In an extraordinary move to investigate how the year might play out, The Wrap’s Steve Pond approached the Broadcast Film Critics to use their ballots to figure out how this year’s Oscar race might go. Now, keep in mind that there were only 250 voting members of the BFCA, where there are upwards of 6,000 Oscar voters, give or take several hundred. But, here’s the thing. Each branch is divided up to find the nominees for every category except Best Picture. It it therefore theoretically logical that this experiment could apply to each of the branches within the Academy and that there might not be that much of a difference in terms of how many films get through the first round.
A large majority of the Broadcast Film Critics’ more than 250 critics cast ballots, which asked them to rank their favorite movies, one through five. On those ballots, 33 different films received first-place votes.
Under the Oscar system, the race is immediately narrowed to those 33 films; every other movie is out of the running, no matter how many second- or third-place votes it received.
Once the initial count was made, the number of votes required to guarantee a nomination was determined. This is done by dividing the number of votes by 11, and then adding one (or if the result is not a whole number, adding whatever fraction is needed to make it one).
Example: If 250 members had voted, 23 votes would have guaranteed a nomination, because it would be impossible for more than 10 films to receive that many votes.