The strong showing for "The Revenant," including a best actor nod for Leonardo DiCaprio, follows its win at the Golden Globes. It sets director Alejandro Inarritu for a possible back-to-back win following his best-picture winning "Birdman" last year.
George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" followed with 10 nominations, including best picture. Ridley Scott's sci-fi epic "The Martian" landed 7 nominations, including best picture, but no best director nod for Scott.
Eight films were nominated for best picture. The other five were: Tom McCarthy's investigative journalistic procedural "Spotlight," Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies," Adam McKay's Michael Lewis adaptation "The Big Short," the mother-son captive drama "Room" and the '50s Irish immigrant tale "Brooklyn."
Left on the outside were Todd Haynes' acclaimed lesbian romance "Carol" and the N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton."
The acting nominees, which notably omitted Idris Elba for "Beasts of No Nation" and Benicio Del Toro for "Sicario," gave the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences an awkward repeat of the "OscarsSoWhite" backlash that followed last year's acting nominees.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has since redoubled efforts to diversify the academy's membership, and slated Chris Rock to host this year's Feb. 28 ceremony.
Alongside DiCaprio, the nominees for best actor are: Matt Damon ("The Martian"), Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") and Bryan Cranston ("Trumbo").
The best actress field is led by favorite Brie Larson for "Room," along with Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy"), Cate Blanchett ("Carol"), Saoirse Ronan ("Brooklyn") and Charlotte Rampling ("45 Years").
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.