ByAndreas Sørli, writer at
Superhero, Sci-Fi and Disney enthusiast
Andreas Sørli

The wait is over, we will finally know who went home with the Oscars of 2017. The most prestigious of these awards is clearly Best Picture, and La La Land was viewed as the frontrunner. With its record-tying 14 nominations (tied with Titanic and All About Eve), it was safe to say it wasn't going end up empty handed. But what were the odds of it winning Best Picture? Dan Murrell from ScreenJunkies did the math. Take a look at this video:

Prefer reading? Here's a recap of how previous Best Pictures helps us predict the chances of winning


Out of 88 Academy Award ceremonies, only 10 Best Picture winners have been musicals, the latest being Chicago from 2003. That means about 11 percent of Best Picture winners are musicals. It might not look like much, but only 35 musical have ever been nominated for Best Picture. This means that about 29 percent of musicals nominated have won the award. Only three musical have been nominated since 2000 — Chicago, Moulin Rouge and Lés Miserable — taking us up to a winning rate of 33 percent of musicals in the 21st century.


La La Land's story gave them the advantage at the awards, as Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood. Three out of the last six Best Picture winners have been about Hollywood or actors; these being Birdman, The Artist and Argo. This gave La La Land about 50 percent odds of winning.

'La La Land' [Credit: Summit Entertainment]
'La La Land' [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

Other Nominations

In addition, La La Land was nominated for the "Big Five" awards. These awards are Best Picture, Damien Chazelle for Best Director and Best (Original) Screenplay, Ryan Gosling for Best Actor and Emma Stone for Best Actress. In previous years, films nominated for these five awards have won Best Picture 15 out of 42 times, about 36 percent of the time. La La Land was the movie with the most nominations this year (14), and since 2000, the movie with the most nominations have won Best Picture eight out of 17 times — a success rate just short of 50 percent. And finally, both of the other two movies with 14 nominations won Best Picture, 100 percent of the time.

Won Other Awards

La La Land had already won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the PGA for "Best Picture." Since 1990, 11 films have won all these three awards, and nine of them went on to win the Oscar.

'La La Land' [Credit: Summit Entertainment]
'La La Land' [Credit: Summit Entertainment]


Let's look at our numbers:

  • 29% of all musicals nominated have won
  • 36% of "The Big Five" have won
  • 47% of movies with most nominations that year have won
  • 50% of recent movies about Hollywood have won
  • 82% of PGA, BAFTA and Golden Globe winners have won
  • 100% of movies with 14 nominations have won

This gives us a final result of: about 59 percent chance of winning Best Picture.

Keep in mind this is not science, and the award might very well go to someone else, and it did. In this case, Moonlight took home the most prestigious award of all. Still, my bet was on La La Land.

Did you think La La Land should've won Best Picture? Let me know in the comments!


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