Oscars 2016: Oscars by Statistics

I used to do two articles each year. One breaking down all the Best Picture winners by box office performance, which I’m finding much less important and interesting each year, and the other, this one. I’ve decided to get rid of the box office one, because it’s nothing more than just throwing out facts with no real substance. This one, at least, is interesting because it’s just random numbers and using a predictive model.

The idea is — I take all the Big Six Oscar categories, list them alphabetically each year, tally how many times each position has won, and through that, predict based on that model what nominees “should” win this year. I don’t know why I do it, but it amuses me.

Based on the numbers, here’s what’s gonna win:

Best Picture

#1 — 23 times

#2 — 13 times

#3 — 15 times

#4 — 15 times

#5 — 15 times

#6 — 1 time

#7 — Never

#8 — 3 times

#9 — 1 time

#10 — 2 times

The list is skewed toward 1-5, since between 1944 and 2008, there were only five nominees. But it’s interesting to think that the seventh spot has never won even with the extra nominees back in the day and now. Also, there were two years where there were 12 Best Picture nominees. And neither of those times, the 11 or 12 has won.

Oh, and the #6 was The Life of Emile Zola in 1937. The #8s were It Happened One Night, 12 Years a Slave and Spotlight. The #9 was Mutiny on the Bounty. The #10s were You Can’t Take It With You and Rebecca.

  • The last #1 to win was The Artist.
  • The last #2 to win was Birdman.
  • The last #3 to win was Crash.
  • The last #4 to win was No Country for Old Men.
  • The last #5 to win was The King’s Speech.
  • The last #6 to win was The Life of Emile Zola.
  • #7 has never won.
  • The last #8 to win was 12 Years a Slave.
  • The last #9 to win was Mutiny on the Bounty.
  • The last #10 to win was Spotlight.

This year’s nominees are:



Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land


Manchester by the Sea


Statistically, here’s the order of likelihood that each film wins:

  1. Arrival
  2. (tie) Hacksaw Ridge
  3. (tie) Hell or High Water
  4. (tie) Hidden Figures
  5. Fences
  6. Manchester by the Sea
  7. (tie) La La Land
  8. (tie) Manchester by the Sea
  9. Lion

So yeah. This is way off. #6 is gonna win for the second time ever and for the first time in 70 years. Oh well. That one was a bust.

– – – – –

Best Actor

#1 – 23 times

#2 – 22 times

#3 – 19 times

#4 – 9 times

#5 – 16 times

1 and 2 just killing it. 3 is creeping up after last year, but it’s still top-heavy on these numbers.

  • The last #1 to win was Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • The last #2 to win was Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • The last #3 to win was Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • The last #4 to win was Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
  • The last #5 to win was Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

These are all within seven years. That’s not so crazy. Wealth = spread.

This year’s category:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

So statistically:

  1. Casey Affleck
  2. Andrew Garfield
  3. Ryan Gosling
  4. Denzel Washington
  5. Viggo Mortensen

Well, they got the fifth spot right for sure.

Otherwise this one’s between #1 and #4. So either we’re right in line with what we usually get, statistically, or #5 creeps up closer to #3 and lessens the gap between it and the top two spots.

– – – – – – – – – –

Best Actress

#1 – 18 times

#2 – 23 times

#3 – 15 times

#4 – 15 times

#5 – 16 times

#6 – 1 time

The #6 was Mary Pickford, the one time there were six nominees. Outside of that, #2 wins the most.

The last #1 to win was Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

The last #2 to win was Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

The last #3 to win was Brie Larson, Room

The last #4 to win was Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

The last #5 to win was Kate Winslet, The Reader

We only go back to 2008 here. Eight years. Still not crazy.

This year’s category is…

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Ruth Negga, Loving

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Statistically, your order of finish will be:

  1. Ruth Negga
  2. Isabelle Huppert
  3. Meryl Streep
  4. Emma Stone
  5. Natalie Portman

I feel like this is almost the exact opposite of what’s going to happen.

We’re likely to get Emma or Natalie here. If Emma wins, she pulls #4 into a tie with #5 all time. If Isabelle Huppert pulls off a win, then #3 pulls into a tie with #4, one win off from #5. This’ll be interesting.

But yeah. Statistics way off again.

– – – – –

Best Supporting Actor

#1 – 18 times

#2 – 17 times

#3 – 13 times

#4 – 19 times

#5 – 12 times

This is the tightest category of them all. We finally broke the first place tie last year.

  1. The last #1 to win was Christian Bale, The Fighter
  2. The last #2 to win was Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
  3. The last #3 to win was Benicio del Toro, Traffic
  4. The last #4 to win was Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  5. The last #5 to win was J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

#3 hasn’t come in for 16 years. That’s interesting.

This year…

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals


  1. Dev Patel
  2. Mahershala Ali
  3. Jeff Bridges
  4. Lucas Hedges
  5. Michael Shannon

Well, Dev Patel isn’t gonna win, but Mahershala Ali should put the #1 spot back into a tie for first place all time. And Lucas Hedges looks like he’ll continue the streak of #3s not coming in.

– – – – – –

Best Supporting Actress

#1 – 12 times

#2 – 15 times

#3 – 19 times

#4 – 15 times

#5 – 17 times

This is the only category where the first position isn’t either first or tied for first. This first position is actually the worst to be. That’s interesting.

The last #1 to win was Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

The last #2 to win was Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

The last #3 to win was Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

The last #4 to win was Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

The last #5 to win was Octavia Spencer, The Help

Not going back far here either. 2008.

This year…

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea


  1. Nicole Kidman
  2. Michelle Williams
  3. (tie) Naomie Harris
  4. (tie) Octavia Spencer
  5. Viola Davis

Well that’s just… wrong. #5 is gonna win this year and make those bottom three categories more competitive than they already are, which is very.

– – – – –

Best Director

#1 – 24 times

#2 – 16 times

#3 – 14 times

#4 – 19 times

#5 – 15 times

Like Best Picture, #1 overwhelmingly wins. Otherwise it’s pretty tight goings on.

The last #1 to win was Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

The last #2 to win was Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

The last #3 to win was Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

The last #4 to win was Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

The last #5 to win was Martin Scorsese, The Departed

This year’s category…

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonnergan, Manchester By the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival


  1. Damien Chazelle
  2. Kenneth Lonnergan
  3. Mel Gibson
  4. Denis Villeneuve
  5. Barry Jenkins

Yeah, this’ll go according to the numbers.

– – – – – – – – – –

So yeah, not particularly helpful, but I enjoy it, so I waste ten minutes and type that up every year.

As you can see, the statistics mean nothing. It’s totally random. I just like knowing the percentages of the spots, because I’m weird like that.


One response

  1. Olá tudo bem com você? Espero que sim, bom vou ser breve, antes eramos Meu Mundo Preto e Rosa e agora somos The Dreamy Side, não seria pedir muito pra você nos seguir e dar uma ajudinha, segue a gente lá, ficaremos muito agradecidas :D Desde já Obrigada!!

    February 24, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.