It seems as if The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences still want to fine-tune the Best Picture category for the Oscars.  Now, they’ve come up with some new rules for the show, including one that doesn’t guarantee any specific number of finalists.

With accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers helping calculations, only films that get at least five perfect of first place votes will be considered nominees for Best Picture.  To give you an idea what this means, the average percentage of first place votes received by the top movie (say THE KING’S SPEECH last year) was 20.5%. As for last year, WINTER’S BONE received less than the necessary five percent, and therefore wouldn’t have been eligible.

Academy executive director Bruce Davis said of the decision,

“A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. 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.”

Up until 2009, there were only five finalists in the Best Picture category.  That number has since been expanded to ten.  Now, it could be anywhere in between.

While I think this is a very smart idea, and it is true that it would show the films nominated are worthy of that nomination, I still feel like they could have done the same thing with five nominees.  (It’s been that way since 1944…why all the craziness and controversy now?)

The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 a.m. PT.