Visualization of the Week: 84 years of Oscar nominees and winners

Jerry Vermanen and Chris Helt examined the Academy Awards' full history. And this year's front-runner is ...

Let the Oscar party planning begin — for good or bad, the Academy Awards nominations are out. For insight to help predict which film will win the big award, Jerry Vermanen and Chris Helt at pulled together Oscar nominee and winner data from all 84 years of the awards, broken down by release date, film length, IMDb rating, and genre.

The following chart shows nominees and winners throughout the years based on release month:


In which month were most nominated movies released? December, with 21.7% of all nominees. But it’s not the best month to win. November claims that one with 32.5% of nominees released in that month winning an Academy Award. July has had 0 winners and for more than 20 years, the months February, March and April had no nominees. See the full interactive chart.

Hovering over a point brings up the individual film information in the top left, and hovering over a bar in one of the graphs gives you exact percentages. According to the team’s findings, Oscar-winning films historically are released in November or October. The team’s research also showed that winning films average at least 130 minutes, Academy choices fall in line with IMDb ratings, and the films are generally dramas.

Given these parameters, it looks like at 150 minutes, with an IMDb rating of 8.0, and a release date in October 2012, the Best Picture winner for the 85th Academy Awards on February 24 will be: “Lincoln.” Though it could technically fall into the war genre (which doesn’t fare well according to Vermanen and Helt’s findings), “Lincoln” easily could slip into the drama category, thereby ticking off all the historical requirements for an Oscar winner.

Hat tip to Ami Sedghi at The Guardian’s Datablog for highlighting the team’s work.

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