One of the big questions about the 2020 Oscars is whether or not there will be a split between the winners of Best Picture and Best Director, as we’ve seen in three of the last four years. Before the academy reintroduced the preferential ballot for Best Picture in 2010, such divides were fairly rare. Now, they are the rule rather than the exception at the Academy Awards. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2020 Oscars predictions for Best Director.)
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Why is this?
Unlike every other Oscar category, which are decided by a popular vote, the winner of the Best Picture award is determined by a weighted ballot. Voters rank their choices from first to last. If one nominee garners more than 50% of the first place vote, it automatically wins. If, however, no nominee can meet that threshold, the film with the fewest first place votes gets eliminated, with its ballot getting reapportioned to the second place choice.