The Oscars will return with a new twist in 2012. After a backlash regarding its whopping 10 Best Picture nominees two years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has implemented new voting rules, which could result in anywhere from five to 10 nominees. The procedure implements “a new element of surprise” because the number of nominees won’t be revealed until the nominations are announced January 24. In order to be nominated, a film must earn enough first-place votes on the nomination ballots to amount to 5 percent of the ballots cast. "A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit,” retiring Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis told The Hollywood Reporter. “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."
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