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Oscars to feature special James Bond movie tribute

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Oscars are jumping on the James Bond anniversary bandwagon, featuring a special salute to the 50-year-old franchise at the annual awards ceremony in February, producers said on Friday.

"We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday," Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in a statement.

While no details of the segment were revealed, the producers added that "starting with 'Dr. No' back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon."

Friday's announcement was likely to fuel hopes for a best picture Oscar nomination next week for the current Bond film, "Skyfall," which has broken the $1 billion mark at the box office and become the biggest hit in the series' 23-film franchise. It was released by Sony Corp's movie studio.

The critically-acclaimed blockbuster got a big boost earlier this week when producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson were among nominees for the Producers Guild Award, alongside producers for such prestige films as "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

Bond films have historically received only a handful of Oscar nominations, most for technical categories or music, and the Producers Guild nod marked the first ever nomination from the influential Hollywood guild for a Bond film.

Nominations for the Oscars will be announced on January 10 in Los Angeles.

The Oscars, the most coveted awards in the movie industry, will be handed out in a ceremony hosted by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane and broadcast around the world from Hollywood on February 24.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Vicki Allen)

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