For a long time, it was five. Then, it was 10. Now, it'll be somewhere in between.
Two years after doubling the Best Picture category from five to 10 nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is shaking things up once again. For the 2011 Oscars, between five and 10 films will be nominated, depending on the votes they receive in the preliminary nominations round.
The new system will require a Best Picture nominee to receive 5 percent of first-place votes in order to be eligible. (Over the last 10 years, the movie receiving the most votes had an average of 20.5 percent of first-place votes).
"A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit," explained outgoing academy Executive Director Bruce Davis, who recommended the change. "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."
After analysis, it was determined that had this system been in place from 2001 to 2008, there would have been years that yielded five, six, seven, eight and nine nominees. The number of nominees for 2011's Best Picture category won't be revealed until the nominated pictures themselves are revealed.
Nominees will be announced Jan. 24. The Oscars ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 26.