Executives at ABC are concerned that the ratings for this year’s Oscar telecast may be impacted by the slate of Best Picture nominees.
Of the current nominations for Best Picture, only one movie, “The Help,” has exceeded $100 million in box-office receipts.
The average amount taken in by the nominated films prior to the nomination announcement was $57.6 million, according the Box Office Mojo website.
By comparison, the average for last year’s nominees was $119.5 million, and two years ago it was $151.5 million. Several blockbusters were among the nominees during the last two years, thereby assisting the ratings for the Oscar telecast.
In 2009 the Academy changed its rules, allowing for an expansion of the Best Picture category to 10 films.
Some critics had predicted that the Academy’s alteration of rules would result in a compromise of the quality of nominees in order to attract a larger television audience drawn by the more popular movies.
In 2011 the rules were once again tweaked, with a change to a more complicated variable nominating system, which allows for a roster of between five and 10 Best Picture nominees.
The other Best Picture nominees in order of box-office level are “Moneyball,” “War Horse,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Hugo,” “The Descendants,” “The Tree of Life,” “The Artist,” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”
“Hugo” had the most overall nominations at 11, while “The Artist” was in second place with 10 nominations. “War Horse” and “Moneyball” tied for third place with 6 nominations each.
The Academy Awards will be televised February 26 on ABC with Billy Crystal hosting the show.
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