Image by NMCIL ortiz domney via FlickrThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced this week that the 82nd Academy Awards, which will be broadcast on ABC on March 7, 2010, will double the number of films vying for "Best Picture" honors to 10.
The nominees for Best Picture and other categories will be announced on February 2, 2010. Between 1932 and 1943, anywhere from 8 to 12 movies contended for the Best Picture Oscar. Since 1944, Academy voters have selected from among five nominees.
The Best Picture Oscar is the last award doled out during the hours-long telecast. "Slumdog Millionaire" captured the prize at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Hugh Jackman on Feb. 22, 2009. Nearly 37 million people watched the program, making the telecast the third-lowest rated since Nielsen began tracking the awards show in 1967.
Doubling only the Best Picture category means snubbing the directors of five nominated films in the Best Director category. With Hollywood producing fewer films and the sagging economy causing more Americans to turn to Netflix and cable movies, this may be Tyler Perry's best chance to cop an Oscar. It's enough to make an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers weep.