Friday, January 27, 2012

The VFX Predictinator, 84th Academy Awards Edition

It’s that time of year again.  Time to feed The VFX Predictinator.

For the uninitiated, The VFX Predictinator is a formula my wife and I developed in 2010 that accurately predicted the winner of the visual effects Academy Award from 1989-2010 based on quantifiable data points.  Last year, we expanded the formula to accommodate five nominees with success -- The Predictinator accurately predicted the winner ("Inception"), just as it did for the previous 21 years.

The 84th Academy Award nominations were released last week, which means it’s time to run the numbers!  As a reminder, the nominees for the visual effects Oscar are “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II”, “Hugo”, “Real Steel”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”.

And here’s The Predictinator in action:

And if you're not interested in squinting at the final scores, here they are:
  • 8.39 Hugo
  • 6.21 Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • 5.34 Harry Potter 7.2
  • 2.91 Real Steel
  • 1.04 Transformers 3
The Predictinator predicts “Hugo” will win the Academy Award for visual effects.

Before running the numbers, I was certain that “Hugo” would post some big numbers, especially because of those 11 (gasp!) total Academy Award nominations, but I was surprised at how gigantic its final score ultimately was.  Its score was even slightly higher than 2009’s “Avatar”.  "Hugo" had an extremely high Tomatometer score (although slightly below "Potter 7.2"), and combined with its late release date (November) and its additional Oscar nominations, it walks away a score of 8.39.

Since “Apes” was the only film among the nominees with organic character animation as well as facial animation, I was fairly certain that “Apes” would have ended up with the highest point tally.  But there’s “Hugo” sitting on top with that huge score, a higher point value than any film since the first “Lord of the Rings” film in 2001.

Some notes: we didn’t classify “Apes” as a sequel, since the film is a reboot, creating a new franchise, personality and mythology from the ground up. “Transformers 3” ended up in a distant fifth place with only 1.04 points -- the lowest Predictinator score in the history of the Predictinator (1989-2011).  The robot sequel was severely punished by its low Tomatometer score (the lowest since “Poseidon”), the earliest release date of all five nominees, and its existence as a sequel.

We’ll see what happens when the winners are announced on February 26, 2012.

update: We were right.


TylerMirage said...

Huh. Quite surprised at "Hugo"'s high score. I hadn't really heard much about it until now. And 11 nominations?!?! Whoa!

My personal vote is for "Transformers 3", but my *real* guess was for "RotPotA". I figured that with Weta, facial animation, performance capture and it *not* being Transformers/Michael Bay, it'd be a shoe-in for the winner. ;) Not being Transformers/Michael Bay related always seems to garner good points. ;)

Paul Sultan said...

It seems kind of unfair that Transformers and Harry Potter have the same sequel score. HP 7.2 should really have a sequel score closer to -2.5 if you ignore all other factors.

Todd Vaziri said...

Paul - The formula asks 'is the film a sequel?', and if the answer is yes, then .5 points is deducted. Since HP7.2 and TRANS3 are both sequels, they get the same sequel score.

salsa said...

Predictinator called it, brilliant!!
(at least we got Rango ;)