Golden Globes Predictions: ‘Barbenheimer’ Could Lead for All Movies; Final Seasons of ‘The Crown’ and ‘Succession’ are Early TV Favorites Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

The Golden Globes have plenty of movies to sift through and consider for its upcoming 81st annual awards ceremony. With “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Maestro” on the drama side and “The Color Purple” and “Poor Things” in comedy, alongside the buzzy summer double-feature “Barbenheimer,” a star-studded event is indeed awaiting viewers.

The Globes have entered a new era with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association now disbanded, with many of its problematic members expelled; the annual awards season staple has traditionally been second to the Oscars regarding TV ratings. Under new leadership, the group seeks to reclaim its glory days of fun and memorable affairs.

ReadVariety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

One of the most impactful changes is the expansion of films and performances that will be recognized. According to the eligibility and rules guide, each category will nominate six nominees, an increase from five, except the new best cinematic and box office achievement category (for movies that grossed more than $150 million, with at least $100 million in the U.S.), which will name eight.

More spots mean more of an opportunity for more “Barbenheimer” actors who could use a boost, like supporting actress contenders Emily Blunt and America Ferrera.

In the drama races, movies helmed by some of cinema’s most beloved masters are likely to square off: Christopher Nolan for “Oppenheimer” and Martin Scorsese for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” who will also be among the favorites for best director.

The 300+ members will also have the chance to embrace timely films surrounding lost love (Celine Song’s “Past Lives”) and racial relations (Ava DuVernay’s “Origin”). The comedy landscape is more competitive than its drama counterparts, especially compared to previous years. At the top of the heap is Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar smash “Barbie,” likely to be one of the most nominated movies this year. The WB sensation seems destined to face off against Searchlight’s “Poor Things” and Focus Features’ “The Holdovers.”

Amazon MGM has a pair of dramedies that could factor into the race significantly – Ben Affleck’s Nike sneaker hit “Air” and Cord Jefferson’s TIFF Audience Award winner, “American Fiction.”

The nom expansion will also provide more runway for acting contenders trying to secure Academy love.

The lead-acting races are overflowing.

In lead drama actor, megastars like Bradley Cooper (“Maestro”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Flower Moon”) and Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) will battle with notables from films that hope not to have a sole acting mention such as Colman Domingo (“Rustin”) and Andrew Scott (“All of Us Strangers”).

Comedy actor has two frontrunners leading the charge. “American Fiction’s” Jeffrey Wright ready to take on “The Holdovers’” Paul Giamatti, a former winner of the category for “Barney’s Version.” They’ll have A-listers in the mix like Nicolas Cage “(“Dream Scenario”) and Matt Damon (“Air”).

Both actress races have talent, beauty and style that will be popular among voters. Lily Gladstone (“Flower Moon”) will take on Carey Mulligan (“Maestro”) and Natalie Portman (“May December”), with possibilities for Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“Origin”) and Sandra Hüller (“Anatomy of a Fall”).

The chuckles felt from the likes of Margot Robbie (“Barbie”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”) seem locked and loaded for attention (at least Globes-wise). Even though “The Color Purple” is one of the last contenders to drop, that shouldn’t stop Fantasia Barrino from nabbing a spot, according to early buzz.

This is all open to debate, and it’s still relatively early in the awards season. So, anything can happen.

Noteworthy: as many may know from following me on social media over the past decade, I strongly disdain ties at awards shows. Does anybody remember the three best actress (drama) winners in 1988, Jodie Foster, Shirley MacLaine and Sigourney Weaver? Well, the chances of that happening again are nearly impossible after the group inputs new measures when voting for winners.

It reads: “In the case of a tie in any category, the winner will be the one of the tied nominees on the final ballot that had the most votes on the nomination ballot. In the unlikely event that there is still a tie in any category after considering the nomination ballots, two winners will be announced.”

I’m claiming this rule just for me.

The Crown

In TV, we’ll see some of the Emmy frontrunners, such as HBO’s “Succession,” Apple’s “Ted Lasso” and Netflix’s “Beef,” hold steady with multiple noms. The new shows like Disney’s “Ashoka” or Apple’s “Lessons in Chemistry” could also breakthrough with its leading stars such as Rosario Dawson and Brie Larson. There’s always room for a shock or two, so we could still see Lily Rose-Depp or Rachel Sennott crack their respective lineups for HBO’s “The Idol” despite the panned reviews.

A different voting body will yield some unpredictable results. Still, establishment choices such as Hulu’s murder-mystery comedy “Only Murders in the Building” and the final season of Netflix’s “The Crown” should have healthy showings.

The new category for stand-up will be very competitive, with so many notable names and specials in the running.

Chris Rock broke the seal for Netflix in the live event space with “Selective Outrage,” so he’ll likely make the cut along with some of his streaming counterparts like Tom Segura (“Sledgehammer”) and Wanda Sykes (“I’m an Entertainer”). It could be a category tailor-made for the streamers.

ReadVariety’s Awards Circuit for the latest SAG Awards predictions

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

Visit the prediction pages for the respective ceremonies via the links below:

OSCARS | EMMYS | GRAMMYS | TONYS

Updated: Nov. 10, 2023