A few years ago, visual effects industry artist Todd Vaziri developed a formula with his wife that uses quantifiable data to predict the winner of the Academy Awards Visual Effects category. After crunching the numbers for this year’s nominees, his VFX Predictinator has predicted that Guardians of the Galaxy will win the visual effects Oscar.

Vaziri has written a long post explaining the results and why the formula could potentially out to be wrong this year. Whatever happens, it’s guaranteed to be one of the more competitive years for the category, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Insterstellar both remain very much in the race. Will Guardians pull an upset over those two favorites, as the Predictinator suggests? It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch what happens.

For the record, here is Vaziri’s formula:

Critical Acclaim – as measured by Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer percentage), the higher the better
Domestic Box Office – measured at the time of Academy voting, the higher the better
Academy Award Nominations – to gauge Academy acclaim, the higher the better
Month of Release – the later the film’s release, the greater chance of winning
Sequel Score – sequels are penalized
Previous Sequel Was Oscar Winner – previous films that won
Primary VFX Are Organic Creatures – organic creature films win more frequently
Facial Animation Acting – creatures that talk win frequently
Lead Actor Prestige – If the lead actor has won an Oscar, film usually wins VFX Oscar

The formula:
(((RT Score/ Sum of all noms’ RT Score) X 5)^2) + (BO (millions)/ BO Total of all noms) + (Academy Noms (only if 4 or more) X .25) + (((Month of Release / Total Month of Release) X 2.5)^2)* + (Sequel = -.5) + (Prior Sequel won Oscar = -1) + (Primary FX organic creatures = 1) + (Primary organic creatures include facial acting = .75) + (Lead Actor an Academy Award Winner = 1) = Final VFX Predictinator Score
*value has an upper limit of 1

Now, who wants to come up with a formula for the Animated Feature category?

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