Avoid Red Carpet - Oscar Comittee

All the Hollywood Stars are being advised to avoid the red carpet this year. The Oscar committee wants to surprise everyone in the upcoming Oscars ceremony.

Last year Oscar Ceremony viewed only 32 million people. It the least-watched Oscars ever.

The organisers have devised a new strategy to entice viewers: publicists anonymously told the paper that they have been asked if their clients could use an off-camera entrance.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself denies contacting the presenters of the awards across the board but has said it hopes there will be a few surprise faces this year.

The dilemma is that while superstars like Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts have the power to boost audience figures. They are soul property for Oscar Ceremony. They're also hot property for the red carpet economy. And one question that isn't asked when stars are on the Oscar stage is "who are you wearing?"

Each year, designers make a Herculean effort to secure stars like Beyonce and Natalie Portman to adorn their wares.

But Heat magazine style editor Ellie Crompton says: "I can't see it making a huge difference. There'll still be plenty of eye candy on the red carpet. It's more about the winners... and people will always want to watch the actual show for the emotion and the excitement."

This year is about a drive for ratings. Broadcaster ABC pays $50m (£35m) in licence fees annually for the event, so poor ratings simply won't do.

Instead of the traditional comedian, Aussie actor Hugh Jackman will host the event. In itself, this is a sign that something different is being planned.

Rumours are rife: Jackman's participation in musical numbers, a new seating arrangement and even a new way for the awards to be presented.

A big concern is that the mass market won't be tuning in because there's no popular big picture nominee, like the Dark Knight, to cheer for.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the highest grosser at $117m (£82m). The other nominees for Best Picture have grossed the same amount collectively.


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