Deadline for Oscar ballots is Tuesday afternoon

Voting members of the Motion Picture Academy must turn in their Oscar ballots by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

In the Best Picture category, the number of choices has doubled to 10 as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences seeks to include more movies — and to boost ratings for the annual awards show broadcast.

The 10 nominees include a film only its producers and cast believed could be made — “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” — and “Avatar,” a high-tech blockbuster that helped director James Cameron break his own “Titanic” box-office record.

Cameron’s ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, directed another best picture nominee, “The Hurt Locker” — the rare Iraq war film to find a mainstream audience and critical acclaim. Bigelow and Cameron are among the five contestants for the Best Director Oscar.

The results are up in the air until Sunday night’s awards show from the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

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