With 10 Slots to Fill, Oscar Debate Starts Early

Some execs remain opposed to expanded Best Picture nominee list
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 4, 2009 11:28 AM CDT
In this image released by Disney/Pixar Films, animated characters Russell, left, and Carl Fredricksen are shown in a scene from the film, "Up."   (AP Photo/Disney/Pixar)
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(Newser) – The point of doubling the number of Academy Award best picture nominees this year was to draw more viewers to the show. The pitfall: Hardly anything Oscar worthy has emerged, writes Kim Masters for the Daily Beast. And while most nominees hit theaters later in the year, 30% fewer films will come out this year than during that time in 2008.

Meanwhile, executives are unhappy about the switch because it means dropping more cash on Oscar campaigns for films that have no real chance at a nomination. “You’re going to have crazy-ass people chasing awards,” says one. “Agents, managers, publicity teams—you should be a fly on the wall in one of these meetings!” he says. Only two films so far this year are considered real hopefuls: The Hurt Locker and Up.