FEINBERG FORECAST: What Will Fill the Void Left by the Exit of 'The Monuments Men'?

THR's awards analyst also considers the weekend box office, the Hollywood Film Awards, the Gotham noms and much more with just 18 weeks until the 86th Oscars.
Courtesy of Sony
"The Monuments Men"

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.

  • Comings and goings: It was announced on Oct. 22 that Sony's The Monuments Men is being pushed to the spring of 2014, ostensibly because postproduction visual effects work on the World War II thriller could not be completed in time for its scheduled release date of Dec. 18. -- prompting me to ask if there is, in fact, another reason why 2013 contenders have been dropping like flies lately. … On Oct. 26, THR broke the news that Sony Pictures Classics has decided to campaign for The Invisible Woman's Felicity Jones in the best actress category, not the best supporting actress category, as had originally been the plan.
  • Box office: Warner Bros.' Gravity, which topped the box office each of the last three weekends, and Sony's Captain Phillips, which placed second each of the last two weekends, enjoyed yet another strong turnout this weekend but ended up in second place ($20.3 million) and third place ($11.8 million), respectively, thanks to a strong debut by Paramount's noncontender Bad Grandpa ($32 million). Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave expanded from 19 to 123 locations and took in $2.15 million, which makes for a per-theater average of $17,480 -- bested only by IFC's graphic lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color, which averaged $25,250 per theater at four locations. Noujaim Films' documentary feature contender The Square, in its first weekend in limited release, enjoyed the third-highest per-theater average, taking in $15,700 at a single venue. And while one film about WikiLeaks, DreamWorks' The Fifth Estate, continues to tank -- it averaged just $318 from 1,769 locations in its second weekend in theatrical release -- another, Focus World's We Steal Secrets, is actually doing very well; it was released theatrically in the spring and was the No. 1 most downloaded film on iTunes last weekend. (It has since fallen to No. 7.)
  • Announcements: The IFP unveiled the nominations for the 23rd Gotham Independent Film Awards on Oct. 24. 12 Years a Slave led the field with three noms and overdue recognition was bestowed upon Short Term 12 actress Brie Larson and Gimme the Loot writer-director Adam Leon, among others -- but we explained why Oscar-watchers shouldn't read too much into the list. … The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced on Oct. 25 that its eighth Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film will be presented to Lee Daniels' The Butler star Forest Whitaker at a gala dinner on Dec. 15.
  • Precursors: The 17th Hollywood Film Awards were presented at a gala awards ceremony -- the first of the Oscar season -- on Oct. 21. Noteworthy moments included the presentation of the breakout director award to 12 Years a Slave helmer Steve McQueen by fan Kanye West; a tearful acceptance speech by New Hollywood Award recipient Lupita Nyong'o, the best supporting actress Oscar frontrunner for 12 Years; great off-the-cuff speeches by lead actor award recipient Matthew McConaughey and breakthrough actor award recipient Jared Leto, both of Dallas Buyers Club, and lead actress award recipient Sandra Bullock (Gravity); and the presentation of a career achievement award to Harrison Ford, a best supporting actor Oscar contender this year for 42, which elicited the night's one standing ovation.
  • Moments in the spotlight: On Oct. 21, 20th Century Fox hosted a brunch at The Four Seasons for The Book Thief, at which the film's 13-year-old Canadian best actress Oscar hopeful Sophie Nelisse -- who was so good two years ago in Canada's best foreign language film Oscar nominee Monsieur Lazhar and also shines in this film -- met some of the Hollywood press for the first time. Best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Geoffrey Rush was also in attendance and sang her praises to me. … On Oct. 22, last week's THR cover boy Brett Ratner hosted an L.A. screening of and Spago dinner for James Toback's great showbiz doc Seduced and Abandoned, which I caught at Cannes -- where I shadowed the inimitable Toback with THR cameras on the day and night of the film's world premiere and then taped a postmortem with Toback and co-star Alec Baldwin -- and which, having had an Oscar-qualifying run, will premiere on HBO Monday night.
  • Screening notes: I caught one of the first screenings of Disney's best animated feature Oscar hopeful Frozen and subsequently tweeted, "In my humble opinion Frozen is the best non-Pixar Disney movie since The Lion King almost 20 years ago. Add it to the list of greats." We'll have to wait and see if the Academy's animation branch concurs. I also see it as a serious threat to score at least one best original song Oscar nomination -- for "Let It Go," performed by Idina Menzel during the film and Demi Lovato over its end credits -- and possibly even more.
  • Potpourri: My recent interviews with 12 Years a Slave's best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Sarah Paulson and Before Sunset's best actor and best adapted screenplay Oscar hopeful Ethan Hawke -- two of the nicest people in the business -- were used for episode one and episode two, respectively, of THR's new video series "Hollywood Exceptions." … I was saddened to learn of the death of Hal Needham, one of only two stunt men to ever receive an honorary Oscar, on Oct. 25. Needham, who was 82, was one of Hollywood's most colorful characters, as he demonstrated when I interviewed him shortly before he was honored at the Academy's Governors Awards last December. … Kudos to the Academy for taking steps to address the e-voting issues that confused many members last awards season, as we reported on Oct. 25. … I am filing this week's forecast from Austin, Texas, where I have been since Friday, attending the 20th Austin Film Festival, a great event. On Oct. 26, I moderated a panel on "Storytelling" with writer-director Jonathan Demme, writer-director Vince Gilligan, producer Barry Josephson (Bones), writer-director Callie Khouri and actress Susan Sarandon, which was fun, and on Oct. 27, after stopping by the nearby LBJ Presidential Library, I attended a live read of Gilligan's long-unproduced film script Two-Face, featuring Will Ferrell, Thomas Haden Church, Linda Cardellini and Rian Johnson, among others. … On Oct. 27, I was a guest on NPR's "All Things Considered," discussing Oscar "whisper campaigns" with Arun Rath in the wake of my recent post on the subject. 
  • Coming attractions: There are now only four serious Oscar hopefuls that have not been officially unveiled: Sony's American Hustle, Universal's Lone Survivor, Relativity Media's Out of the Furnace 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)
Nebraska (Paramount, 11/22, TBA, trailer)
Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films, 12/6, R, trailer)
Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Co., 7/12, R, trailer)
August: Osage County (The Weinstein Co., 11/8, TBA, trailer)
The Book Thief (20th Century Fox, 11/15, TBA, trailer)
Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/24, R, trailer)
Rush (Universal, 9/27, R, trailer)
Prisoners (Warner Bros., 9/20, R, trailer)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (Sundance Selects, 10/25, NC-17, trailer)
Her (Warner Bros., 12/18, TBA, trailer)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Co., 11/29, TBA, trailer)
Long Shots
Out of the Furnace (Relativity Media, 12/6, R, trailer)
Lone Survivor (Universal, 12/27, R, 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)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
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)
Stephen Frears (Philomena)
Spike Jonze (Her)
Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club)
J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost)
Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)
John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks)
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners)
Richard Linklater (Before Midnight)
Long Shots
Ron Howard (Rush)
Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace)
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)
Brian Percival (The Book Thief)

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)
Christian Bale (Out of the Furnace)
Long Shots
Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)
Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman)
Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor)
Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings)
Isaiah Washington (Blue Caprice) NEW

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)
Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
Berenice Bejo (The Past)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said)
Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman) NEW
Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
Long Shots
Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief)
Scarlett Johansson (Don Jon)
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)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)

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

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)
Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave)
Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Margo Martindale (August: Osage County)
Long Shots
Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club)
Carey Mulligan (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Emily Watson (The Book Thief)
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)
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)
Lone Survivor (Peter Berg)

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

Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Major Threats
Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
Lee Daniels' The Butler (Danny Strong)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron)
All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor)

Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener)
Rush (Peter Morgan)
Prisoners (Aaron Guzkowski)

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, TBA, TBA)
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)
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)
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,
The Snow Queen (Vertical Entertainment, 1/3, NR,

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
The Act of Killing (Drafthouse Films, 7/19, 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)
Crash Reel (Phase 4 Films, 7/5, TBA, TBA)
The Armstrong Lie (Sony Pictures Classics, TBA, TBA, TBA)
Let the Fire Burn (Zeitgeist Films, 10/2, NR, trailer)
Our Nixon (Cinedigm, 8/30, NR, trailer) NEW
First Cousin Once Removed (HBO Films, 9/13, TBA, trailer )  NEW
Casting By (HBO, 11/1, NR, trailer) NEW
Inequality for All (RADiUS, 9/27, PG, trailer)
Muscle Shoals (Magnolia, 9/27, TBA, trailer)
Seduced and Abandoned (HBO, 10/18, NR, trailer) NEW
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)
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) NEW
Long Shots
Leviathan (Cinema Guild, 3/1, NR, trailer)
12-12-12 Concert (The Weinstein Co., 11/15, TBA, TBA)
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) NEW

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)

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