Using the most advanced computer technology ever invented, and a proprietary algorithm devised by a secret government think tank, The Dissolve created The Speculometron to determine the mathematical probability of the Internet’s latest movie rumors.
Rumor: The Academy Awards are considering returning to the five-nominee standard for Best Picture.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Evidence: “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is seriously considering a return to its former policy of having only five best picture nominees…That number would be down from a maximum of 10 that are allowed by the current rules.”
The Speculometron’s calculations: Back in 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the royal-ish decree that the Best Picture category—previously confined to nominating just five films after a long streak in the ’30s and ’40s when it nominated 10–would now contain 10 nominees each year, mainly inspired by the apparent “snub” that left The Dark Knight out the previous year. As THR notes, “that film’s exclusion from the best picture nominees led many to argue in favor of throwing a bigger net that would lift ratings and also satisfy popular audiences hungry for the Academy to acknowledge films with a wider appeal.”
But by 2011, the Academy has backpedaled (slightly), changing the rules to allow for five to 10 Best Picture nominees for each year. That year, it nominated nine. In 2012 and 2013, the category again bottomed out at nine nominees. Mixing it up, 2014 went for eight. Still, it’s hard to argue that the larger pool beefed up the category in any massive and marked way. In short, the new rules didn’t suddenly mean that films with mainstream appeal were Best Picture nominees. That was the point, really, in hopes of snagging a larger audience eager to cheer for films they had actually seen. It just didn’t happen.
Now, THR reports that the Academy is considering returning to the old five-nominee policy, a move that “is being pushed by a significant fraction of the Academy…a radical shift for the 6,000-member organization and a tacit acknowledgement that its six-year-old strategy of boosting the number of best picture nominees has failed.”
The outlet shares that “no official proposal has been placed before the Academy's board of governors, that could happen as soon as March 24, when the governors are next due to meet.” The Academy “declined to comment on the specifics of the upcoming meeting.”
Odds: 10 to 1. Bloating the Best Picture nominees to a maximum of 10 was concieved of to help laud projects (like more blockbuster-leaning films) that might not normally be considered for the award (at least, when the award could only accommodate five nominees), but instead the category has become kind of a catch-all for more speciality movies that are not singled out elsewhere (consider the Selma nomination, which only highlighted that Ava DuVernay was not nominated for Best Director), which is deeply unappealing. The original idea for the new cap has not worked, and everyone knows it.