In response to a 12.16 announcement that the New York Film Critics Circle has decided to junk last year’s late November strategy and vote instead on Monday, December 3rd, I wrote that the all-but-worthless National Board of Review voting tallies will now be announced before the NYFCC, as they have in years past. The last two NBR announcements happened on 12.1.11 and 12.2.10.

And yet the National Board of Review winners will be announced on Wednesday, 12.5, according to a PMK*BNC release sent out this morning. So despite a recent decision by NYFCC chairman Josh Rothkopf to retreat from last year’s strategy, the NYFCC will still be first out of the gate.

Before last year the NBR was always the first awards group to be heard from — it was this way for decades. I asked PMK*BNC’s Lee Meltzer why the NBR will announce four or five days later than usual, and he said this is “to ensure that [they] have seen as many films as possible before voting.” Except the NBR gang will presumably have the same opportunities as the NYFCC membership to see the same films at the same times so Meltzer’s explanation is a head-scratcher.

Rothkopf said this morning that “we may still be first but that wasn’t our intention” in deciding to vote on Monday, 12.3. “Our main function is to be able to have enough time to see everything and fully deliberate,” he said. “We just looked at the dates, at all the important stuff coming out, the publicists told me that they could really use the last weekend of November…so it made sense to vote on Monday the 3rd. That was the optimal date.”

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association will vote on Sunday, 12.9.