Can Online Comments Predict Oscar® Winners? Disqus Looks at One Million Interactions to Find Top Oscar Picks

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Disqus, the web’s most popular discussion platform, issued the results of a fun Oscar® awards related survey today to connect the dots between online comments and the Oscar winners.

Controversy vs. Conversation: Analyzing Oscar Talk

“Boyhood” led the pack, sweeping both Best Picture and Best Director through what Disqus calls its “Optimism Score.”

Disqus, the web’s most popular discussion platform, issued the results of a fun Oscar® awards related survey today to connect the dots between online comments and the Oscar winners.

In a five-week survey* during the height of Oscar nominations, Disqus users made their opinions heard in more than one million interactions on 3,000+ articles and blog posts throughout the Disqus network, including leading movie sites like The A.V. Club, Entertainment Weekly, People.com, Rolling Stone, IGN, SuperHeroHype, /Film, FirstShowing.net and RogerEbert.com.

The comments about the Best Picture nominees show preference by state and gender; the study also looked at Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress favorites across the board.

See the infographic for more detail.

“Boyhood” Wins Oscars-Related Comments Race

Disqus commenters also made Oscar predictions. “Boyhood” led the pack, sweeping both Best Picture and Best Director through what Disqus calls its “Optimism Score.” Each film was measured by the percentage of comments where someone said they think that film will or should win best picture vs. comments that said that film should not or would not win.

Best Picture:

  •     Optimism Winner: “Boyhood” (85.7%);
  •     “Birdman” (77.2%)
  •     “American Sniper” (64.2%)
  •     “Whiplash” (58.1%);
  •     “Selma” (35.3%);
  •     (Note: Margin of error: 5.3%)

Best Actor:

  •     Optimism Winner: Michael Keaton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (98.0%);
  •     Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything” (72.9%);
  •     Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper” (64.7%);
  •     (Note: Margin of error is 7.7%)

Controversy drove conversation: “Selma” and “American Sniper” dominated the general discussion, with 82% of total page views, much of which focused on the political debate. Conversely, comment volume about Oscar nominees when the political debate was removed (data scientists call this being “normalized”) told a different story, with “Boyhood” getting the highest volume of comments in 16 states including California, Maine and Tennessee but not in Texas, where the film was set. “Whiplash” was the second most commented upon film, in 12 states, including South Carolina, Oregon and Montana.

The survey also looked at NY/LA comment volume and topic, and the gender divide.

See this blog post from Disqus for more detail.

*Methodology: Disqus worked with Temnos, a content analysis firm, to analyze over a million comments and votes across 3,000 articles and blog posts from January 1 to February 6, 2015. The analysis used semantic keyword detection to identify posts containing comments related to the Oscars. Additional semantic filtering was then used to study discussions by geography, gender and sentiment.

About Disqus

Disqus is the web’s most popular discussion platform used by 3 million websites around the world. Visitors to these sites use Disqus to add color to the content by commenting, favoriting and following. Whether it's commenting on a local news article or debating the meaning of life, Disqus makes it possible for great discussions to happen between anyone, about anything, at any time.

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