Best Picture Oscar rules given new twist

Jun 14, 2011 by Ian Evans

For the last two Academy Award ceremonies, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences increased the number of nominees in the Best Picture category to ten. They’ve now added an element of surprise to the procedure that will produce anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees but that number won’t be announced until the Best Picture nominees themselves are revealed at the January nominations announcement.

“With the help of PricewaterhouseCoopers, we’ve been looking not just at what happened over the past two years, but at what would have happened if we had been selecting 10 nominees for the past 10 years,” says Academy President Tom Sherak.

After looking at the vote numbers over the last decade, it was determined that 5 percent of first place votes should be the minimum in order to receive a nomination, resulting in a slate of anywhere from 5 to 10 movies.

“In studying the data, what stood out was that Academy members had regularly shown a strong admiration for more than five movies,” said retiring Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis. “A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”

The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, while the ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre. Stick with for your 84th Academy Awards coverage.