FEINBERG FORECAST: The Field Is Set Save for Five Oscar Hopefuls That Have Yet to Premiere

THR's awards analyst weighs the unveiling of "Lone Survivor," weekend box office, IDA noms, AFI Fest news and much more with 17 weeks until the 86th Oscars.
Courtesy of Universal
"Lone Survivor"

Every week until the 86th Oscars on March 2, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," wherein he presents a summary of developments since the last update that helped to shape this one and then lists his revised projections. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  • Screening notes: Universal's Lone Survivor was unveiled at a special screening on Oct. 30, which was followed by an emotional Tina Brown-moderated Q&A with producer-star Mark Wahlberg, costar Taylor Kitsch, director Peter Berg and the real-life inspiration for Wahlberg's character, Marcus Luttrell. I was out of the state and therefore unable to attend, but having seen the film some months ago, I am not at all surprised that many are calling it one of the most realistic war movies they have ever seen -- which could end up working for it (some Academy members will cheer its authentic portrait of present-day combat) and against it (others will struggle with its relentless and gruesome violence). The film will have its official world premiere at the AFI Fest on Nov. 12, at which time it may become a little easier to get a read on its prospects for the remainder of the season.
  • Box office: Summit's sci-fi epic Ender's Game debuted to $28 million in ticket sales this weekend, topping the box-office standings. It was followed by last weekend's topper, Paramount's Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which took in $20.5 million, and two newcomers, CBS Films' Last Vegas and Relativity Media's Free Birds at $16.5 million and $16.2 million, respectively. As for Oscar hopefuls now in theaters, Warner Bros. Gravity, in its fifth weekend, grossed $13.1 million (bringing its North American total to $219.2 million), good enough for fifth place, while Sony's Captain Phillips, in its fourth weekend, grossed $8.5 million (bringing its North American total to $82.6 million), placing sixth. Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave generated $4.6 million in sales from just 410 locations (up from 123 last weekend), making for an impressive $11,220 per-theater average. But the top PTA belonged to Focus Features' newcomer Dallas Buyers Club, which hauled in $264,000 from nine locations, which averages out to $29,333 per. Considerably less successful was Entertainment One's poorly reviewed Princess Diana biopic Diana, which tanked in its first weekend, taking in just $64,900 from 38 locations, or just $1,708 per.
  • Announcements: The AFI Fest announced that it will host a special tribute to American Hustle writer-director David O. Russell on Nov. 8, which has prompted speculation that Hustle might receive a sneak screening on that night, as well. (Russell's 2010 film The Fighter received a sneak screening at the fest three years ago.) … Netflix scored some major Emmy noms just a few months ago for another politically themed project, House of Cards. Might they crack the Oscar race next? The streaming service has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to The Square, the best documentary Oscar hopeful about the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt that I have been projecting as the category's front-runner for several weeks now. … Oscar winner Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) endorsed and agreed to "present" Morocco's best foreign language Oscar submission, Horses of God -- prompting me to dissect the explosion of big-name filmmakers "presenting" others' awards hopefuls.
  • Precursors: The International Documentary Association revealed its nominees for the 29th annual IDA Awards. Zeitgeist Films' Let the Fire Burn, a found-footage doc about a 1985 cops-versus-radicals incident, received a field-leading four IDA Award noms, including one for best doc feature. That category's other nominees are Drafthouse Films' The Act of Killing, Magnolia Pictures' Blackfish (which has been getting a lot of attention on CNN lately), Participant Media's The Square and Roadside Attractions' Stories We Tell. The IDA Awards will be presented on Dec. 6.
  • Moments in the spotlight: On Nov. 2, DreamWorks Animation hosted a reception at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills for its best animated feature Oscar hopeful The Croods, which was attended by the studio's CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and the film's directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco, producers Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell and sound designer Randy Thom. … The best supporting actor Oscar race looks like it may come down to 12 Years a Slave's Michael Fassbender and Dallas Buyers Club's Jared Leto. Fassbender has ruled out Oscar campaigning for himself; Leto, meanwhile, has largely left it to his industry friends: Darren Aronofsky (his Requiem for a Dream director), Maria Bello, Peter Bogdanovich, Diane Kruger, Sarah Polley, Zoe Saldana, Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei and Reese Witherspoon have all hosted Dallas Buyers screenings in his honor. … On Nov. 2, James Franco, a long-shot best supporting actor Oscar hopeful for his portrayal of a white gansta named Alien in Spring Breakers, penned a blog post for VICE in which he asserts, "There will never be a movie or a character that is more important for this age than Spring Breakers and its protagonist Alien." Just the latest weird twist in the weirdest Oscar campaign of the season. … On Oct. 26, at the annual Visual Effects Society summit, former Academy president Hawk Koch and current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs seemed to endorse the idea that the Academy should consider adding a new category to deal with films that blur the lines between animation, cinematography and visual effects, like this year's Oscar hopeful Gravity. Isaacs acknowledged, "Many members were confused between the Oscars for cinematography and visual effects on Life of Pi. We will be discussing the differences that have been made with these advancements." Koch suggested that a prospective new all-encompassing category might be called "visual imaging."
  • Potpourri: On Oct. 29 I had a fascinating hourlong conversation with Feng Xiaogang, a filmmaker who has been described as "China's Spielberg" -- and who directed this year's Chinese entry for the best foreign language film Oscar, Back to 1942, and was visiting Hollywood to have his handprints and footprints immortalized at the TCL Chinese Theatre -- about his life, career and the Chinese film industry's growth and ongoing practice of censorship. … My colleagues Tim Appelo and Stephen Galloway and I spent the last few days at the 16th Savannah Film Festival, on the beautiful campus of the Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD). We participated on a panel entitled "The Hollywood Reporter: An Insider's Look," at which we discussed awards season history, logistics and strategies and shared our personal takes on this year's top Oscar races. You can watch video of the full conversation here. … At the SFF, I also caught screenings of Ti West's horror flick The Sacrament (think Waco-meets-Jonestown), the Oscar-qualified doc Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve (which joins Inequality for All and 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film as three must-see docs for people who want to understand America's current economic woes) and the across-the-board Oscar hopeful August: Osage County (which I first caught at the Toronto International Film Festival and enjoyed more on my second viewing), the last of which was preceded by a presentation of the fest's Discovery Award to the film's supporting actress Abigail Breslin. … I also had the opportunity to ride a moped all over historic Savannah and stopped at a number of places where Forrest Gump (1994) was shot, including the site of his "Life is like a box of chocolates" bench and the long tree-lined street on which he is urged to "Run, Forrest, run!"
  • Coming attractions: There are now only five serious Oscar hopefuls that have not yet had their official U.S. premieres: Sony's American Hustle, Universal's Lone Survivor, Relativity Media's Out of the Furnace, Disney's Saving Mr. Banks and Paramount's The Wolf of Wall Street.

Without further ado, here is the latest forecast …

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)
Captain Phillips (Sony, 10/11, TBA, 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)
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features, 11/1, R, trailer)
All Is Lost (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, 10/18, PG-13, trailer
Philomena (The Weinstein Co., TBA, TBA, trailer)
Major Threats
Saving Mr. Banks (Disney, 12/20, PG-13, trailer)
Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, 12/6, R, trailer)
Nebraska (Paramount, 11/22, TBA, trailer)
August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co., 11/8, TBA, trailer)
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Lone Survivor (Universal, 12/27, R, trailer)
Enough Said (Fox Searchlight, 9/20, PG-13, trailer) NEW
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/24, R, trailer)
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Co., 7/12, R, trailer)
Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9/20, R, trailer)
Her (Warner Bros., 12/18, TBA, trailer)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Sundance Selects, 10/25, NC-17, trailer)
Rush (Universal, 9/27, R, trailer)
Long Shots
Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media, 12/6, R, trailer)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Co., 11/29, TBA, trailer)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (20th Century Fox, 12/25, TBA, 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)

David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Major Threats
Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine)
Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Spike Jonze (Her)
Stephen Frears (Philomena)
Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club)
J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost)
Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)
Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) NEW
Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Peter Berg (Lone Survivor)

Long Shots
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)
Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace)
Ron Howard (Rush)
Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Brian Percival (The Book Thief)
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)

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
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
Hugh Jackman (Prisoners)
Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor)
Long Shots
Christian Bale (Out of the Furnace)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman)
Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings)
Isaiah Washington (Blue Caprice)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Major Threats
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
Kate Winslet (Labor Day)
Berenice Bejo (The Past)
Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman)
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief)
Long Shots
Scarlett Johansson (Don Jon)
Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now)
Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
Rooney Mara (Ain't Them Bodies Saints)

Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Jeremy Renner (American Hustle)
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

Major Threats
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks)
James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
George Clooney (Gravity)
Chris Cooper (August: Osage County)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)
Harrison Ford (42)
Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief)
David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners)
Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine)
Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine)
Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine)
Long Shots
Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back)
Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
Josh Brolin (Labor Day)
Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)

Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)

Major Threats
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
June Squibb (Nebraska)

Scarlett Johansson (Her)
Melissa Leo (Prisoners)
Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)
Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave)
Long Shots
Emily Watson (The Book Thief)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Zoe Saldana (Out of the Furnace)

12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)
Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater)
Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
Major Threats
August: Osage County (Tracy Letts)
The Book Thief (Michael Petroni)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (William Nicholson)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Steve Conrad)
Long Shots
The Invisible Woman (Abi Morgan)
The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber)

American Hustle (David O. Russell, Eric Singer)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Major Threats
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Danny Strong)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron
Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)
Frozen (Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris) NEW
All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Prisoners (Aaron Guzkowski)
Rush (Peter Morgan)
The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
Long Shots
Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper, Brad Inglesby)
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
Mud (Jeff Nichols)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, Bob Coccio, Darius Marder)

Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)
Bethlehem (Yuval Adler, Ali Wakad)

Frozen (Disney, 11/27, G, trailer)
The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibili, 11/8, PG-13, 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, PG, trailer)
Free Birds (Relativity Media, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
Epic (20th Century Fox, 5/24, PG, trailer)
Turbo (DreamWorks, 7/19, PG, trailer)
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D (20th Century Fox, 12/20, TBA, trailer)
Khumba (Millennium Entertainment, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Planes (Disney, 8/9, PG, trailer)
Escape From Planet Earth (The Weinstein Co., 2/15, PG, trailer)
Long Shots
The Smurfs 2 (Sony, 7/31, PG, trailer)
The Legend of Sarila (Phase 4 Films, TBA, TBA,
A Letter to Momo (GKIDS, TBA, TBA, trailer)
The Snow Queen (Vertical Entertainment, 1/3, NR, trailer)

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)
The Act of Killing (Drafthouse Films, 7/19, NR, trailer)

Major Threats
Let the Fire Burn (Zeitgeist Films, 10/2, NR, trailer)
American Promise (Rada Film Group, 10/18, NR, trailer)
Blackfish (Magnolia, 7/19, PG-13, trailer)
Dirty Wars (IFC Films, 6/7, NR, trailer)
The Unknown Known (RADiUS, TBA, TBA, TBA)
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (Focus World, 5/24, R, trailer)
God Loves Uganda (Variance Films, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
After Tiller (Oscilloscope, 9/20, TBA, trailer)
Jodorowsky's Dune (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (Lionsgate, 4/5, NR, trailer)
Call Me Kuchu (Cinedigm, 6/14, NR, trailer)
Casting By (HBO, 11/1, NR, trailer)
Inequality for All (RADiUS, 9/27, PG, trailer)
The Crash Reel (Phase 4 Films, 7/5, TBA, trailer)
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Gideon's Army (Trilogy Films, TBA, TBA, trailer) NEW
Muscle Shoals (Magnolia, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Seduced and Abandoned (HBO, 10/18, 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)
Cutie and the Boxer (RADiUS, 8/16, R, trailer)
Our Nixon (Cinedigm, 8/30, NR, trailer)
First Cousin Once Removed (HBO Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer)
Sound City (Roswell Films/Variance Films, 2/1, NR, trailer)
99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (Participant Media, 9/6, TBA, trailer)
Rising From Ashes (First Run Features, 8/2, NR, trailer)
Blood Brother (Tugg, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Herblock: The Black & the White (TSC Dist. Services, 8/16, NR, trailer)
Long Shots
Leviathan (Cinema Guild, 3/1, NR, trailer)
12-12-12 Concert (The Weinstein Co., 11/15, R, trailer)
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)
Informant (Music Box Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer)
Narco Cultura (Cinedigm, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Running From Crazy (OWN and Vitagraph Films, 11/1, TBA, trailer)
At Berkeley (Zipporah Films, 11/8, TBA, TBA)
56 Up (First Run Features, 1/4, NR, trailer)
Valentine Road (BMP Films, TBA, TBA, trailer)
Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird (6th Avenue Productions, 10/11, TBA, trailer)
A.K.A. Doc Pomus (TBA, 10/4, TBA, trailer)

Iran (The Past)
Israel (Bethlehem)
Italy (The Great Beauty)
Denmark (The Hunt)
Saudi Arabia (Wadjda)
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)

Brazil (Neighboring Sounds)
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