AWARDS

Academy Awards May Go Back to Only Five Best Picture Nominees

by
March 4, 2015
Source: THR

The Academy Awards

Since 2010, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have allowed for up to 10 nominees in the Best Picture category after the rules were changed to make the awards ceremony more inclusive for films like The Dark Knight. It was a move aiming to get more people to tune in to the Oscars see if their favorite movie would win the big prize. However, THR reports The Academy is now considering dropping the number of competitors back down to the traditional five nominees. So the six year run of allowing up to 10 nominees hasn't worked as a trade source says, "They tried it, and it really didn't do us any good."

As of now no official proposal has been made to change the rules again, but that could happen before the end of the month as The Academy's board of governors meets again on March 24th. Of course, there's no guarantee that this change will happen since the board meets every year following the most recent Academy Awards telecast to evaluate the show and awards season in general. But the trade notes that there's a large portion of the board who has been pushing to revert back to five nominees because the higher number has "watered down the prestige of a nomination" and hasn't boosted the ratings for the ceremony as was hoped.

Despite the fact that this year's Academy Awards ratings tanked, dropping 15% from last year's show, I hardly think that changing the rules again is going to fix that problem. This year specifically, the issue seemed to be that there were a ton of nominees that weren't very accessible to average moviegoers, mainly due to the slew of independent film nominees. But at the same time, people just seem to be caring less and less about the Oscars on television, which is consistently boring and overlong. There's even a chance that reducing the pool might actually push the ratings to fall even further.

But no matter how many nominees in the Best Picture category, The Academy doesn't usually pick the kind of movies that the general public loves, and that seems to be where this little experiment failed as blockbusters were left out in the wind again. While they certainly shouldn't intentionally skew their voting to bring more mainstream movies into the fray, general audiences just won't always care as much about the same movies Academy voters do. After all, the most-watched Oscars telecast is still the 1998 show, which was when the box office giant Titanic was in the running and won Best Picture.

At the end of the day, reverting back to five nominees probably won't change much as far as the interest in the Academy Awards telecast is concerned. The problem lies within the format and length of the show itself. As soon as The Academy realizes it will never satisfy a large audience as long as it prefers arthouse cinema, maybe they'll put their focus on making the show better instead of trying to make the nominees themselves more appealing. It seems that films like The Dark Knight getting a Best Picture nomination just isn't in the cards, even though that's what The Academy wanted after they missed out on honoring that particular blockbuster. Is there anything The Academy can do to get people interested? What do you think?

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  • theslayer5150
    First of all, they need to drop the over the top production number at the opening of the show. Second of all, drop the music performances of all the nominated best songs. Third, stop making the host a comedic actor/actress and forcing bad jokes and one liners. I'd rather see George Clooney try to ad lib comedy. Or go the other way and make it totally over the top, with someone like Carrot Top hosting. Fourth, stop worrying about ratings. The Academy is more concerned about ratings and selling ad time then they are about the awards themselves, which lowers the meaning of the award. These are all my opinions of course.
    • TheOct8pus
      The whole purpose of the Oscars is to make money on advertising, ratings, red carpet nonsense and tabloid gossip. The Oscars are a joke. They have very little to do anymore with great filmmaking.
      • SalsaBandit
        you'd have a point if a movie like Transformers won. At the end of the day the movie that wins Best Picture was at the least a quality movie. It's certainly debatable if it was the BEST but there's never been a horrible movie that's won.
        • TheOct8pus
          You clearly missed my point then. I didn't say that shitty movies win and are nominated. USUALLY the movies at the Oscars are GREAT movies, and the "best picture" is usually a good one, with a few exceptions (see Crash, 2004). But SO MANY great movies are overlooked, snubbed and not even nominated. Who's to say that the Lego Movie is less worthy of recognition than Birdman? Is it because of the light-hearted mass appeal of the Lego Movie? That's just one example....but this happens all the time. What makes a great movie? Do the Oscars have the definitive answer to that question? I don't think so. The Oscars are like the Fruit Awards. Banana, Orange and Apple are nominated. Banana wins! But does that make Banana a BETTER fruit than Kiwi or Mango who weren't even NOMINATED??? Who cares, because NBC just made $100 million on advertising and licensing, and Versace just sold $20 million of stupid clothes because Cameron Diaz wore one of their dresses on the red carpet. Art awards are ultimately, 100% subjective and thus pointless. Is Picasso BETTER than Rembrandt? I doesn't matter, because we're gonna make money on this awards show....
  • SalsaBandit
    The wrong movie still wins year after year
  • movieguyryan .
    They probably should just go back to 5. Oscars make bad decisions anyways; whether it's 10, 8, or 5. At least with 5, there's less a chance that films like The Blind Side, American Sniper, or Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close would slip in.
    • Akirakorn
      No more like less chance of good movies slipping in. The "artistic" and "topical" movies, and roles, will always get in.
      • movieguyryan .
        Ultimately, does it matter? When you have over five movies, it's clear what your five front-runners are anyways. Like if The Dark Knight had been in a year with up to 10, it would have most likely got in. They aren't actually seriously considering it for Best Picture though, but more so just to please the general public. I mean, I could see how a smaller indie film can benefit from the up to 10 slots (ex: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour). It helps give them exposure and make money at the box office. Ultimately though, great films are great films, and are always remembered despite having an Oscar nomination. So keep it at 5. The award show is too long as it is.
  • DAVIDPD
    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...shame on me.

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