Betting on the annual Academy Awards ceremony has become increasingly popular with punters in recent years, and bookmakers have been keen to offer comprehensive betting markets for the main Awards, with the race to scoop Best Picture obviously taking centre stage.
But the movie business is a volatile world and at this early stage of the year, with the Oscars still eleven months away, trying to predict which movie will come out on top is a tricky business, with bookmakers attempting to capture every possible contender, including a few that may seem implausible. One such outsider is Lego Movie Twowhich Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has priced up at 35/1, alongside other longshots including Star Wars Episode IX (25/1) and Frozen 2 (45/1).
In its favour, Lego Movie Two has a fine cast, including Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett and Alison Brie, and is building on the positive critical response to The Lego Movie (2014) which exceeded expectations for a movie based on a link-up with a child’s toy. It also has the advantage of having already hit movie theaters, and the judgement of critics and moviegoers alike seems to be favourable. Most critic-aggregation sites have given it the thumbs-up and by the first week of April, the movie had a global take of $183.6 million.
But before you rush to get your money on at 35/1, it is worth remembering that no animated feature has ever won the Best Picture Award. Toy Story 3 earned a nomination back in 2010, but wasn’t able to claim the prize, and Lego Movie Two faces some pretty stiff competition this year, against the likes of 3/1 favourite The Irishman starring Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat (4/1) which features three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep.