The grand finale of awards season known as The Academy Awards is looming and there’s never a shortage of Oscar brackets, studies, and theories. One of the most interesting studies this year was conducted by Slated and claims that there’s a more accurate way of predicting Academy glory, and it can be executed during the production stages..

In an article titled ‘The Secret Formula Predicting Oscar Gold 2 Years In Advance’, the complex system combines the scores movies receive using two industry tools; Script Score, which rates film scripts, and the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. A data science team from movie production website Slated, which devised the Script Score system, crunched the numbers from hundreds of films, finding that the higher the Script Score rating, as decided by independent script writing experts, the more likely a movie is to receive a high score on Rotten Tomatoes. This confirms that Rotten Tomatoes is not only an indicator of their likely financial performance, but also their Academy Award chances.

As an example, all of the films with leading Oscar Nominations, La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, and Manchester by the Sea, scored in the mid-to-high90th percentile in all areas:

The report concludes: “Thanks to the wonders of data science, anyone can now draw a predictive line from how projects are measured at script stage all the way to how reviewers will respond upon first viewing those finished films and their subsequent chances of both awards recognition and commercial success.”

Bottom line, as most writers say: it starts with the script. The script is essentially the blueprint of the film, and is the core of attracting quality talent, money, distribution, which are all essential to a successful film, whether the idea of “success” is financial or award-based.

This is surely an intriguing theory and we look forward to see how everything adds up during this year’s Oscars telecast!




About The Author

Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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