What If Fans Voted for the Oscars? Fandom Data Points to ‘Avatar: The Way of Water,’ Austin Butler as Populist Favorites

Data also shows overwhelming support for “Top Gun: Maverick” and Michelle Yeoh


Fandom’s “Oscars According to Fans” survey reports that “Avatar: The Way of Water” takes the Oscar for Best Picture over “Top Gun: Maverick” if it were up to fans.

James Cameron’s long-awaited sequel was the favorite of 15 states — such as Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, New York and Alabama — while Tom Cruise’s equally long-awaited sequel took second place as the top film in 13 states including California, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina and Maine among others.

“Elvis” came in third place for fan votes to win Best Picture. Austin Butler’s portrayal of Elvis was the fan favorite of 9 states including Arizona, Mew Mexico, Minnesota and more, with 36% of voters picking him to win the Oscar for the Best Actor. Colin Farrell received 29% of the votes for Best Actor, and Brendan Fraser 23%.

Butler placed third in Best Actor the rankings by state with 12 states backing him. Colin Farrell would receive the top vote in 16 states for his role in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Brendan Fraser leads the Best Actor race with 17 states favoring him.

Fandom’s study analyzed 40 million pages of content on the internet to yield the results. State-by-state date and generational breakdowns come from page views indexed by state and by generation.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” was the favorite of eight states — Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland and Massachusettes. Yeoh received 36% of the vote for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Cate Blanchett dominates the Best Actress bracket by state with 18 states favoring her performance in “Tár.” Next in line is Michelle Yeoh with 11 states. Eight states support Michelle Williams, eight Ana De Amas and five Andrea Riseborough.

Generationally, Cate Blanchett has the Gen Z, Millennial and Baby Boomer vote for Best Actress. Her roles as Hela in “Thor” and Galadruel in “Lord of the Rings” make her to familiar to Gen Z and Millenials, respectively.

Millennials and Gen X want Brendan Fraser to win the Oscar for Best Actor because they recognize him from “Scrubs,” but Gen Z and Baby Boomers would vote for Colin Farrell after seeing him in “The Batman” and “True Detective.” 

The Millennial Best Picture vote would go to “Avatar: The Way of Water” due to the first film’s release back in 2009, with other generations backing “Top Gun: Maverick.”