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NOV
25
1 years

FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections (With 13 Weeks Until the 85th Oscars)

Long-awaited Oscar hopefuls "Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty" finally screened this week, and THR's awards analyst reveals their impact on the race.

Les Miserables - Hugh Jackman - H 2012
Courtesy of Universal
"Les Miserables"

Every Sunday through the Oscars on Feb. 24, The Hollywood Reporter's awards analyst Scott Feinberg will release a new "Feinberg Forecast," a post in which he recaps the most noteworthy awards-related news of the past week and shares his latest assessment of the standings in each of the major awards categories. (For more information about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, see the bottom of this post.)

NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS SINCE LAST WEEK'S FORECAST:

  • Over the Thanksgiving weekend, two long-awaited awards hopefuls screened for the first time on both coasts: Universal's Les Miserables was met with unabashed enthusiasm on Friday (the best notices were reserved for best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Anne Hathaway's performance), and Sony's Zero Dark Thirty generated respectful praise on Sunday (the best notices coming for best actress Oscar hopeful Jessica Chastain). Here is my take on the former and latter screenings. The only two awards contenders that have not yet been widely screened but will be in the very near future: The Weinstein Co.'s Django Unchained and Warner Bros.' The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

  • It was a big extended Thanksgiving weekend (as in Wednesday through Sunday) at the domestic box office with $290 million spent on ticket sales, breaking the record of $270.5 million set in 2009. The Friday-through-Sunday numbers show that moviegoers were quite happy to feast on leftovers after the holiday, with Summit's Twilight Breaking Dawn -- Part 2, in its second weekend, claiming first place with $43.1 million in sales; Sony's Skyfall, in its third, placing second with $36 million (and becoming the first Bond pic to top $200 million domestically); and DreamWorks' Lincoln, in its third, finishing third with $25.1 million. There were four newbies this weekend: DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians underperformed expectations, finishing fourth with $24 million; 20th Century Fox's Life of Pi, exceeded them, grossing $22 million; and Fox Searchlight's Hitchcock and Sony Pictures Classics' Rust and Bone, both of which opened in only a few locations, failed to stir up much excitement, with disappointing per-theater averages of $17,706 and $15,100, respectively.

  • It was a busy week for many studios that want to make sure that their films and talent are seen by awards voters sooner rather than later, since voting for some guild groups already is underway and Oscar voting is set to begin earlier than ever on Dec. 17. Among the most active: Universal shuttled Les Miserables director Tom Hooper from the film's first New York screening on Friday (at which he was joined for a postscreening Q&A by actors Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks) to six different Los Angeles screenings on Saturday. The Weinstein Co. arranged for Silver Linings Playbook actors Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Tucker to participate in a West Coast SAG Q&A early in the week and stars Robert De Niro, Shea Whigham and Paul Herman -- along with writer-director David O. Russell and producer Bruce Cohen -- to participate in an East Coast SAG Q&A on Sunday (moderated by yours truly). 20th Century Fox trotted out Life of Pi director Ang Lee throughout the week to Q&As with the Santa Barbara Cinema Society, ILM, DreamWorks Animation, the PGA, the DGA, SAG and the Academy. And Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow, accompanied by actors Chastain, Jason Clarke and Jennifer Ehle, knocked out three Q&As during the weekend.

  • Best director Oscar hopeful Peter Jackson (The Hobbit) is under fire, as animal wranglers who worked on his new trilogy are alleging that 27 animals died due to negligence on the part of Jackson's production company.

  • Best director Oscar hopeful Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) delivered the keynote speech during a ceremony on Nov. 19 commemorating the 149th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

  • The Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that it will present best actress Oscar hopeful Naomi Watts (The Impossible) with its Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award on Jan. 5. Previous recipients include Hathaway, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams and Kate Winslet. The fest's 24th edition runs Jan. 3-14.

  • Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry hosted a special screening of The Impossible in London to help call attention to the performance of 16-year-old best actor Oscar hopeful Tom Holland, who also starred in Daldry's West End production of Billy Elliot: the Musical.

  • Best original screenplay Oscar hopeful Judd Apatow (This Is 40) was the subject of a nice profile in The New York Times.

  • Oprah Winfrey, whose endorsement always is coveted by awards hopefuls, tweeted on Nov. 24, "Girls and I saw SILVER LININGS last night. LOL delightful!"

  • Best director and best adapted screenplay Oscar hopeful Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) is among those who were announced as the recipients of Smithsonian magazine's first American Ingenuity Awards, which will be presented Nov. 28 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
     

THIS WEEK'S FORECAST:

BEST PICTURE
Front-runners
Lincoln (DreamWorks, 11/9, PG-13, trailer)
Argo (Warner Bros., 10/12, R, trailer)
Les Miserables (Universal, 12/25, PG-13, trailer)
Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Co., 11/21, R, trailer)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros., 12/14, TBA, trailer)
The Master (The Weinstein Co., 9/14, R, trailer)
Life of Pi (20th Century Fox, 11/21, PG, trailer)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight, 6/27, PG-13, trailer)
Zero Dark Thirty (Sony, 12/19, TBA, teaser)
Flight (Paramount, 11/2, R, trailer)
Major Threats
Django Unchained (The Weinstein Co., 12/25, R, trailer)
The Impossible (Summit, 12/21, PG-13, trailer)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox Searchlight, 5/4, PG-13, trailer)
Hitchcock (Fox Searchlight, 11/23, PG-13, trailer)
The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros., 7/20, PG-13, trailer)
Amour (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/19, PG-13, trailer)
Possibilities
Skyfall (Sony, 11/9, PG-13, trailer)
Promised Land (Focus Features, 12/28, R, trailer)
Cloud Atlas (Warner Bros., 10/26, R, trailer)
The Sessions (Fox Searchlight, 10/19, R, trailer)
Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features, 5/25, PG-13, trailer)
Anna Karenina (Focus Features, 11/16, R, trailer)

BEST DIRECTOR
Front-runners
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)
David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)
Major Threats
Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

Michael Haneke (Amour)
Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Possibilities
Robert Zemeckis (Flight)
Gus Van Sant (The Promised Land)
Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (Cloud Atlas)
Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible)
Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
John Madden (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

BEST ACTOR
Front-runners
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
John Hawkes (The Sessions)
Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Major Threats
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock)
Richard Gere (Arbitrage)
Jack Black (Bernie)
Ben Affleck (Argo)
Matt Damon (Promised Land)
Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
Possibilities
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour)
Liam Neeson (The Grey)
Tom Holland (The Impossible)
Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch)
Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)
Omar Sy (The Intouchables)

BEST ACTRESS
Front-runners
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)
Helen Mirren (Hitchcock)
Major Threats
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina)
Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Frances McDormand (Promised Land)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed)
Possibilities
Meryl Streep (Hope Springs)
Maggie Smith (Quartet)
Barbra Streisand (The Guilt Trip)
Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea)
Michelle Williams (Take This Waltz)
Elle Fanning (Ginger & Rosa)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Front-runners
Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Alan Arkin (Argo)
Major Threats
John Goodman (Argo)
John Goodman (Flight)
Bryan Cranston (Argo)
Russell Crowe (Les Miserables)
Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) NEW
Hal Holbrook (Promised Land)
Ewan McGregor (The Impossible)
Possibilities
Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
Michael Pena (End of Watch)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Les Miserables) NEW
Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
Garrett Hedlund (On the Road)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Front-runners
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Amy Adams (The Master)
Kelly Reilly (Flight)

Major Threats
Samantha Barks (Les Miserables)
Ann Dowd (Compliance)

Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables)
Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Kristen Stewart (On the Road)
Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
Possibilities
Helena Bonham Carter (Les Miserables)
Judi Dench (Skyfall)
Emily Blunt (Looper)

Susan Sarandon (Arbitrage)
Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
Argo (Chris Terrio)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin)
Les Miserables (William Nicholson)
Major Threats
Life of Pi (David Magee)
The Sessions (Ben Lewin)
The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Philippa Boyens, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Ol Parker)
Hitchcock (John McLaughlin)
Possibilities
Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski)
The Intouchables (Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano)
Anna Karenina (Tom Stoppard)
Quartet (Ronald Harwood)
Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain)
The Grey (Joe Carnahan, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Front-runners
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)
Amour (Michael Haneke)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
Looper (Rian Johnson)
Major Threats
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
Promised Land (Matt Damon, John Krasinski)
Flight (John Gatins)
Arbitrage (Nicholas Jarecki)
The Impossible (Sergio G. Sanchez)
Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
Possibilities
End of Watch (David Ayer)
Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay)
Brave (Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman)
To Rome With Love (Woody Allen)
The Guilt Trip (Dan Fogelman)
Hyde Park on Hudson (Richard Nelson)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Front-runners
Brave (Pixar, 6/22, PG, trailer)
Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks Animation, 11/21, PG, trailer)
Wreck-It Ralph (Disney, 11/2, PG, trailer)
ParaNorman (Focus Features, 8/17, PG, trailer)
Zarafa (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
The Painting (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Frankenweenie (Disney, 10/5, PG, trailer)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Sony Animation, 4/27, PG, trailer)
Possibilities
Hotel Transylvania (Sony Animation, 9/28, PG, trailer)
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (DreamWorks Animation, 6/8, PG, trailer)
From Up on Poppy Hill (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Rabbi's Cat (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Front-runners
Searching for Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/27, PG-13, trailer)
The Gatekeepers (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, PG-13, clip)
Detropia (Loki Films, 9/7, TBA, trailer)
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (HBO Documentaries, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Central Park Five (Sundance Selects, 11/23, NR, trailer)
Major Threats
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Sundance Selects, 7/27, R, trailer)
West of Memphis (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/25, R, trailer)
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (Music Box Films, 6/13, NR, trailer)
Samsara (Oscilloscope, 8/24, PG-13, trailer)
The Imposter (Indomina, 7/13, R, trailer)
The House I Live In (Charlotte Street Films, 10/5, NR, trailer)
Paul Williams: Still Alive (Abramorama, 6/8, NR, trailer)
Brooklyn Castle (Producers Distribution Agency, 10/19, PG, trailer)
Chasing Ice (Submarine Entertainment, 11/9, PG-13, trailer)
The Queen of Versailles (Magnolia, 7/20, PG, trailer)
How to Survive a Plague (Sundance Selects, 9/21, TBA, trailer)
Head Games (Variance Films, 9/21, PG-13, trailer)
Possibilities
The Iran Job (Paladin, 9/28, NR, trailer) NEW
The Invisible War (Docurama, 6/22, NR, trailer)
The Waiting Room (International Film Circuit, 9/26, TBA, trailer)
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare (Roadside Attractions, 10/5, PG-13, trailer)
First Position (Sundance Selects, 5/4, NR, trailer)
Marley (Magnolia, 4/20, PG-13, trailer)
Love, Marilyn (HBO Documentaries, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Scenes of a Crime (New Box Productions, 3/30, NR, trailer)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (Samuel Goldwyn Films, 9/21, NR, trailer)
Ethel (HBO Documentaries, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Side by Side (Tribeca Films, 8/31, TBA, trailer)
Bad 25 (TBA, 10/19, TBA, trailer)
The Zen of Bennett (Abramorama, 10/24, TBA, trailer)
Bully (The Weinstein Co., 3/30, PG-13, trailer)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
Front-runners
Austria, Amour
France, The Intouchables
Denmark, A Royal Affair

Israel, Fill the Void
Switzerland, Sister
Major Threats
Romania, Beyond the Hills
South Korea, Pieta
Chile, No
Norway, Kon-Tiki
Iceland, The Deep
Germany, Barbara
Canada, War Witch
Australia, Lore
Belgium, Our Children
Spain, Blancnieves
Philippines, Bwakaw

Possibilities
Netherlands, Kauwboy
Japan, Our Homeland
Mexico, After Lucia
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Children of Sarajevo
Hungary, Just the Wind
Colombia, The Snitch Cartel

Bulgaria, Sneakers
Greece, Unfair World
Portugal, Blood of My Blood
Serbia, When Day Breaks
Morocco, Death for Sale
Sweden, The Hypnotist
Czech Republic, In the Shadow

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Front-runners
The Master
Django Unchained

Life of Pi
Lincoln
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Major Threats
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cloud Atlas
Skyfall
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
The Dark Knight Rises

Possibilities
Anna Karenina
Samsara
Flight
Moonrise Kingdom
Argo
The Hunger Games
Sister

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Front-runners
Anna Karenina
Snow White and the Huntsman

Cloud Atlas
Les Miserables
Lincoln

Major Threats
A Royal Affair
Django Unchained

Mirror Mirror
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Possibilities
Argo
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
Life of Pi
The Hunger Games
The Avengers

Prometheus

BEST FILM EDITING
Front-runners
Argo
Les Miserables
Zero Dark Thirty
The Master

Lincoln
Major Threats
Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
The Dark Knight Rises
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Possibilities
Cloud Atlas
The Bourne Legacy

Flight
Moonrise Kingdom
The Impossible
Samsara

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Front-runners
Cloud Atlas
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Men in Black 3
Major Threats
Lincoln
Les Miserables
Hitchcock
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained

Possibilities
The Master
The Dark Knight Rises
The Impossible
The Hunger Games
Hyde Park on Hudson

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Front-runners
The Master (Johnny Greenwood)
Lincoln (John Williams)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Howard Shore)
Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Rise of the Guardians (Alexandre Desplat)

Major Threats
Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin)
The Dark Knight Rises (Hans Zimmer)
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Hitchcock (Danny Elfman)
Zero Dark Thirty (Alexandre Desplat)
Moonrise Kingdom (Alexandre Desplat)
Django Unchained (Mary Ramos)
Possibilities
On the Road (Gustavo Santaolalla)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Thomas Newman)
Rust and Bone (Alexandre Desplat)
The Hunger Games (James Newton Howard)
The Impossible (Fernando Velazquez)
Cloud Atlas (Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer)
Flight (Alan Silvestri)
Samsara (Marcello De Francisci, Lisa Gerrard, Michael Stearns)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Front-runners
Les Miserables
Anna Karenina

Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Major Threats
Argo
Life of Pi
Cloud Atlas
Django Unchained
The Master
The Dark Knight Rises
Possibilities
Skyfall
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom

The Impossible
Snow White and the Huntsman
Prometheus
Flight

BEST SOUND EDITING
Front-runners
Django Unchained
The Dark Knight Rises

Les Miserables
Skyfall
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Major Threats
Zero Dark Thirty
The Avengers
The Impossible
Lincoln
Life of Pi
The Master
Argo

Possibilities
Flight
The Amazing Spider-Man
Cloud Atlas
The Impossible
The Bourne Legacy
The Hunger Games

BEST SOUND MIXING
Front-runners
Django Unchained
The Dark Knight Rises
Les Miserables

Skyfall
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Major Threats
Zero Dark Thirty
The Avengers
The Impossible
Lincoln
Life of Pi
The Master
Argo

Possibilities
Flight
The Amazing Spider-Man
Cloud Atlas
The Impossible
The Bourne Legacy
The Hunger Games

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Front-runners
Life of Pi
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Cloud Atlas
The Dark Knight Rises

Skyfall
Major Threats
The Impossible
The Avengers
The Amazing Spider-Man
Possibilities
Flight
The Bourne Legacy
Prometheus

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Front-runners
Paperman (Disney)
The Eagleman Stag (Royal College of Art)
Combustible (Sunrise, Inc.)
Tram (Sacrebleu Productions)
Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare' (Gracie Films)
Major Threats
Adam and Dog (Lodge Films)
Dripped (ChezEddy)
The Fall of the House of Usher (Melusine Productions, R&R Communications Inc., Les Armateurs, The Big Farm)
Fresh Guacamole (PES)
Head Over Heels (National Film and Television School)

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Front-runners
The Education of Mohammad Hussein (Loki Films)
Open Heart (Urban Landscapes Inc.)
Kings Point (Kings Point Documentary, Inc.)
Mondays at Racine (Cynthia Wade Productions)
Inocente (Shine Global, Inc.)
Major Threats
Paraiso (The Strangebird Company)
The Perfect Fit (SDI Productions Ltd.)
Redemption (Downtown Docs)

* * *

ABOUT SCOTT FEINBERG AND THE "FEINBERG FORECAST"

Scott Feinberg is one of the film industry's most trusted awards analysts and has one of the world's best track records at forecasting the Oscars, something that he has been doing since 2001. His best showings came in 2006 (when he correctly called 21 of 24 winners) and 2004 (when he correctly called 20 of 24 winners). He was the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011).

Scott factors into his projections personal impressions (based on advance screenings at festivals or elsewhere), 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 with the Academy), precursor awards (some awards groups have better track records than others of correlating with the Academy) and regular conversations with industry insiders (including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and voters).