Predictive Analytics: ‘Argo’ and ‘Lincoln’ Big Oscar Winners

The 85th Academy Awards are coming up this month, and predictive analytics tools are pointing to big wins for “Lincoln” and “Argo.”

Lincoln has 12 nominations, including best picture and best actor. But as of the end of January, PredictWise says “Argo” will most likely win best picture (66% likelihood), with the best actor award for Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln a near certainty. And the likelihood that “Lincoln” director Steven Spielberg wins the best director award is 87%.

These predictions use three sources: prediction markets, fundamental data, and user-generated data.

“Prediction markets are markets where knowledgeable users can back up their convictions over upcoming events with either real money or other meaningful rewards. Contracts on the outcomes of events are worth either a dollar if [the] outcome occurs or nothing if [it] does not occur; thus, the price of the contract is a strong indicator of the probability of it,” notes PredictWise’s David Rothschild.

“Of course, one key difficulty relative to politics is that a much smaller, exclusive group of voters decide this election and we have no polling data, which proved so prescient in the 2012 general election,” he says.

For movies, fundamental data includes categories like budget, release date, genre, gross revenue, ratings, average gross revenue per screen, etc.

For best actress, the predictive analytics model is predicting that Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany in “Silver Linings Playbook” will win (69 % likelihood). Tommy Lee Jones as radical Rep. Thaddeus Stevens in “Lincoln” is predicted to take the best supporting actor award (68% likelihood). The model predicts with near certainty that Anne Hathaway will nab the best supporting actress win for her work in “Les Miserables.”

For those who just can’t get enough Oscar predictions from data, check out the predictions via the Twittersphere. The Twitter Oscar’s Index  measures how Twitter users are referring to Oscar nominees relative to the overall conversation on Twitter on any given day.

As of Jan. 31, “Sliver Linings Playbook” was garnering most of the conversation among the best picture nominees (with 93%) followed by “Les Miserables” with 91.5% and “Life of Pi” at 91%.

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