Countdown to Oscars: 90 days till 90th annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018 [WATCH]

ABC and the motion picture academy kicked off the 90-day countdown to the 90th annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018 with a big announcement: the Oscars start time is half an hour earlier than usual at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. That means the 90-minute red carpet pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Jimmy Kimmel will return to host for the second year in a row. Likewise, Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd are repeating as producers. As part of the promotion, the Oscars and ABC unveiled a dazzling promotional spot touting the best of the year in cinema (watch above).

The Oscars usually take place on the last Sunday in February but were bumped back a week so as not to compete with the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. However, the timetable for voting is virtually the same as this year when the ceremony was one week earlier. (The next three Oscars will take place on that last Sunday in February, being February 24, 2019; February 23, 2020; and February 28, 2021.)

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As with last year, this year’s nomination ballot will go live online on Jan. 5 (last year that was a Thursday, this year it is a Friday). However, members will have only seven days to vote (down from eight). The deadline is Friday, Jan 12, which is one day after the Critics’ Choice Awards announces its roster of nominations.

The accountants will again take 11 days to tally the Oscar ballots, with nominations not announced till Tuesday, Jan. 23 (we only had to wait till Jan. 15 to find out who made the cut in 2015). As with last year, we won’t know the Oscar nominees before the Golden Globes ceremony. Indeed, those awards will be handed out on Jan. 7, during Oscar nominations voting.

SEE Oscar experts: Odds and ranking in top races

The final voting will again run for just seven days, from Tuesday, Feb. 20 to Feb. 27. Prior to that nominees will be feted at a luncheon on Monday, Feb. 5 while the scientific and technical awards will be handed out on Saturday, Feb. 10.

New to the calendar this year is an Oscar concert, which will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28. And kicking off Oscar season will be the Governors Awards, which take place on Saturday, Nov. 11.

See how our experts rank Oscar contenders according to the likelihood of winning in the top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. And be sure to take a look at our most up-to-date odds.

DISCUSS All the Oscar contenders with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

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