The Hollywood Reporter polled “hundreds” of Oscar voters to find out their screening habits. I’m not surprised that the film most saw in the theater was Boyhood – because the kick-ass publicity team behind the film made sure they did, knowing that if given the chance many might skip it on screener. Also not surprised that most watched American Sniper on screener – that’s really how the film did so well with voters – skipping much of the potentially bad press and showing them just the film worked very well, also the movie was widely distributed, and distributed early. Roughly 6% of the members did not watch the nominated films.
Oscar voters number in the thousands – but these polls were taken in the hundreds so it’s not necessarily indicative of all Academy members.
They also asked them if they would cast their ballots differently today – and many would choose All the President’s Men over Rocky, Saving Private Ryan over Shakespeare in Love, etc.
An absolutely brilliant Infographic How to Build an Oscar contender has been posted. Definitely check it out. It’s a handy reference guide for research.
The Top 24 users on Gold Derby are more evenly split with many more choosing Boyhood over Birdman than the experts. I love looking at the users scores because they are often better at predicting than anyone else. For some reason, the experts have Birdman to win but their handicapping odds still has Boyhood at 1/1. Funny. Hollywood-Elsewhere.com‘s Jeff Wells is the only person in the predicting game who had Birdman at the top. His Oscar charts that he built were roundly ridiculed for being all about advocacy and not about the race – he did not see a distinction between wanting something to win and it winning though by some miracle the “movie godz” have shined upon him and everything came into shape for the first time since Crash in 2005 where he was one of the few who predicted it to win early where everyone else had Brokeback Mountain.