nominated in the Best Visual Effects category for the Academy Awards (Oscar). According to Variety, it almost missed the chance back on November 2012 when the 40-member visual effects branch committee was putting together its "long list" of 20 possible films to submit that would eventually get cut down to the "bake-off" of 10 films that would then be cut to the final five.
Thanks to a change in scheduling, the bake-off would be held on January 3rd resulting in a need to make a decision on November 28 for who would be on the long list. The problem is many of the probable contenders would not even get their release until mid-December or later, like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The result is members had to basically decide if the movie would be included based only on the visual effects in the trailers.
Basically the film received its initial slot not on its merits but by the shear reputation of Weta Digital and Peter Jackson. That decision eventually led to the film earning its slot as a major contender for the Best Visual Effects Oscar with the winner being announced on February 24th. The plan is to re-evaluate the process to avoid a repeat situation, especially since The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is likely to create a repeat situation unless it is addressed. (via TORn)