Oscars Shift Nomination Announcement Even Earlier

By Katey Rich 2012-09-19 10:16:53discussion comments
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In the big scheme of things, the dates on which the Oscars are announced and awarded don't really matter. The Academy made a big shift from a late March ceremony to one airing in February not long ago, but nobody considers the films actually awarded any differently. But if you're someone actively engaged in marketing a film for an Oscar, or even rooting for a certain film you like to succeed, the date can make all the difference-- in whether voters find out about a film or not, in whether the good buzz is loud enough for them to hear it, or even whether or not they see it.

So with the Academy revealing yesterday that the nominees will be announced five days earlier this year, on January 10, it's tempting to say anyone interested in this news is overreacting-- but you really never know what might make a difference. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy is also experimenting with online voting for the first time, though it's unclear exactly how that will work. As usual, the nomination period will happen over the holiday, with ballots going out December 17 and due on January 3. After the nomination announcement, voting for winners will take place between February 8 and February 19. The Oscars themselves will be held on February 24th, essentially the same time as this year's ceremony, which was on Sunday, February 26th.

As I went over in the first Oscar Eye column of the season yet, there are still a lot of big contenders left to be seen, and many of them won't be opening until well within that December 17 to January 3 window for voting. Will that earlier announcement date hurt them? Or does that just give studios five extra days to market the hell out of their films, and exhaust us all in the process? Every Oscar season brings changes and potential weirdness, and we'll just have to see how this one shakes out.
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