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Breaking Down the Race For the Best Picture Oscar

The stars will be out in Hollywood this Sunday night for the 88th Academy Awards, where eight of last year’s most critically acclaimed films will battle it out for the Best Picture Oscar.

The Martian, from 20th Century Fox (FOX), is the highest-grossing film from this year’s field of best picture nominees. The movie stars A-list leading man Matt Damon in full science-geek mode, employing all of his character’s knowledge of botany and astrophysics in his attempts to escape a foreign planet.

Will The Martian‘s box office success be enough to propel the film toward a golden Oscar statue? The movie faces stiff competition from lower-grossing critical darlings such as Spotlight and The Big Short, among others. The latter, which deals with the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis, is favored to win by a lot of analysts after it took home the top prize at last month’s Producers Guild Awards, an event that has successfully predicted the Academy’s top choice in eight out of the past 10 years.