2012 Golden Globes: Does Show Predict Academy Award Winners?

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The 2012 Golden Globe awards show Sunday gave plenty of gorgeous gowns, quippy quotes and even a wardrobe malfunction, but for many in the industry, the Hollywood evening out begs the question: Do the Golden Globes predict forthcoming Oscar winners?

The answer is: Sort of.

Awards shows are impossible to predict - the Academy skipped over Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction - yet many Oscar armchair predictors say that the Golden Globes can be a path to a golden statuette.

The Academy Awards won't be until Feb. 26, giving publicists, celebrities and producers plenty of time to woo the 5,783 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Oscar nomination polls closed Friday and the nominations will be announced 5:30 a.m. PST Jan. 24 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Hollywood.

However, mathematicians have already found that the Golden Globes can be a loose predictor of the forthcoming Oscars, the highest awards show in Hollywood.

In the last 26 years, the percent of Golden Globe winners who won the Oscar in order:

Actress: 77 percent (20/ 26 awards)

Best Picture: 69 percent (18/26 awards)

Best Director: 65 percent (17/26 awards)

Best Lead: 62 percent (16/26 awards)

Supporting Actor: 58 percent (15/26 awards)

Supporting Actress: 50 percent (13/26 awards)

The chance of guessing the right winner is 20 percent (one of five nominees).

The business of predicting Academy Award winners has even hit the halls of academia. In 2005, Iain Pardoe, now a statistical consultant and Thompson Rivers University instructor, undertook a mathematical approach to predict Oscar winners using, in part, Golden Globe results.

Pardoe included the Golden Globes in his analysis, along with other potential predictors such as previous nominations for directors (but not wins), Screen Actors Guild wins, and previous Oscar wins for actors.

The Golden Globes started in 1944; 15 years after nearly 300 people started the Oscar tradition at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929.

With data in hand, Pardoe said he could predict Oscar winners for the last 30 years (1975 - 2004) with an accuracy of 81 percent, nearly equal the frequency the Golden Globe best actress predicts an Oscar win.

For many stars, the Golden Globes serve as a sort of Oscars audition, Kevin Fallon, assistant editor for TheWeek.com, wrote Monday in The Atlantic. It's an opportunity to endear one's self to Academy voters with a charming or emotional speech.

He later adds: In fact, a poor showing at the Globes has been rumored to doom several presumed Oscar victors.

Mathematicians and Hollywood aren't the only ones dabbling in the Oscar prediction frenzy. Bookies in the U.K. scramble to change their Oscar-winner odds after the Golden Globes, under the assumption that the globe predicts the statue.

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