Oscar voting closes after fierce studio campaigns
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Voting for Sunday's Oscars, the highest honours in the movie industry, closed on Tuesday evening after a big spending campaign by Hollywood studios and the first online balloting system in the 85-year history of the Academy Awards.
More than 5,800 movie industry professionals who are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were invited to vote in 24 Oscar categories, starting on Feb 8 and ending at 0100 GMT (9am Singapore time) on Wednesday.
The results will be tabulated at a secret location by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which will deliver the envelopes with the winners' names from backstage at the Feb 24 Oscars ceremony, televised live from Hollywood.
With the races for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Supporting Actor considered too close to call by awards pundits, movie studios have been blasting newspapers, radio, trade publications and television with promotions for their nominees. The Los Angeles Times estimated that Warner Bros, the studio behind Argo, and Walt Disney, which is distributing Lincoln, had spent about US$10 million (S$12 million) each in Oscar campaigns in recent weeks. The two movies are locked in a tight contest for the top Oscar prize: Best Picture.