Could two disparate 2009 news stories combine to make an unlikely third? In June, the Academy of Arts and Sciences announced that the Oscars' Best Picture category would expand from five films to 10. And this past week, "New Moon" opened to a staggering $140.7 million at the domestic box office. Is it possible that a vastly more inclusive Oscar race could welcome Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's vampire saga to its esteemed contest?

Critics certainly reacted strongly — and often negatively — to "New Moon," but moviegoers came out in droves, and after the mega blockbuster "The Dark Knight" failed to nab a Best Picture nod in 2008, the Academy might be looking to make a change. Or not. The idea of vampires joining the likes of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman in "Invictus") seems a bit of a stretch. Yet the Twilighters MTV News spoke to at a recent fan event in Times Square were certain "New Moon" deserved some Oscar love.

"They always give the [nominations] to the boring movies," said Vanesa Reyes, who said she and her friends planned to see the movie four or five times over its first weekend. "Let's give young people a chance to win some Oscars. It's time for a change."

Kim Cawthorne argued such a change has been building for a while. "If 'Twilight' got all this publicity for winning awards at the MTV Movie Awards and other awards shows, then obviously 'New Moon' is going to get it," she said, clutching an Edward Cullen pillow she'd just purchased. "I think all of the movies are going to keep getting it in the years to come."

Of course, a committed fanbase is no harbinger of serious awards-season respect. The "Harry Potter" franchise has never won an Oscar and has only been nominated in secondary categories for music and art direction. But none of that matters to the Twilighters, each of whom argued passionately that "New Moon" deserves some nominations — not just as Best Picture but in other categories as well.

"I think Taylor Lautner [should be nominated]," said Jhanel Huggett. "I really do. He did such an amazing job to transform, so I think he really deserves it."

Check out everything we've got on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."

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