After “heated debate”, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ executive committee of the visual effects branch has voted to expand the number of Oscar nominees for Best Visual Effects from three to five. However, as Variety reports, the change must be now approved by the Awards Rules Committee and then by the Board of Governors. The committee and the governors usually sign off a branch’s decision, but it’s not automatic, and this would qualify as a major change. If everyone signs off, there will be five nominees culled from this year’s films.
The debate now falls to whether the show can accommodate the time to read off the up-to-four names for each film nominated along with the extra clips or if it will be worth the possible viewers pulled in due to the broad appeal of the blockbusters that usually fill the category. Also, keep in mind that the Academy is still going with ten Best Picture nominees. Ultimately, I’d argue that with a four-hour ceremony, five to ten more minutes doesn’t really make much of a difference.