominated movies with percentage score as follows:

The Revenant – 64%
Mad Max: Fury Road – 19.2%
Brooklyn – 13.6%
Bridge of Spies – 11.2%
Room – 7.2%
And the winner is … you already know it!

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