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Studios Not Rushing to Advertise Upcoming Movies on Oscar Telecast

OZ The Great and Powerful Trailer Screenshot - H 2012
"Oz: The Great and Powerful"

Disney's "Oz: The Great and Powerful" and Fox's "The Heat" may be the only film spots to appear during the ABC broadcast.

One thing movie fans might not get much of during Sunday’s Oscar telecast, ironically, is a lot of advertisements for upcoming films.

In the past, such advertising was mostly discouraged by a strict set of guidelines. While the Academy recently relaxed those restrictions via an agreement with ABC, not many studios seem to be taking advantage of the changes.

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Fox said it will run a commercial for The Heat, a Paul Feig-directed action-comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock scheduled for June 28, and Disney said it will advertise Oz: The Great and Powerful, which opens March 8. But no other studio has acknowledged plans to advertise a movie during the Oscars.

Sources confirm that Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment will not run ads, nor will Paramount or DreamWorks Animation. Sources also say Sony, Warner Bros. and Universal haven't committed to any commercials yet.

A few years ago, Disney would not have been able to run an ad for Oz, because the Academy’s rules stipulated that no commercials were allowed for movies opening prior to the last Friday of April. An Academy spokeswoman, though, said the rule has been relaxed so that now any film opening after the telecast may be advertised.

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Another recent revision was to the rule that each studio may advertise only one film during the Oscars. Now, each studio may advertise up to three movies, though that would require purchasing three separate ad spots, as another rule prohibits any single commercial from advertising more than one movie.

The Academy also doesn’t allow ads for sequels to any of last year’s best picture nominees, nor does it allow any movie ads to mention the Academy Awards.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com