Not the Academy's expansion of its top category to ten slots, nor its hiring of two hosts, is paying off where it counts: James Cameron's Avatar — the biggest movie EVER! — is scheduled to win Best Picture over nine other films on March 7, but ABC has only been able to sell 30-second ads on the Oscars for between $1.3 million and $1.5 million, which is on par with the measly $1.4 million they sold them for last year when the comparatively low-grossing Slumdog Millionaire took top honors in a field of the usual five. Also, it's less than the $1.82 million commercials went for in 2008 when the Academy saluted No Country for Old Men, which was the year the telecast got its lowest-ever ratings. If, as expected, next year's ceremony is presided over by four hosts and twenty films compete for the top award, you'll be able to buy ads.
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