The Academy’s membership will reveal its Best Picture choice later today, but the social-media universe has already picked its Oscar favorite, and by a wide margin: The Wolf Of Wall Street. Social-media marketing and analytics company RelishMix looked at nearly 40 million data points — tweets, YouTube video reposts, Facebook shares and the like — focused on the nine Best Picture Oscar nominees and found Martin Scorsese’s three-hour ride with Leonardo DiCaprio down the darkest roads of Wall Street excess to be the clear online favorite.
Second place in this online race went to another entertaining romp through the dark side of late-20th century excess, David O. Russell’s American Hustle — which might say something very deep and complicated about the tastes of social-media users.
There was substantially less love for Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, generally considered the insider picks as Best Picture favorites (in an admittedly very competitive year). 12 Years received less than a third as much attention online as Wolf, and Gravity less than a fourth as much, and both finished behind No. 3 Captain Phillips.
Of course, winning 12.3 million bits of love from users of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube won’t do Scorsese and DiCaprio much good today, given that virtually none of that online celebration is likely to have come from the Academy’s 6,000 or so members, the only ones with an Oscar vote that counts.
Only Facebook of the big three social-media sites even has a substantial percentage of older users whose demographics more closely resemble the Academy’s, ahem, more “mature” membership. Where all this social sharing will matter, however, is at the box office — or, more likely, on home-entertainment platforms such as VOD and DVD, where both films appear poised to have long and lucrative lives, no matter what happens today.
And while those 12.3 million reposts and shares for Wolf likely include a high percentage of people who didn’t like the movie, just remember the old adage: there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Even negative comments on a highly polarizing film like this (for more on that, just check the wildly different opinions about Wolf from Deadline’s Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and Film Editor Anita Busch) probably will stir continued interest in it.
For a preview of tonight’s festivities. check out this week’s Deadline Awards Watch audio podcast, in which Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and I discuss the likely winners and dark-horse candidates for all the major categories. Tell us your pick for Best Picture.