The Social Oscars: Academy Award Predictions From Across the Web

Image by Adarsh Upadhyay
Image by Adarsh Upadhyay

What do astronauts, Wall Street and Meryl Streep all have in common? You guessed it – The Oscars.

The red carpet season is upon us and here at HootSuite we already know who’s going to win an Oscar on Sunday night… or at least we have an idea. With the help of our team at uberVU via HootSuite, below are the social media metrics behind each of our predictions.

The Social Oscars

Last year we proved that social buzz could successfully predict the Academy Award winner for Best Picture. So this year we wanted to see what else social could predict for Hollywood’s big night.

We’ve been tracking the nominees for all 24 Oscar categories in the uberVU via HootSuite platform, which we will take a deep dive into next week. For today, we’ll be breaking down the social buzz around the awards in some of the most popular categories: writing, acting, directing, and overall film awards. To find out who social predicted as a winner, we’ve tracked mentions over the past week (February 22-28) to compared metrics like sentiment, exposure and how many times mentions of each were Retweeted, Liked or Shared. We also took a closer look into mentions by using uberVU’s conversation maps to find hot topics being discussed in relation to each nominee.

Let’s find out who social thinks will bring home a trophy on Sunday night.

Adapted Screenplay


  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Before Midnight
  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Social Winner: 12 Years a Slave

All five of the films nominated for Adapted Screenplay brought in a high percentage of positive mentions with each registering at least 68% positivity. 12 Years a Slave brought in the most mentions with 682 and also won in engagement, bringing in more RTs, Likes and Shares than the other four films. Plus, its Exposure was off the charts compared to the rest of the field.

Search terms included “adapted screenplay” and “film name”


Original Screenplay


  • American Hustle
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska

Social Winner: Her

The mentions race for Original Screenplay was pretty close. Her won with 936 mentions, 70% of which were positive. American Hustle took the win in sentiment with 74% positivity, but fell behind in mentions with 737 mentions. Plus, the conversation map for Her pointed to victory with “win” accounting for 11% of the conversation.

Search terms included: “original screenplay” and “film name”


Actor in a Supporting Role


  • Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
  • Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave

Social Winner: Jared Leto

This category was a blowout in social. Jared Leto dominated in mentions with three times as many as the closest competitor. Plus, Leto also brought in more RTs, Likes, Shares and had the highest Exposure. To top off the metrics domination, “win” was the number one topic on his conversation map, accounting for 14% of the chatter.

Search terms included “actor name” and included one of the following: “best actor”, “best supporting”, “supporting actor”, “oscar” or “academy award”


Actress in a Supporting Role


  • Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
  • Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
  • June Squibb for Nebraska
  • Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave
  • Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine

Social Winner: Lupita Nyong’o

Jennifer Lawrence dominated in mentions 18,102 mentions, for ahead of the next closest contender, Lupita Nyong’o, who pulled in 5,531 mentions. Is it smooth sailing for Lawrence to her second Oscar? Not if social’s sentiment is a reliable predictor—29% of Lawrence’s mentions were negative. Lupita Nyong’o had the highest percentage of positive mentions, posting 57%. Lawrence is clearly pulling in the mentions, but a majority of those are calling for a new winner.

Search terms included “actress name” and included one of the following: “best actress”, “best supporting”, “supporting actress”, “oscar” or “academy award”


Actor in a Leading Role


  • Bruce Dern for Nebraska
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
  • Christian Bale for American Hustle
  • Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Social Winner: Matthew McConaughey

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey broke away from the pack in mentions with DiCaprio posting 11,657 and McConaughey bringing in 4,734. Though DiCaprio had the most mentions, McConaughey had the higher percentage of positive mentions—48% compared to DiCaprio 38%. Both actors ranked for “win” on their conversation map but upon closer inspection of the mentions it looks like DiCaprio is earning more buzz for his past Oscar snubs and how he really should have won for his past “films” (also on his map). Another negative indicator for DiCaprio is that “Matthew McConaughey” appears on his map as social’s pick to oust him.

Search terms included: “actor name” and included one of the following:  “best actor”, “oscar” or  “academy award”


Actress in a Leading Role


  • Amy Adams for American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
  • Judi Dench for Philomena
  • Meryl Streep for August: Osage County
  • Sandra Bullock for Gravity

Social Winner: Cate Blanchett

Overall the Best Actress nominees brought in more buzz than their male counterparts with four of the five posting more than 2,000 mentions (only two Best Actor nominees brought in over 2,000) and two posting more than 4,000. Of the two ladies with the most mentions—Cate Blanchett with 4,037 and Sandra Bullock with 4,022—Blanchett had the highest percentage of positive mentions with 51%, beating out Bullock’s 45%. Bullock won in RTs, but Blanchett took the win in Likes, Shares and almost doubled Bullock’s impressions.

Search terms included: “actress name” and included one of the following:  “best actor”, “oscar” or  “academy award”

Sleeper: Amy Adams

Adams was third in mentions, but had the highest sentiment with 54% positivity. Her name appeared on everyone’s conversation map besides Streep’s, showing she’s clearly top-of-mind when discussing the nominees.


Best Director


  • Alexander Payne for Nebraska
  • Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity
  • David Russell for American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave

Social Winner: Steve Mcqueen

Alfonso Cuarón and Steve McQueen were neck and neck in the directing race. Cuarón pulled in 2,795 mentions, 50% of which were positive. McQueen posted 2,300 mentions, 54% of which were positive. Plus, both had “win” and each other’s name appear on their conversation maps so the race came down to engagement. McQueen brought in the most RTs, Likes and Shares, giving him the edge.

Search terms included: “director name” and included one of the following:  “best directing”, “best director”, “oscar”, “academy award”


Best Documentary


  • 20 Feet From Stardom
  • Cutie And The Boxer
  • Dirty Wars
  • The Act Of Killing
  • The Square

Social Winner: The Act Of Killing

Two films broke away from the pack, posting doubling digits in mentions—The Act Of Killing with 2,256 mentions and The Square with 1,677. Both films registered 30% positivity and had “win” appear on its conversation map. The Square won in RTs, but The Act Of Killing brought in more Likes and Shares giving it the edge in social.

Search terms included “film name” and included one of the following: “oscar”, “oscars”, “academy awards”, “academyawards”, “theoscars”, “oscars14”, “oscars2014”


Animated Feature Film


  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen
  • The Croods
  • The Wind Rises

Social Winner: Frozen

Animated Feature Film is another knockout round, with Frozen dominating in all categories and blowing the away the competition with 10,344 mentions, 73% of which were positive. Plus, the number one phrase on its conversation map? “Win”

Search terms included “film name” and included one of the following:  “oscar”, “oscars”, “academy awards”, “academyawards”, “theoscars”, “oscars14”, “oscars2014”


Best Picture


  • 12 Years A Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Social Winner: Gravity

Best Picture is considered the most important category of the Academy Awards, since it incorporates all the elements of a film—the directing, acting, music composing, writing, editing, etc. So who does social think will win the final award of the night? The top three contenders are Gravity with 15,825 mentions (42% positive), 12 Years a Slave with 10,729 mentions (51% positive) and American Hustle with 7,502 (54% positive). Each film also had “win” appear on it’s conversation map. To decide the winner we compared RTs, Likes, Shares and Exposure, which was a clean sweep for one film — Gravity.

Search terms included “film name” and included one of the following: “oscar”, “oscars”, “academy awards”, “academyawards”, “theoscars”, “oscars14”, “oscars2014”

How will social fare in predicting the winners? You’ll have to tune into the Academy Awards on Sunday night to find out. And stay tuned next week for our deep dive into the social media metrics across all of the Oscar categories, where we’ll find out which metric was most successful in picking winners.