The Revenant
The producers of "Spotlight" win best picture at the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28, 2015, in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

There was a lot of competition for the top award Sunday at the Oscars, but "Spotlight" emerged as the winner in the most wide open best picture race in years.

Coming into Sunday's Academy Awards, "The Revenant," which had the most nominations of any film with 12, was the slight favorite. However, while "The Revenant" had won the top prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards and the Golden Globes, "The Big Short" won best picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards and "Spotlight" had taken the top honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The last time best picture at the DGA, PGA and SAG awards went to three different movies was in 2004, so the race for best picture this year was more unpredictable than usual. However, "Spotlight" was the big winner at the end of the night.

In addition to "The Revenant" and "The Big Short," "Spotlight" was nominated against "Bridge of Spies," "Brooklyn," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian" and "Room."

"Spotlight" was also nominated Sunday for five other Oscars, including best director, best supporting actor, best supporting actress and best original screenplay. Earlier in the night, writer-director Tom McCarthy and screenwriter Josh Singer won the Oscar for best original screenplay.