Ten Best Picture Nominees next year?

You’ve probably seen this announcement by now:
The 82nd Academy Awards, which will be presented on March 7, 2010, will have 10 feature films vying in the Best Picture category, Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis announced today (June 24) at a press conference in Beverly Hills.


“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 Acad prexy Sid Ganis in announcing the shift. “I can’t wait to see what that list of 10 looks like when the nominees are announced in February.”

Clearly they are trying to shake things up, given declining ratings and the atomziation of consumer interest in media overall. We have so many choices, the individual share of anything is smaller than it used to be. I suppose this is an attempt by the Academy to get interest in movies in general and the Oscar telecast in particular to rise.
I agree with the Monkey See blog, though: This probably will make the Oscar telecast longer.
In a good and strong year, this change wouldn’t be a bad thing. There have been years where a deserving 6th and 7th movie might have been added to the list, or at least would be there alongside a weaker nomination. The Dark Knight last year, for example.
In a weak year, though, this change would just lead to even weaker offerings than usual being touted as “Oscar Nominee!”