Box Office Prophets Awards Section
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: So what are these power rankings, anyway?
A: Each major category has a list of what we feel are the current top contenders for the Oscar in what we consider the predictable categories, ranked by order of chance.

Q: How did you come up with these rankings?
A: These lists are compiled by comparing the contenders of this year to Oscar history, factoring in the buzz surrounding them, their box office credentials and, of course, their overall quality. The end-of-year awards, when they start to roll in, will also play a large factor. Everyone's got his/her own biases regarding what's Oscar-worthy and what's not but with multiple people on the input side, this should keep objectivity at a maximum.

Q: How often will the rankings be updated?
A: Every week. Films that were released over the weekend will be considered for inclusion in the lists of that week. The categories will be rotated on the front page through the week and past rankings will be viewable in the archive.

Q: Why isn't (upcoming film here)? It's a sure to win some awards!
A: It probably is. However, the official policy here is to not list a film until it opens theatrically (film festivals don't count). Oscar history is littered with examples of films that seemed ready to sweep the awards...until people saw them. Therefore, we hope that the power rankings will project an "If the Oscars were held today" feeling.

Q: What's does C/R stand for?
A: That stands for Candidacy Rating, which is our rough estimate of the percentage chance of a particular candidate getting a nomination, right now. This lets us show the depth of the fields.

Q: How can you list (insert film here)? There's no way it'll win!
A: Check its Candidacy Rating. It's possible we don't think too highly of its chances either. However, the purpose of the rankings is to list all the potential contenders. Films and performances have come up through the ranks in the past. Just last year, Moulin Rouge! was a film that had a questionable chance until December or so. It's also possible we just see something in the film or performance that you don't.

Q: What awards organizations are included in the awards database?
A: Going back to 1992 (when possible), we have included the awards given out by the Boston Film Critics Society, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Society, the Directors Guild of America, the Golden Globes, the Los Angeles Film Critics Society, the National Society of Film Critics, the Online Film Critics Association, the Screen Actors Guild, the Toronto Film Critics Society, the Writers Guild of America and, of course, the Academy Awards themselves. Eventually we hope to include as many years as possible of these awards, but for now we've chosen to stick to the last ten years.

Q: Why did you choose the awards you did for the database?
A: We've chosen a list of award ceremonies that offer a mix of influence, relevance, available data and at least a few years of history. For instance, the AFI Awards, while televised and developing a prestige, only have one year of data and it's difficult to use them as a barometer. Certain critics' organizations, like Kansas City and Las Vegas, just don't have the exposure of ones like New York or Los Angeles.

Q: What constitutes a runner-up?
A: Any film, performance or other such nominee that was specifically mentioned by the awarding committee but did not win. Some committees specifically designate runners-up; some just name a list of five nominees and pick a winner. We don't really distinguish between the two situations, since our purpose is to analyze how mentions by the committees predict and influence the Oscar race.