If it's crap ... We'll tell you
After the debacle that was last years Oscars, it should come as no surprise that that AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aka 'The Academy') has changed it's mind about having ten nominees for Best Picture and has voted to revise their rules to allow "five to ten" nominees instead. Under the new rules, they can adjust the number of contenders based on voting percentages - all that is required is for 5% or more of active Academy members to give a film their first place votes to be considered.
While the change is a welcome one (do we really need nine films that have "nominated for best picture" written on their box art?), it could also be construed as "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" as many feel the problem with the Oscars isn't how many nominees there are or how they're voted upon - the problem is that the Academy may be slowly drifting out of touch with public opinion. It goes without saying that the ceremonies seem to be stuck in a rut and even the introduction of "young and hip" hosts like Anne Hathaway and James Franco couldn't hide the fact that they are desperately struggling to appeal to a younger demographic, while still being run by a voting board whose average age is approximately 57.
Other approved rule changes included eliminating the need to "activate" the Best Animated Feature category each year (since there are so many released each year and they don't show any signs of slowing), but still requiring at least eight animated features a year in order to be a competitive voting category. In response to last year's vote to expand the visual effects category to five nominees (up from three), they have also voted to expand the number of contenders from seven up to ten. The rest of the changes were small calendar changes and general "housekeeping".