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The Academy Awards: Did Canadian Twitter users predict any Oscar winners?

Blog, Digital, Social Media | February 24, 2015

By Will Perkins, Account Coordinator, Digital

The 87th Annual Academy AwardsImage source: businessinsider.com

Canadians are a movie-loving people.

Whether it’s in the comfort of our living rooms or at the cinema, Canadians are some of the most prolific consumers of film in the world. In fact, Torontonians watch more movies per capita than any other city in North America.

Part of that deep love of the movies definitely owes to the fact that our climate forces us to spend most of the winter indoors. What Canadian doesn’t love cozying up in front of the TV with a good flick during those cold winter months? But it also doesn’t hurt that we play host to global movie events like the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and happen to have one of the most well-equipped and skilled film production industries on the planet. Canadians are film-savvy folks. Period.

So when it comes to an event like the 87th annual Academy Awards, Canucks should definitely know their stuff, right? We had to know the answer, so we sorted through several months of Twitter data to see if Canadian film lovers were able to predict any of Sunday night’s big winners.

Last week Twitter published a blog entitled “How the 2015 Oscar nominees measure up on Twitter,” analyzing millions of tweets in the U.S. to see who and what the most-buzzed about actors and movies were in the run-up to the Oscars. So how did Canada stack up?

Here are a few quick stats (based on award season tweets made between November 11, 2014, and February 22, 2015):

  • Canadians made an astounding 180,523 Oscar-related tweets before and during Sunday night’s Academy Awards broadcast
  • Canadians used the #Oscars2015 hashtag 73,107 times before and during the show
  • Canadians tweeting about the Oscars were 56% female and 44% male
  • Canadians tweeting about the Oscars were overwhelmingly from Ontario (60%), Quebec (12%) and British Columbia (12%)

Now let’s dive into the individual categories. Was Canadian Twitter buzz any indication of who would take home the Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director trophies?

Best Picture

Best Picture Oscar Twitter Canada Data

Director Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War drama American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper, was the most tweeted about Best Picture contender by Canadian Twitter users during awards season (46,753 tweets total), largely due to the controversy surrounding the film. Sunday night’s real winner, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s acclaimed black comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), was the second most buzzed about Best Picture nominee with a total of 27,952 tweets. Close, but no cigar!

Best Picture nominees (winner is highlighted in bold)

  • American Sniper – 46,753 tweets
  • Birdman – 27,952 tweets
  • Selma – 21,965 tweets
  • Boyhood – 18,521 tweets
  • Whiplash – 14,067 tweets
  • The Imitation Game – 10,957 tweets
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – 5,991 tweets
  • The Theory of Everything – 5,732 tweets

Best Actor

Best Actor Oscar Twitter Canada Data

Unsurprisingly, Best Actor nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) had the most buzz amongst Canadian Twitter users in the lead-up to the Oscars. If it were left up to the internet, Cumberbatch would win every award ever thanks to his zealous online fan base. Cumberbatch’s fellow English actor Eddie Redmayne, who took home the top acting prize for his turn as legendary scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, was the second most talked about Best Actor contender and acting nominee overall. Again, just slightly off, Canada!

Best Actor nominees (winner is highlighted in bold)

  • Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game (18,891 tweets)
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything (8,815 tweets)
  • Bradley Cooper – American Sniper (7,828 tweets)
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman (5,508 tweets)
  • Steve Carell – Foxcatcher (2,152 tweets)

Best Actress

Best Actress Oscar Twitter Canada Data

Canadian Twitter users were able to pick the winner in the Best Actress category though. The online buzz surrounding Julianne Moore, who played a woman suffering from early on-set Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, did translate into gold hardware for her on Sunday night. Moore was far and away the most buzzed about actress in the lead-up to the Academy Awards (6,779 tweets all told), with French actress Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night) a distant second with just 2,160 tweets made during award season.

Best Actress nominees (winner is highlighted in bold)

  • Julianne Moore – Still Alice (6779 tweets)
  • Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night (2,160 tweets)
  • Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything (2,184 tweets)
  • Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl (3,123 tweets)
  • Reese Witherspoon – Wild (4,721 tweets)

Best Director

Best Director Oscar Twitter Canada Data

Canadian Twitter users were way offbase in the Best Director category. The most buzzed about director over the past several months was Grand Budapest Hotel filmmaker Wes Anderson (5,483 tweets total), while the actual Best Director winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) was one of the least tweeted about moviemakers amongst Canuck Twitter users, with just 696 tweets mentioning the Mexican director.

Best Directing nominees (winner is highlighted in bold)

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman (696 tweets)
  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel (5,483 tweets)
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood (1,809 tweets)
  • Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher (354 tweets)
  • Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game (167 tweets)

So what do these results tell us?

Well, essentially that the Oscars are far less of a popularity contest than we were all led to believe. If the awards were simply about public popularity, it stands to reason that Benedict Cumberbatch, Wes Anderson and Selma would have gone home with trophies on Sunday based on the raw Twitter data from Canada. The real lesson here is that even when you know movies like Canadians do, Oscar night is always going to be full of surprises!

You can see the full list of winners here.

All stats in this article were captured using Sysomos’ Media Analysis Platform (MAP), a powerful research tool for capturing an analyzing social media conversations.