AceShowbiz - The upcoming 86th annual Academy Awards will be held in March, instead of the usual February slot occupied by the show during the past recent years. The Academy announces the event will take place Sunday, March 2 before returning back to the February timeline for the next ceremony in 2015.
The Oscars was held on February 24 this year. Though the Academy didn't mention anything about the reason behind the change, it's believed that the prestigious prize-giving event is shifted to March to steer clear of the Winter Olympics which is scheduled to run from February 7 to 23 in Sochi, Russia.
The Academy Awards was traditionally held after Golden Globes and a series of Guild awards. One of the pre-Oscar awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards which was usually conducted at the end of January, is now set to take place on January 18, while the Golden Globes hasn't made announcement just yet.
In addition to avoiding competition with TV coverage of the Winter games, the new Oscar date gives voters more time to see all the competing movies before picking their favorite ones.
This year, the Academy gave one extra day for its members to cast their votes. The voting deadline was originally set to close on Thursday, January 3 at 5 P.M. PT, but it's later extended to Friday, January 4 at 5 P.M. PT. The extension was made after the Academy noticed many of its members had problem with the online voting system that only began to be applied this year.
The 86th and 87th Academy Awards ceremonies will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.
Key dates for the Awards season: