Movie fans have become accustomed to a list of 10 nominees vying for the coveted prize but this year only nine made the cut: Hugo, The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse.
And experts have now spoken out to explain the recent rule change, which went went into effect for the first time this year (12).
Last June (11), Academy executives decided to "add a new twist" to the 2011 Best Picture race by no longer guaranteeing spots for 10 films in the category and instead reserving spaces for as few as five.
The organisation then adopted a preferential voting system, which eliminates movies that did not receive at least five per cent of the first-place votes on the nominations ballot - leaving only the most well-liked films in contention.
The Best Picture trophy will be handed out at the Los Angeles ceremony on 26 February (12).