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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Oscar voters are expected to go very big or very small on their best-picture winner at Sunday's Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

The two favorites are the mega-blockbuster "Avatar" and the critical darling "The Hurt Locker," which drew a tiny fraction of the audience "Avatar" pulled in.

Either movie would represent a first at the Oscars: "Avatar" would be the only sci-fi film ever to take home the best-picture prize. "The Hurt Locker" would be the first winner centered on the war on terror, a subject that has stirred little interest among movie audiences.

The other eight films competing in this year's expanded best picture category are "The Blind Side," "District 9," "An Education," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious," "A Serious Man," "Up," and "Up in the Air."