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Photo courtesy of lincolnblues.

The 84th Academy Awards that air this Sunday may be one of the least predictable yet. This year’s diverse Best Picture nominee list doesn’t present a clear winner, and the Pitt-vs-Clooney and Streep-vs-Close pairings could start some lively debates at Oscar prediction parties. What is predictable are those groans of disappointment at said parties when the Academy’s choices seem to diverge from what the movie-going populace would choose. So we wanted to take a deeper dive into our data from the past year to see whether the Academy and Stumblers are out of sync, and what that might mean for this year’s winners’ list.

How did we do it?

Because the Academy doesn’t necessarily award the Oscar to the most popular picture but instead relies on the complicated tastes of its 6,404 members, we decided to rank the nominees on 4 different dimensions:

Stumbles received (basically how popular the movie was)
Number of web pages added to the Index related to the movie
Likes as a percent of total Stumbles (a proxy for approval rating)
Likes/Dislikes– another proxy for approval rating but that also factors in disapproval

Each movie was awarded 1-10 points for each of these categories. The idea was that the top movies would score well across the board and bubble to the top of the list.

What do we expect for 2012?

We collected data across these dimensions using Jan 2011 – Jan 2012 data. After ranking each movie across category we came up with the scores shown below:

Surprisingly The Artist, many critics’ favorite to take the Oscar, comes at the very bottom of the list. This may be due to the not-uncommon disconnect between audience popularity and the Academy’s views on certain films. However, the next two top contenders in many people’s list are Hugo and The Descendants – both at the very top of our list.

    Stumble Popularity

    Web Page Additions

    Approval Rates

    Like/Dislike Ratio

We also looked at the StumbleUpon popularity of the most-talked-about actors and actresses up for awards this year. While Clooney was more popular with StumbleUpon last year, Brad Pitt has spiked this time around. Both still hold the crowns for Sexiest Man Alive, so perhaps that’s a consolation to Clooney.

Image source: Creative commons licensed content.

Image courtesy Nicolas Genin (Creative Commons)..

As for the heated contest between two well-respected career actresses, Glenn is in the lead among Stumblers over Meryl. Given the strong female characters these actresses have played this year, I wouldn’t want to be in a contest with either of them!

Image source: Creative commons licensed content.

Image source: Creative commons licensed content.

So when you tune in Sunday, don’t feel too bad if your favorite movie or celebrity doesn’t take home the gold statuette – Stumblers comprise the true Academy in our book.