It may seem like we only just wrapped up the 2019 Oscars cycle, but next year’s show is already generating headlines. There are talks about rule changes and rumors of battles between Steven Spielberg and Netflix; the broadcast has shifted to an earlier time slot; there’s more talk than ever about superhero and genre films earning major nominations. Basically, it seems as if we’re heading for a year-long award cycle of sorts, such that we’ll be talking about the 2020 Oscars not only in the fall and winter, when the heavy-hitting contenders are released, but throughout 2019.
If this is to be the case, we thought we’d make some early predictions on various aspects of the 2020 Oscars.
1 – There Will Be A Ratings Boost
The Oscars saw a ratings boost in 2019, which was logically attributed to various things: big box office films getting major nominations, the fact that there was nowhere to go but up after an historic low in 2018, etc. It’s hard to pinpoint what was most responsible, but it’s clear that the ratings can go higher, and we’re betting the switch to a 6:30 ET time slot, as well as an entertaining show in 2019 and what looks to be a fun lineup of films for 2020 establishes to an upward trend.
2 – There Will Be A Host
The obvious move here is for the Oscars not to have a host in 2020. A host-less show worked extremely well this year, so why mess with a good thing, right? It could be that the Academy answers that question – not illogically – with justification regarding the months of bad press surrounding its inability to find the right host. It was not a good look for the show. So, even though it worked out in the end, it seems like there will be an effort to “do better” this coming year with a host in place.
3 – No Biopics Will Get Best Picture Nominations
This might be the boldest prediction on this list, because biopics are always in the mix. But backlash against Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody might just get voters worried about supporting a film that winds up being problematic. On top of this, there are plenty of films that look to be possible contenders that aren’t biopics.
4 – Betting Will Be A Bigger Part Of The Conversation
Betting odds on the Oscars are nothing new, though they might be somewhat foreign to a lot of Americans. Right now, unless ones lives in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, the closest legal gambling is through Canadian betting sites, which means even those who view Oscars odds can’t necessarily act on them. However, sports and special event betting is spreading across the U.S. this year, which means by the time of the 2020 show there should be some legal gambling opportunities. This will make betting a bigger part of the season’s festivities.
5 – There Will Be Interactive Oscars Games
This isn’t as specific a prediction as the idea of Oscars betting, but it’s still one that makes perfect sense today. Right now, one can find Oscars prediction games and things of the like online, but it requires a bit of searching around. We’d bet that in the effort to ramp up viewership and generate more excitement, the Academy and/or the network itself will publicize some kind of interactive mobile game that allows viewers to take part in the experience.
6 – The Animated Category Will Command Attention
As often as not, the Best Animated Picture category is something of a throwaway. That’s by no means meant to disrespect the people who work on these films, or the films themselves. In the context of the Oscars though, the focus is usually on live action; animated features can almost seem vaguely out of place. It won’t be so in 2020 though, with both The Lion King and Toy Story 4 expected to be huge releases. It’s not every year we see names like these in the mix, so expect more buzz around animation (even if some are calling The Lion King “live action”).
7 – The Goldfinch Will Be A Heavyweight
One of the trickiest things this far out is accurately predicting which movies will be the major Oscars night juggernauts – the ones that approach 10 nominations, or even more. This is more of a random feeling than anything else, but we’d expect The Goldfinch to be in the mix. This is an autumn release based on an extremely popular, Pulitzer-winning, best-selling book, and it’s being handled very seriously judging by the announced cast and crew. It has the makings of a legitimate Oscars heavyweight.
8 – As Will Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood also has the look of a major Oscars film. It seems as if pretty much anything Tarantino does at this point would earn consideration, but this one just happens to have as loaded a cast as we’ve seen in years (Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, and more). Throw in the idea that it’s even a little bit about Hollywood (which the Academy tends to find irresistible), and it looks like a contender.
9 – Superheroes Will Crowd The Field
There’s quite a bit of chatter about Avengers: Endgame earning Oscars consideration, and now that it’s getting rave reviews, this only seems more logical. At the same time, the trailer for Todd Philllips’s Joker looks incredible (though creepy). Between these projects, we’d expect to see multiple superhero-related nominations in major categories.
10 – Disney Will Win Best Picture
Maybe this isn’t the biggest reach. But there’s a reasonable chance that both Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker will earn Best Picture nominations if only to recognize the total franchise achievements they represent. Additionally, it seems highly possible that one or both of the aforementioned animated films – Toy Story 4 and The Lion King – could be a big enough critical hit to earn a nomination. Between all these projects, it won’t be a surprise to see Disney win Best Picture.