Will The Wolf of Wall Street win the Oscar for best picture? Or American Hustle? How about Her? Is Matthew McConaughey really a shoe-in for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club? What about Lupita Nyong'o for best supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave?
These questions (and many more) are top-of-mind as movie buffs anxiously await the 86th annual Academy Awards this Sunday evening. While most everyone has their own predictions, one company called Farsite is using "big data" to make its own, slightly more scientific predictions about who will be going home with a golden statue.
Based in a Columbus, Ohio, Farsite uses data to build statistical models for clients such as Dick's Sporting Group and others. Farsite's statistical model for the Oscars takes into account a number of important variables, including trends based on previous winners, previous nominations and award histories for each of the nominees, popular opinion and controversy, and winners of other film awards like the Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild and Directors Guild.
Last year -- the company's first attempt at foreseeing Oscar winners -- Farsite's predictions were surprisingly accurate, correctly predicting the Oscar winners for all major categories except Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.
Not too shabby. Maybe there's something to this big data thing...
Let's pull the cover off Farsite's proverbial crystal ball. Here are the company's Oscar-winner predictions for 2014 (yeah, it looks like McConaughey is a shoe-in after all):
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave (55 percent probability)
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey (82 percent probability)
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (59 percent probability)
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (86 percent probability)
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyog’o (85 percent probability)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (72 percent probability)
Think Farsite's predictions are on point or completely off base? TELL US: Who Do You Think Will Win at the Oscars This Year?