The president, Sid Ganis, said that last year’s snub of The Dark Knight was influential to the decision. That movie had widely been expected to receive a best-picture nomination, and its exclusion became another spur to observers who argued that the Oscars had become an elitist celebration of small, little-seen films. Ganis also suggested that the field could diversify the annual shortlist to include foreign films, documentaries and animation.
Faced with speculation that the Academy might have buckled to studio pressure to nominate bigger movies, Ganis insisted that his is “the arts organization, not the business organization.” Still, the move is likely to embolden critics who have long argued that the Academy Awards are not nearly the integral cultural institution many of its largest champions claim it to be.
No other category will be affected by the change.