|Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild|
2010 nominations (for 2009 films) was the first year in the current era with 10 best picture nominees. There were some surprise nominations and the award nominees spanned the year more than normal, with four of the nominees having been released August or earlier, and only 4 films from November and December).
2011 nominations (for 2010 films) also seemed to reward summer releases, again with four of the nominees coming from June and July. This time, 5 of the remaining ten were from November/December releases)
2012 nominations (for 2011 films) their were 9 nominees instead of 10, but still 3 Summer releases, and 5 from November and December.
And this year...the 2013 nominations (for 2012 films), seems to have lost some of the trending for Summer love (and distribution of Oscar worthy summer films). Instead this year with 9 nominees, it's just one summer film, and seven with November and December releases.
To me this trend is disappointing.
The 2012 film year was stronger than years past, but I hope that the 2013 film calendar can spread the quality films more throughout the year instead of relying on that last minute freshness to keep the film in the mind of Oscar voters.
Here's a list of this year's 9 nominees in order of their non-festival US release date and number of screens on that date...
Beasts of the Southern Wild (June 27, 2012 - 4 screens)
Argo (October 12, 2012 - 3232 screens)
Lincoln (November 9, 2012 - 11 Screens)
Silver Linings Playbook (November 16, 2012 - 16 screens)
Life of Pi (November 21, 2012- 2927 screens)
Amour (December 19, 2012 - 3 screens)
Zero Dark Thirty (December 19, 2012 - 5 screens)
Les Miserables (December 25, 2012 - 2814 screens
Django Unchained (December 25, 2012 - 3010 screens)