By peoplestaff225
Updated April 24, 1998 12:00 AM
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Right Angle Research, a media evaluation firm based in New Rochelle, N.Y., has what it considers a sure-fire method by which to predict Sunday’s Oscar outcome — by tracking just how much mainstream press coverage each nominee receives. Based on this measure, RAR’s findings call for “Gladiator” star Russell Crowe to take home the gold for best actor, as he’s getting precisely twice as much media attention as runner-up Tom Hanks, in “Cast Away.” (Besides Crowe’s brief romantic involvement with Meg Ryan, which landed him on the cover of PEOPLE, the star from Down Under is also, according to the FBI, the target of a recent kidnapping plot, which also landed him on the cover of PEOPLE.) Julia Roberts is expected to be named best actress for her role in “Erin Brockovich,” “hands down,” RAR roared in a press release. “We conducted this analysis to demonstrate that studying . . . the media can provide an interesting window into forecasting consumer preferences,” says Right Angle’s CEO, Larry Hotz. With that in mind, his firm also predicts that “Gladiator” will be named best picture, Kate Hudson (“Almost Famous”) will win as best supporting actress and Benicio Del Toro (“Traffic”), best supporting actor. (These choices parallel the Golden Globe and SAG awards.) As the RAR press release goes on to say in typical Hollywood fashion, when it comes to celebrity media coverage, size matters.