Could the Academy's doubled Best Picture category help sci-fi nab an Oscar?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that for the first time in more than 65 years, the field of Best Picture nominees will be expanded from five to 10 contenders for the 82nd annual Academy Awards, Variety reported.

"Having 10 best picture nominees is going allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize," said Academy president Sid Ganis as he announced the shift. "I can't wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February."

The move comes on the heels of complaints that the Academy's rule of limiting the Best Picture nominees to the top five vote-getters elbows out some of the more popular titles, such as last year's blockbuster, The Dark Knight.

The rules change could help some of this year's contenders, such as Star Trek, which otherwise could be overlooked for consideration.

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