While all bets are on Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson to win Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, at Sunday’s Academy Awards, pundits are still scratching their heads about which film will take home the Oscar for Best Picture. Will Alejandro González Iñárritu’s survival tale The Revenant take the gold? Or could it go to The Big Short, Adam McKay’s clever account of 2008’s financial meltdown? And let’s not forget about the journalistic masterpiece Spotlight, which many critics still deem the best film of 2015. Without a clear front-runner, there is the potential for a surprise upset, which means that Brooklyn, Room, Bridge of Spies, The Martian, or Mad Max: Fury Road could take the grand prize.
The uncertainty over Best Picture has led to a split awards season. The Big Short won the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards, The Revenant picked up the top honor at the Directors Guild Awards, and Spotlight won big at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. With an empty Oscar ballot, we turned to YouTube in search of answers. For the second year in a row, YouTube ranked the top Oscar-nominated movies of the year by how many views each of the film’s trailers racked up. According to the site, The Revenant leads the pack with more than 21.9 million views, followed by Mad Max: Fury Road (21.6 million), The Martian (20.1 million), and The Big Short (5.4 million). Spotlight came dead last with only 463, 000 views.
YouTube’s calculations may not be a foolproof Oscar predictor. Last year, for example, the most popular trailer on YouTube was for American Sniper, which ended up only winning an Oscar for Best Sound Editing. If you look to box-office figures, the Best Picture breakdown changes drastically. The Martian, which earned $619.7 million worldwide, wins the competition by a mile. The second-highest-earning movie of 2015 was The Revenant, which made significantly less ($382.2 million worldwide) than Ridley Scott’s astronaut blockbuster. In this metric, Lenny Abrahamson’s indie film Room landed in last place, earning just $21.1 million worldwide.
If you’re still not convinced, you could always turn to the experts at Gold Derby for help. The predictions website has The Revenant pegged as the victor with a 63 percent chance of winning. One thing’s for certain: With a race this close, it’s sure to be an Oscars ceremony to remember.