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OCT
20
12 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections (With 19 Weeks Until the 86th Oscars)

THR's awards analyst reassesses the field after another huge weekend for "Gravity" and "Captain Phillips" and the unveiling of "Saving Mr. Banks" in London.

The Square (El Midan)
"The Square"

Every week until the 86th Oscars on March 2, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," reflecting his latest take on the standings of the contenders in each of the major categories. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post. Here, meanwhile, is a list of developments since the last forecast that helped to shape this one…

  • Warner Bros.' Gravity topped the box office for a third straight weekend thanks to $31 million in domestic ticket sales (it has now grossed $170.6 million domestically and $284.8 million worldwide), and Sony's Captain Phillips placed second for a second straight weekend with $17.3 million in domestic ticket sales and also performed particularly well overseas (it has now grossed $53.3 million domestically and $62.4 million worldwide). Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave, most pundits' current best picture Oscar front-runner, went into limited release on Friday and took in $960,000 from just 19 locations, giving it a $50,526 per-theater average, far and away the weekend's highest. (It will expand to more than 100 theaters next weekend and then go wide Nov. 1.) Also in their first week in a small number of theaters were three other awards hopefuls: Lionsgate/Roadside's All Is Lost ($16,233 per-theater average), Sony Pictures Classics' Kill Your Darlings ($14,425 per-theater average) and Rada Film Group's American Promise ($9,150 per-theater average). DreamWorks' onetime awards hopeful The Fifth Estate, however, was DOA, grossing only $1.7 million from 1,769 U.S. locations, good for a measly $969 per-theater average -- or 30th place.
  • Worthwhile reading related to the release of 12 Years a Slave in the New York Times: Nelson George's Oct. 11 discussion about the film with the people who made it and historian Eric Foner plus Manohla Dargis' Oct. 18 review. Also, via New York magazine's Vulture website, an analysis of Brad Pitt's decision to cast himself as the one likable white man in the film that he produced, which Pitt insists was only to help the movie get made, but which writer Jada Yuan finds self-serving. (She quotes a colleague who said, "Brad Pitt giving himself that part was like if [Annapurna Pictures founder] Megan Ellison had cast herself as the SEAL who shot Bin Laden at the end of Zero Dark Thirty.")
  • The 57th BFI London Film Festival came to a close on Oct. 20 with the world premiere of Disney's Saving Mr. Banks. (Click here to read THR's review.) The film's best actress hopeful Emma Thompson and best supporting actor hopefuls Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell were all on hand. Hanks has been spending a lot of time in London, of late: His other 2013 awards hopeful, Captain Phillips, opened the fest on Oct. 9, and Hanks was feted on Oct. 19 by BAFTA as part of its "A Life in Pictures" series, wherein noted filmmakers participate in a lengthy discussion about their lives and careers.
  • The Hollywood Film Awards announced the recipients of several more prizes that will be presented at its 17th gala ceremony on Oct. 21: American Hustle costume designer Michael Wilkinson and production designer Judy Becker will receive the Hollywood Costume Design Award and Hollywood Production Design Award, respectively; and the band Coldplay will receive the Hollywood Song Award for its hit song "Atlas" from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; frontman Chris Martin will accept the award on behalf of the group and perform at the event.
  • City Drive Entertainment Group's The Square, a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, won the Toronto International Film Festival's audience award in September and recently played at the New York Film Festival, continues to pick up momentum on the circuit -- a lengthy piece about its evolution in Oct. 17's New York Times certainly didn't help -- and I am now categorizing it as the front-runner in an extremely competitive best documentary feature Oscar race, with RADiUS's 20 Feet From Stardom and Sony Pictures Classics' Tim's Vermeer hot on its heels.
  • There are now only five serious Oscar hopefuls that have not been officially unveiled: Sony's American Hustle, Sony's The Monuments Men, Universal's Lone Survivor, Relativity Media's Out of the Furnace and Paramount's The Wolf of Wall Street. We are still awaiting an official announcement about Wolf's release date -- all we know right now is that it won't be ready by its initially announced date of Nov. 14, but I am hearing reports that a move to Christmas Day is all but certain.

And, without further ado, here is the latest forecast …

BEST PICTURE
Front-runners
American Hustle (Sony, 12/13, TBA, trailer)
12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight, 10/18, R, trailer)
Gravity (Warner Bros., 10/4, PG-13, trailer)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (The Weinstein Co., 8/16, PG-13, trailer)
Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/26, PG-13, trailer)
Captain Phillips (Sony, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
All Is Lost (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 10/18, PG-13, trailer)
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features, 11/1, R, trailer)

Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, 12/20, PG-13, trailer)
Major Threats
The Monuments Men (Sony, 12/18, TBA, trailer)
Philomena (The Weinstein Co., TBA, TBA, trailer)
Nebraska (Paramount, 11/22, TBA, trailer)
Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, 12/6, R, trailer)
Rush (Universal, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Co., 7/12, R, trailer)
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9/20, TBD, trailer)
August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co., 11/8, TBA, trailer)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century Fox, 12/25, TBA, trailer)
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/24, R, trailer)
Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media, 12/6, R, trailer)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Co., 11/29, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Sundance Selects, 10/25, NC-17, TBA)
Her (Warner Bros., 12/18, TBA, trailer)
Lone Survivor (Universal, 12/27, R, trailer)
The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros., 5/10, PG-13, trailer)
Mud (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 4/26, PG-13, trailer)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Focus Features, 3/29, R, trailer)

BEST DIRECTOR
Front-runners
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
Major Threats
Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
George Clooney (The Monuments Men)
J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost)
Stephen Frears (Philomena)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)
Possibilities
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club)
Ron Howard (Rush)
Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Spike Jonze (Her)
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)
Long Shots
Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace)
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)
Brian Percival (The Book Thief)
Asghar Farhadi (The Past)

BEST ACTOR
Front-runners
Robert Redford (All Is Lost)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
Major Threats
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
Possibilities
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
Matt Damon (The Monuments Men)
Hugh Jackman (Prisoners)
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Long Shots
Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman)
Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
Christian Bale (Out of the Furnace)
Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor)
Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings)

BEST ACTRESS
Front-runners
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Major Threats
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
Berenice Bejo (The Past)
Possibilities
Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Long Shots
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief)
Rooney Mara (Ain't Them Bodies Saints)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Front-runners
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Jeremy Renner (American Hustle)
Harrison Ford (42)
Major Threats
Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
George Clooney (Gravity)
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)
Possibilities
Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners)
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine)
Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine)
Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine)
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
Long Shots
Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
Chris Cooper (August: Osage County)
Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines)
Bradley Cooper (The Place Beyond the Pines)

Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace)
Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Front-runners
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

June Squibb (Nebraska)

Major Threats
Scarlett Johansson (Her)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
Melissa Leo (Prisoners)
Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)
Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Possibilities
Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave)
Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
Emily Watson (The Book Thief)
Long Shots
Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman)
Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)
Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Zoe Saldana (Out of the Furnace)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)
The Monuments Men (George Clooney, Grant Heslov)
Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater)

Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
Major Threats
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Steve Conrad)
August: Osage County (Tracy Letts)
Possibilities
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (William Nicholson)
The Book Thief (Michael Petroni)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
Long Shots
The Invisible Woman (Abi Morgan)
The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Singer)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Danny Strong)
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
Major Threats
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron)
All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor)

Her (Spike Jonze)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)
Possibilities
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)
Rush (Peter Morgan)
The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
Prisoners (Aaron Guzkowski)

Long Shots
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
Mud (Jeff Nichols)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, Darius Marder)

Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper, Brad Inglesby)
Bethlehem (Yuval Adler, Ali Wakad)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Front-runners
Frozen (Disney, 11/27, TBA, TBA)
The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibili, 11/8, TBA, trailer)
Monsters University (Disney-Pixar, 6/21, G, trailer)
The Croods (DreamWorks Animation
, 3/22, PG, trailer)
Ernest & Celestine (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 7/3, PG, trailer)
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Sony, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Turbo (DreamWorks, 7/19, PG, trailer)
Epic (20th Century Fox, 5/24, PG, trailer)
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D (20th Century Fox, 12/20, TBA, trailer)
Possibilities
Khumba (Millennium Entertainment, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Planes (Disney, 8/9, PG, trailer)
Escape From Planet Earth (The Weinstein Co., 2/15, PG, trailer)
Free Birds (Relativity Media, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
A Letter to Momo (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
The Smurfs 2 (Sony, 7/31, PG, trailer)
The Legend of Sarila (Phase 4 Films, TBA, TBA,
trailer)
The Snow Queen (Vertical Entertainment, 1/3, NR,
trailer)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Front-runners
The Square (City Drive Entertainment Group, 10/25, NR, TBA)
20 Feet From Stardom (RADiUS, 6/14, PG-13, trailer)
Tim's Vermeer (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Stories We Tell (Roadside Attractions, 5/10, PG-13, trailer)
American Promise (Rada Film Group, 10/18, NR, trailer)
Major Threats
Blackfish (Magnolia, 7/19, PG-13, trailer)
The Act of Killing (Drafthouse Films, 7/19, NR, trailer)
Dirty Wars (IFC Films, 6/7, NR, trailer)
The Unknown Known (RADiUS, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Jodorowsky's Dune (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Cutie and the Boxer (RADiUS, 8/16, R, trailer)
Call Me Kuchu (Cinedigm, 6/14, NR, trailer)

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (Lionsgate, 4/5, NR, trailer)
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (Focus World, 5/24, R, trailer)
After Tiller (Oscilloscope, 9/20, TBA, trailer)
Crash Reel (Phase 4 Films, 7/5, TBA, TBA) NEW
Possibilities
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
God Loves Uganda (Variance Films, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
Inequality for All (RADiUS, 9/27, PG, trailer)
Muscle Shoals (Magnolia, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Blood Brother (Tugg, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Leviathan (Cinema Guild, 3/1, NR, trailer)
Rising From Ashes (First Run Features, 8/2, NR, trailer)
Salma (Women Make Movies, 1/?, TBA, trailer)

For No Good Reason (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Salinger (The Weinstein Co., 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
12-12-12 Concert (The Weinstein Co., 11/1, TBA, TBA) NEW
Terms and Conditions May Apply (Variance Films, 7/12, TBA, trailer)
Fire in the Blood (International Film Circuit, 9/6, NR, trailer)
Linsanity (Ketchup Entertainment, 10/4, NR, trailer)
Sound City (Roswell Films/Variance Films, 2/1, NR, trailer)
Informant (Music Box Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer)
Narco Cultura (Cinedigm, TBA, TBA, trailer)
99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (Participant Media, 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Running From Crazy (OWN and Vitagraph Films, 11/1, TBA, trailer) NEW
At Berkeley (Zipporah Films, 11/8, TBA, TBA) NEW
56 Up (First Run Features, 1/4, NR, trailer)
Still Seeking U.S. Distribution
Expedition to the End of the World (trailer)
Valentine Road

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Front-runners
Iran (The Past)
Israel (Bethlehem)
Denmark (The Hunt)
Saudi Arabia (Wadjda)
Italy (The Great Beauty)
Others, listed alphabetically
Afghanistan (Wajma)
Albania (Agon)
Argentina (Wakolda)
Australia (The Rocket)
Austria (The Wall)
Azerbaijan (Steppe Man)

Bangladesh (Television)
Belgium (The Broken Circle Breakdown)
Bosnia-Herzegovina (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker)
Bulgaria (The Color of Chameleon)
Cambodia (The Missing Picture)
Canada (Gabrielle)

Chad (GriGris)
Chile (Gloria)
Colombia (La Playa DC)

Croatia (Halima's Path)
Czech Republic (The Don Juans)

Dominican Republic (Quien Manda?)
Ecuador (The Porcelain Horse)
Egypt (Winter of Discontent)
Estonia (Free Range)
Finland (The Disciple)
France (Renoir
)
Georgia (In Bloom)
Germany (Two Lives)
Greece (Boy Eating the Bird's Food)
Hong Kong (The Grandmaster)

Hungary (The Notebook)
Iceland (Of Horses and Men)
India (The Good Road)
Indonesia (Sang Kiai)

Japan (The Great Passage)
Kazakhstan (The Old Man)

Latvia (Mother I Love You)
Lebanon (Blind Intersections)

Lithuania (Conversations on Serious Topics)
Luxembourg (Blind Spots)

Mexico (Heli)
Moldova (All God's Children)

Montenegro (Ace of Spades -- Bad Destiny)
Morocco (Horses of God)

Nepal (Soongava: Dance of the Orchids)
Netherlands (Borgman)

New Zealand (White Lies)
Norway (I Am Yours)

Pakistan (Zinda Bhaag)
Palestine (Omar)
Peru (The Cleaner)

Philippines (Transit)
Poland (Walesa)

Portugal (Lines of Wellington)
Romania (Child's Pose)
Russia (Stalingrad)
Serbia (Circles)
Singapore (Ilo Ilo)
Slovak Republic (My Dog Killer)
Slovenia (Class Enemy)

South Africa (Four Corners)
South Korea (Juvenile Offender)
Spain (15 Years Plus a Day)
Sweden (Eat Sleep Die)
Switzerland (More Than Honey)

Taiwan (Soul)
Thailand (Countdown)

Turkey (The Butterfly's Dream)
Ukraine (Parajanov)
United Kingdom (Metro Manila)
Uruguay (Anina)

Venezuela (Breach in the Silence)

About the Feinberg Forecast

Scott has been forecasting the Oscars since 2001 and has one of the strongest track records of all awards pundits. His best showings came in 2006 and 2013, when he correctly called 21 out of 24 winners. He was the only pundit to project best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), among many other surprises.

He factors into his projections personal impressions (based on advance screenings of hundreds of films each year), publicly available information (release dates, genres, talent rosters and teasers/trailers often offer valuable clues), historical considerations (comparing and contrasting how other films with similar pedigrees have resonated), precursor awards (some awards groups have historically correlated with the Academy more than others), and conversations with industry insiders (including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and awards voters).

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg