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Does Social Buzz Predict Oscar Winners? Maybe…

Sunday night is Oscar night, and in the run-up to the world’s most popular awards show, all the publicity machines are in overdrive both to increase ticket sales, and (hopefully) increase the chances of winning one of those coveted golden statuettes.

oscars_2014Image Source: Around Movies, Be Youthful, Bio, Bleeding Cool, Huffington Post

Voting, however, is restricted to Academy members who must abide by the academy’s social networking policies when it comes to voicing opinions about nominees and their votes. That being said, it’s still an interesting exercise to see if there’s any correlation between buzz on the open web and the actual winners. Sometimes overall engagement on the open web can be a good predictor of who will win. And when it isn’t, it upsets the fans making the buzz all the more apparent!

In this analysis, we’re defining “buzz” as sharing on social networks, click backs from shares, keyword search referrals, and other forms of engagement like copy\paste URL and printing from the AddThis print icon.

Here’s what we’re seeing this year compared to last year among a subset of Oscar categories.

Best Picture Nominees Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Year
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Gravity Lincoln got the most buzz but Argo won the Best Picture category.
Best Actor in a Leading Role Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Year
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street Bradley Cooper got the most buzz for Silver Linings Playbook but Daniel-Day Lewis won for Lincoln.
Best Actress in a Leading Role Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Two Years
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Sandra Bullock for Gravity. Jennifer Lawrence received the most buzz leading up to the event and then won for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. In 2012, Meryl Streep got the most buzz for The Iron Lady and won!
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Year
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyer’s Club. Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln by far received the most buzz in the lead up to the event, but Christoph Walz won this category for Django Unchained.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Year
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Julia Roberts for August Osage County. Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables by far received the most buzz and then won this category.
Best Directing Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Year
American Hustle (David O. Russell)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)
Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave. Steven Spielberg received the most buzz for Lincoln, but Ang Lee won for Life of Pi.
Best Foreign Language Film Buzz Leader What Happened
Last Year
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)
The Great Beauty (Italy) Armour (Austria) received the most buzz and went on to win the category.

What are your predictions for this year’s Academy Awards? Enter them in the comment section below, and let’s see if you were right!

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